Friday, April 13, 2007

Durand's Painting of God's Judgment Upon Gog (Ezekiel 38-39)

After yesterday's Ezekiel class, in which we studied Ezekiel's Gog of Magog text, Kitty Guy mentioned that she had seen a painting representing Ezekiel's apocalyptic vision in an art museum in Norfolk, Virginia. I was very interested, since I can't remember ever seeing the Gog text depicted in art. Well, Kitty emailed me a link to a small image of the painting. Until we can get ahold of a larger electronic version, we'll have to make due with the following:

Durand, Judgment Upon Gog


The painting is by Asher B. Durand (American, 1796-1886), and is entitled: "God's Judgement Upon Gog" (c. 1851-1852). I know that it is hard to make out in this small image, but what is going on in the painting is the following. The artist has zeroed in on the section of the text where birds and animals feast on Gog's defeated troops (a sacrificial feast; a marzeakh?; Ezekiel 39:4, 17-20). Ezekiel, standing on the lower left promontory, is calling forth at God's command predatory birds and wild beasts to devour Gog's evil mob. The troops fill the valley; the birds sweep down from the sky and the wild beasts, seen in the foreground, approach the troops.

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