Friday, January 25, 2019

Obadiah 1:17

Daily Hebrew: 

The image in this verse of Mount Zion, the temple mount, as a holy and secure divine refuge for God’s people draws strongly on the mythic-poetic archetype of the Cosmic Mountain. Art history offers us many beautiful examples of the divine mountain, aglow with cosmic significance and sacramental power. Here are two examples for reflection: 

  • Title: Climbing the Lantau Peak at night 
  • Chinese painter: Huang Bore
  • Date Created: 1956
  • Theme: Landscape
  • Physical Dimensions: w86.6 x h67.5 cm
  • Location in the artwork: Lantau Peak, Lantau Island, Hong Kong 

The artist, Huang Bore, created this magnificent painting from a sketch he made on a hike up the Lantau Peak mountain that included an overnight stay at the Po Lin Monastery located there. The sublime and transformative character of the mountain inspired several hikes there and quite a few works of art from his hand. 

  • Title: Sculptural vessel representing sacrifices presided over by Aia Paec in the mountains
  • Creator: Mochica style
  • Date Created: 700 - 850 C.E. 

I was attracted to this ritual/mythic-poetic image from Lima and enjoyed putting it in conversation with this verse of Obadiah, because the mountains of the vessel so much resemble (in my “reader/viewer response”) the divine hand cradling God’s people in holy safety that I imagine behind Obadiah 1:17. The figures cradled in the crevices of the mountain appear to shrink back in awe at the holiness of the mountain scene. A lead figure on the highest peak (in the top center of the vessel) appears prostrate in reverence. Redish bands flowing down from his body suggest new, sacred life, the holy rivers of life, often associated with the Cosmic Mountain archetype (e.g., see Ezek 47). 


Post a Comment

<< Home