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Testament of Moses
★ Reflexion on the Testament of Moses and the Last Supper
✤ On the upper part left: Prayer in the Olive grove ... road is going on to the second scene ...
Luke 22:39-46 (also Matt. 26:36-46 and Mark 14:32-42)
39 He then left to make his way as usual to the Mount of Olives, with the disciples following.40 When he reached the place he said to them, 'Pray not to be put to the test.'41 Then he withdrew from them, about a stone's throw away, and knelt down and prayed.42 'Father,' he said, 'if you are willing, take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, let your will be done, not mine.'43 Then an angel appeared to him, coming from heaven to give him strength.44 In his anguish he prayed even more earnestly, and his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.45 When he rose from prayer he went to the disciples and found them sleeping for sheer grief.46 And he said to them, 'Why are you asleep? Get up and pray not to be put to the test.'
✤ On the upper part in the middle: Capture of Jesus, healing ear of soldier... road is going on to ...
Matt. 26:47-56 (also Luke 22:47-53 and Mark 14:43-52 and John 18:3-11)
47 And suddenly while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared, and with him a large number of men armed with swords and clubs, sent by the chief priests and elders of the people.48 Now the traitor had arranged a sign with them saying, 'The one I kiss, he is the man. Arrest him.'49 So he went up to Jesus at once and said, 'Greetings, Rabbi,' and kissed him.50 Jesus said to him, 'My friend, do what you are here for.' Then they came forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.51 And suddenly, one of the followers of Jesus grasped his sword and drew it; he struck the high priest's servant and cut off his ear.52 Jesus then said, 'Put your sword back, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.53 Or do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, who would promptly send more than twelve legions of angels to my defence ?54 But then, how would the scriptures be fulfilled that say this is the way it must be?'55 It was at this time that Jesus said to the crowds, 'Am I a bandit, that you had to set out to capture me with swords and clubs? I sat teaching in the Temple day after day and you never laid a hand on me.'56 Now all this happened to fulfill the prophecies in scripture. Then all the disciples deserted him and ran away.57 The men who had arrested Jesus led him off to the house of Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
✤ On the upper part to the left: Cruxifixion of Jesus
Matt.27:45-54 (also Luke 23:44-48 and Mark 15:33-39 and John 19:17-30)
45 From the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.46 And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eli, eli, lama sabachthani?' that is, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'47 When some of those who stood there heard this, they said, 'The man is calling on Elijah,'48 and one of them quickly ran to get a sponge which he filled with vinegar and, putting it on a reed, gave it him to drink.49 But the rest of them said, 'Wait! And see if Elijah will come to save him.'50 But Jesus, again crying out in a loud voice, yielded up his spirit.51 And suddenly, the veil of the Sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom, the earth quaked, the rocks were split,52 the tombs opened and the bodies of many holy people rose from the dead,53 and these, after his resurrection, came out of the tombs, entered the holy city and appeared to a number of people.54 The centurion, together with the others guarding Jesus, had seen the earthquake and all that was taking place, and they were terrified and said, 'In truth this man was son of God.'
Testament of Moses: Signorelli & della Gatta
Last Supper: Rosselli & Biagio d'Antonio
★ Biblical description of the legacy and death of Moses
✤ On the top in the middle: God, disguised as an Angel shows Moses the promised country that he never will enter and gives him the baton of command.
4 Yahweh said to him, 'This is the country which I promised on oath to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying: I shall give it to your descendants. I have allowed you to see it for yourself, but you will not cross into it.'
✤ On the Bottom right: Moses (120 yrs) is giving his last speech (blessing of the tribes of Israel) to the crowds and sings “The Song of Moses”. In front of him we have the Arch of the Covenant with the tablets of the Law and a basket with the “manna” from heaven
1 This is the blessing that Moses, man of God, pronounced over the Israelites before he died.2 He said: Yahweh came from Sinai, from Seir he dawned on us, from Mount Paran blazed forth, For them he came, after the mustering at Kadesh, from his zenith as far as the foothills.3 You who love the ancestors! Your holy ones are all at your command. At your feet they fell, under your guidance went swiftly on.4 (Moses enjoined a law on us.) The assembly of Jacob comes into its inheritance;5 there was a king in Jeshurun when the heads of the people foregathered and the tribes of Israel were all assembled!6 May Reuben survive and not die out, survive though his men be few!7 Of Judah he said this: Listen, Yahweh, to the voice of Judah, and bring him back to his people. That his hands may defend his rights, come to his help against his foes!8 Of Levi he said: To Levi, give your urim, to your faithful one, your thummim, having tested him at Massah, having striven with him at the Waters of Meribah.9 Of his father and mother, he says, 'I have not seen them.' He does not acknowledge his brothers, nor does he know his own children. Yes, they have kept your word, they hold firmly to your covenant.10 They will teach your customs to Jacob, and your Law to Israel. They will put incense before you and burnt offerings on your altar.11 Yahweh, bless his worthiness, and accept the actions he performs. Crush the loins of those who rise against him and of his foes, so that they rise no more!12 Of Benjamin he said: Beloved of Yahweh, he rests trustfully near him. The Most High protects him day after day and dwells between his hillsides.13 Of Joseph he said: His land is blessed by Yahweh. For him the best of heaven's dew and of the deep that lies below,14 the best of what the sun makes grow, of what springs with every month,15 the first-fruits of the ancient mountains, the best from the hills of old16 the best of the land and all it holds, the favour of him who dwells in the Bush. May the hair grow thick on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the consecrated one among his brothers!17 First-born of the Bull, his the glory. His horns are the wild ox's horns, with which he gores the peoples to the very ends of the earth. Such are the myriads of Ephraim, such are the thousands of Manasseh.18 Of Zebulun he said: Prosper, Zebulun, in your expeditions, and you, Issachar, in your tents!19 On the mountain where the people come to pray they offer upright sacrifices, for they taste the riches of the seas and the treasures hidden in the sands.20 Of Gad he said: Blessed be he who gives Gad space enough! He lies there like a lioness; he has savaged arm and face and head.21 Then he took the first portion for himself, saw that there was stored up for him a leader's share. He has come at the head of the people, has carried out the saving justice of Yahweh and his judgements on Israel.22 Of Dan he said: Dan is a lion cub leaping from Bashan.23 Of Naphtali he said: Naphtali, sated with favours, filled with the blessings of Yahweh: the west and south are to be his domain.24 Of Asher he said: Most blessed of the sons let Asher be! Let him be the most privileged of his brothers and let him bathe his feet in oil!25 Be your bolts of iron and of bronze and your security as lasting as your days!26 No one is like the God of Jeshurun: he rides the heavens to your rescue, rides the clouds in his majesty!27 The God of old is your refuge, his the eternal arm which here below drives the enemy before you; he it is who says, 'Destroy!'28 Israel rests trustfully. The well-spring of Jacob is chosen out for a land of corn and wine; there heaven itself rains down dew.29 Blessed are you, O Israel! Who is like you, O victorious people? Yahweh is the shield that protects you and the sword that leads you to triumph. Your enemies will try to corrupt you, but you yourself will trample on their backs.
✤ On the bottom left: Moses is gives his staff of command to his kneeling son Joshua
7 Moses then summoned Joshua and, in the presence of all Israel, said to him, 'Be strong, stand firm; you will be the one to go with this people into the country which Yahweh has sworn to their ancestors that he would give them; you are to be the one who puts them into possession of it.8 Yahweh himself will lead you; he will be with you; he will not fail you or desert you. Have no fear, do not be alarmed.'
✤ On the top left: Dead of the prophet Moses in the land of Moab, surrounded for 30 days by the people
5 There in the country of Moab, Moses, servant of Yahweh, died as Yahweh decreed;6 he buried him in the valley, in the country of Moab, opposite Beth-Peor; but to this day no one has ever found his grave.7 Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye undimmed, his vigour unimpaired.8 The Israelites wept for Moses on the Plains of Moab for thirty days. The days of weeping for the mourning rites of Moses came to an end.9 Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him, and him the Israelites obeyed, carrying out the order which Yahweh had given to Moses.
★ Biblical description of the Last Supper
✤ On the ceiling: octangonal room = celestial Jerusalem (shape of the walls surrounding the Temple of Jerusalem)
✤ On the centre front: the Last Supper: only Judas is with his back to the viewer, having a small devil sitting on his shoulder
Matt. 26:17-29 (also Mark 14:12-25 and Luke 22:3-23 and John 13:1-30)
17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus to say, 'Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?'18 He said, 'Go to a certain man in the city and say to him, "The Master says: My time is near. It is at your house that I am keeping Passover with my disciples." '19 The disciples did what Jesus told them and prepared the Passover.20 When evening came he was at table with the Twelve.21 And while they were eating he said, 'In truth I tell you, one of you is about to betray me.'22 They were greatly distressed and started asking him in turn, 'Not me, Lord, surely?'23 He answered, 'Someone who has dipped his hand into the dish with me will betray me.24 The Son of man is going to his fate, as the scriptures say he will, but alas for that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! Better for that man if he had never been born!'25 Judas, who was to betray him, asked in his turn, 'Not me, Rabbi, surely?' Jesus answered, 'It is you who say it.'26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to the disciples. 'Take it and eat,' he said, 'this is my body.'27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he handed it to them saying, 'Drink from this, all of you,28 for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.29 From now on, I tell you, I shall never again drink wine until the day I drink the new wine with you in the kingdom of my Father.'