Aweidah Gallery - Ancient Art
RARE- Pottery oil lamp with biblical scene,4th – 5th AD

browse these categories for related items...
All Items: Antiques:Regional Art:Ancient World:Roman:Pottery: Pre AD 1000: item # 1224094

Click to view additional online photographs
detail 1 detail 2 detail 3 detail 4 detail 5 detail 6
detail 7 detail 8 detail 9 detail 10 detail 11 detail 12

Aweidah Gallery - Jerusalem based gallery
P.O.Box 51067 - Jerusalem, ISRAEL

Guest Book

RARE- Pottery oil lamp with biblical scene,4th – 5th AD
Aweidah Gallery is pleased to offer this rare North African black slipware oil lamp depicting the biblical scene of the two spies Yehoshua Ben Nun and Kalev standing frontally, carrying a gigantic bunch of grapes on a pole between them returning from their 40 days exploratory mission after spying out the land of Canaan (Num.13-23)

Around the scene are a row of concentric circles with interior lozenges with dots, alternating with squares filled with checkerboard pattern

A real master specimen. Would simply make a major addition to the finest antiquities collection…

Measurements: Length: 10.5 cm – Width 6 cm

Condition: Intact, not repaired and not restored


The representation of stories and events from the Hebrew Bible has been a common decorative element in both Jewish and Christian art for centuries. This lamp exemplifies the customs in its depiction of the return of the men sent by Moses from the wilderness into the land of Canaan to spy out the nature of the land and its inhabitants.
They came into the valley of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bore it on a pole between two; they took also of the pomegranates, and of the figs.” (Num. 13:23) The twelve spies reported that the land of Canaan was indeed flowing with milk and honey, and showed as evidence the fruit they had brought.

Upon the return from the land of Israel, we read how the ten spies attempted to sway the minds of the people that the task before them was impossible. The first to speak up in defense of the land was Kalev:

[The spies declared] - "However, the people that dwells in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very great, and we also saw the children of Anak there. Amalek lives in the land of the Negev, and the Chitti and the Yevusi and the Emori dwell in the mountain, and the Canaani dwell by the sea and alongside the Yarden"
And Kalev silenced the people before Moshe and said, 'Let us go up and possess it, for we are well able to prevail over it'" (verses 28-30).

After the people are persuaded by the spies, with Moshe and Aharon powerless before them, then Yehoshua also speaks:

"And Yehoshua bin-Nun and Kalev ben-Yefuneh, of those who had spied out the land, tore their garments. And they said to all of the congregation of Bnei Yisrael, saying: The land which we passed through to spy it out is an exceedingly good land. If God favors us then He will bring us to this land and give it to us; a land that flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against God, and have no fear of the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their guard has departed from them and God is with us; do no fear them. But all the congregation said to stone them with stones" (verses 6-10).

Finally, we note that when Hashem punishes the people, he mentioned them twice – again differentiating between Yehoshua and Kalev:

"For all of these people who have seen My glory and My wonders which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, and who have tried Me these ten times, and have not listened to My voice – they will not see the land which I promised to their fathers, nor shall those who have provoked Me see it. But My servant Kalev, since a different spirit was with him, and he followed Me fully – therefore I shall bring him to the land into which he went, and his seed will possess it." (14:22-24)

"Say to them: As I live, says God, as you have spoken in My ears, so I shall do to you. Your carcasses will fall in this wilderness, and all those of you who were counted, by your numbers, from twenty years old and upward, who have complained against Me – you will not come to the land concerning which I swore to make you dwell there, except for Kalev ben-Yefuneh and Yehoshua bin-Nun… and the men whom Moshe sent to spy out the land, and then returned and complained about it to the entire congregation, speaking evil of the land – those men, who spoke evil of the land, will die in a plague before God. But Yehoshua bin-Nun and Kalev ben-Yefuneh lived, of those men who had gone to spy out the land." (28-38)

  Page design by TROCADERO © 1998-2013 View Cart