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Study the topic of Moses and the horns and its relationship to the Alexander Romance and Dhul-Qarnayn - Essay Example

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When Michelangelo unveiled his sculpture of Moses and revealed the presence of two small horns on the prophet's head he caused unspeakable shock .His exalted audience could only have speculated on his motives for he did not explain them. It is the most famous example of the depiction of a horned Moses…
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Study the topic of Moses and the horns and its relationship to the Alexander Romance and Dhul-Qarnayn
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Download file to see previous pages When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets in his hand, as he came down from the mountain Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses and beheld the skin of his face shone and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him and Moses talked with them. And when Moses finished speaking with them he put a veil over his face. Whenever Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him he would remove the veil .And when he came out and told the people of Israel what was commanded, the people of Israel would see the face of Moses that the skin of Moses was shining.
However, E. Suhr2 argues that the scribe who transcribed the passage using the secondary meaning may actually have done so advisedly and that scholars should not assume that a mistake of such proportions could have been made by a man who was an educated monk. The word in question was used three times in the description of Moses' transfiguration; would not the scribe have been aware of the consequences of such a change to the meaning of the passage He goes on to give us examples of the use of the adjective (horned) being applied to other messianic figures in religious history and literature. These figures had all performed heroic tasks and were saviours of their people. Horns therefore appear to have had, at one period, attributes of divinity and purity; a meaning that is diametrically opposed to our present day conception of them as being satanic.
Eloise Hart3 also confirms this. In her essay she states that being horned was a symbol of being in intimate communion with the divine, that it signified neophytes who had passed a grueling test of faith. Certainly, there are references to horns and gods dating all the way to Sumerian times: the god Janus was portrayed with two heads and early Sumerian kings often took on the role of king-god; they were the pivot on which every facet of the kingdom turned.. The seals of Akkad depict the king as wearing horned crowns, symbolic perhaps of the close association of the ruler with divinity4. Some Akkadian seals also portray sacrificial bulls being brought to their knees by their horns;
There was evidently power in the horns since the sacrificial bull is almost invariably shown held by a horn in the same manner.5
There are also references to horns and divinity in many ancient religions, including Celtics and Sumerian and early Egyptian. Dionysus was also known as the horned god ; Apis the Bull God for example is portrayed with the sun disk of divinity between its horns.6 The merging of the two meanings is clear here. The unicorn is also associated with Christ.
Suhr contends though that the passage may not refer to horns in the literal sense; when both meanings are taken together, it can be interpreted to signify that the quality of Moses' face had changed, that perhaps there had been an alteration in his features or skin that allowed them to be described as horned. He justifies this through the use of examples such as Siegfried from Das Nibelungenleid, who on slaying a dragon bathed in its blood and his skin became horned. He also quotes Luke from the New Testament in the description of Jesus' transfiguration, where the gospel mentions that "the fashion of his (Jesus') ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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