|(VII) Img. ID: 19584||Munich Rashi's Commentary on the Bible , Vol. I, fol. 40v, Würzburg, 1232/33 edit|
|Category:||Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts|
|24c||Number of Lines|
|26j||Panel Measurements||40 x 52 mm.|
|27c||Location of Torah Ark|
|27d||Location of Apse|
|27e||Location of Niche|
|27f||Location of Reader's Desk|
|27g||Location of Platform|
|27h||Temp: Architecture Axis|
|27i<||Arrangement of Seats|
|27j||Location of Women's Section|
|27l||Direction Toward Jerusalem|
|33d||Hallmark Group Classification|
|36||Summary and Remarks|
Jacob, who was nearly blind, crossed his hands, placing his right hand on the head of Ephraim, the younger of the brothers (Gen. 48:14). Joseph attempted to adjust his father's hands: "and he held up his father's hand to remove it from Ephraim's head unto Manasseh's head" (Gen. 48:17). Rashi explained how Joseph supported his father's hand (I:41, 3rd column): "He [Joseph] lifted it [Jacob's hand] off his son's head and supported it with his [own] hand". Indeed, the depiction illustrates Rashi's words (fig. 1). A shortened version of Jacob's blessing, without Joseph presence, is prevalent in Mosan metalwork of the 12th century, such as a plaque of 1160 (fig. 2) and a contemporary altar cross with biblical scenes in the British Museum (fig. 3). A conflated depiction which combines Jacob's blessing of his grandchildren (Gen. 48:14-20) while his sons are awaiting their turn (Gen. 49:1) is found in a cameo of c.1200 from the south Italian or Sicilian workshop of Friedrich II (1194-1250). Behind Joseph stand the eleven brothers. Joseph, who touches his father's right arm to remove it from his youngest son, protests "Not so my father" (Gen. 48:18). Jacob's answer is inscribed in Hebrew above: "I know it, my son, I know it" (ידעתי בני ידעתי, Gen. 48:19).
|Fig. 1: Jacob blessing Ephraim and Manasseh, Munich Rashi's Commentary on the Bible, Munich, BSB Cod. hebr. 5, I:40v||Fig. 2: Jacob blessing Ephraim and Manasseh, Enamel plaque, Mosan School, 1160, Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery (Morgan 1973, p. 264)|
|Fig. 3: Front of enamelled altar cross (centre), Mosan School, c.1160-70, London, BM (Kötzsche 1973 II, p. 206, fig. 20)||Fig. 4: Cameo with Hebrew inscription: ידעתי בני ידעתי , South Italy, c.1200, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Kugel 2000, no. 1)|
A similar conflated scene is found already in the 5th-century Latin Ashburnham Pentateuch from Italy, although the composition differs (fig. 5). Jacob is seated with hands crossed. Joseph on the left is pulling his father's right arm off Ephraim's head, recalling our illustration (fig.1). The eleven brothers on the right are awaiting their turn to be blessed.
|Fig. 5: Jacob blessing Ephraim and Manasseh, Ashburnham Pentateuch, Italy 5th century, Paris, BnF Nouv. Acq. Lat. 2334, fol. 50 (Narkiss, facsimile 2007, pp. 114, 362)||Fig. 6: The Golden Haggadah, Barcelona c.1320, London, BL Add. 27210, fol. 8v (Narkiss, facsimile 1970)|
However, in a later version of the conflated scene in a Hebrew manuscript such as the Golden Haggadah of c.1320 from Barcelona (fig. 6), the presentation of the two boys is shown just before the blessing (Gen. 12-14). Only three brothers appear behind Joseph whose hands are outstretched, as he takes heed of his father's crossed arms. Jacob is not touching his grandchildren who kneel next to him.
Fig. 7: Jacob blessing Ephraim and Manasseh Feuillet Wittert verso, c.1150 Liège,
Bibliothèque de l'Université MS 2613, single leaf (Chapman 1980, fig. 6)
Jacob's blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh and that of his sons are two separate scenes within a frame depicted in a single Mosan leaf of c.1150 (fig. 7). Joseph stands with three brothers behind him, his right arm and index finger stretched out in warning while Jacob with hands crossed touches the heads of his grandchildren kneeling on either side of his bed. Below, Jacob is blessing his sons, gathered as a group on the left.
|40||Main Surveys & Excavations|
|45||Temp: Batch Number|
|46||Temp: Aleph Number|
|47||Temp: Sys. Number / Doc. Name|