One of the most interesting things about preparing this podcast has been realising how closely the development of symbols is linked to prophecy. The visual symbol follows the prophecy! In the case of the symbols and flags of the twelve tribes of Israel, we have two prophecies – the one by Jacob on his deathbed, and the one by Moses before the tribes enter the promised land. This study is rather a ‘fun study’ – an aide memoire, exploring how the prophecies played out, in the historical characteristics of each tribe.
These symbols are used in many decorative designs by Israelis today – proving that, although Jews do not draw pictures of God, there are plenty of other things they draw!In our study of the icon, the beginnings of the language of revelation are very important. Two very important icon themes unexpectedly emerged – the Good Shepherd and the Guardian Angel. Without doing this visual Bible study, I would not have realised how deep the roots of these images are. It has made me realise that I need to pay much more attention to the visual character of the Old Testament prophecies in the roots of iconography.
* At the time of writing there is a slow load issue connected with some of these podcasts, which we are working on – meanwhile, just open the lecture and leave it ‘playing’ till the sound loads!