An Execution; Joshua's Final Commands; Joshua's Passing
Old Testament miniatures with Latin, Persian, and Judeo-Persian inscriptions
390 x 300 mm
Purchased by J. P. Morgan, Jr., 1916
MS M.638 (fol. 11v)
The Crusader Bible, also known as the Morgan Picture Bible, the Maciejowski Bible, and the Shah ‘Abbas Bible, is not only one of greatest medieval manuscripts in the Morgan, it also ranks as one of the incomparable achievements of French Gothic illumination.
The miniatures represent one of the greatest visualizations of Old Testament events ever made. Some of the stories and their heroes are well known, but there are also accounts of other Israelites who fought for the Promised Land—stories that resonate to this day. There are incredibly violent battle scenes where the implements of war are so accurately depicted they could be replicated. And there are scenes not only of murder, everyday life, and love, but also of hate, envy, adultery, and rape—all set in the scenery and customs of thirteenth-century France.
After their humiliation, the five Amorite kings are hanged for a full day. Come evening, Joshua orders a soldier to take the bodies down. (Joshua 10:26–27)
Joshua's Final Commands
Years later, before his own death, an elderly Joshua exhorts the leaders of Israel to remember the many blessings of the Lord and to obey the law of Moses. (Joshua 23:1–14)
Beside Joshua's deathbed, the people grieve and mourn the passing of their great leader. (Joshua 24:29–31)
Folio 11v (Latin)
Upper half: How Joshua had the five kings who had been defeated in battle hanged on trees. (Joshua 10: 26)
Lower left: How Joshua, old, advanced in years and near death, gives many orders to the assembled children of Israel, encouraging them to be observant of the laws. (Joshua 23: 1–24 – 24)
Lower right: How, the affairs of the children of Israel now settled, Joshua dies. (Joshua 24: 29)
Folio 11v (Persian)
Persian foliation: 33
Upper left margin: And after that Joshua ordered those five kings to be hanged.
Lower left: When Joshua’s death neared, he summoned his people and gave his last testament.
Lower right: Here, Joshua breathed his last breath and died.
Folio 11v (Judeo-Persian)
Upper left margin, furthest left: The hanging of the five kings.
Lower left margin: At the time of Joshua’s death, he seeks out the Children of Israel and bequeaths his will.
Lower right, beneath Latin: Joshua’s departure from the world.
Content consultant: Richard Leson
Persian translated by Sussan Babaie
Judeo-Persian translated by Vera Basch Moreen
Latin translation by Eran Lupu
After the commentary volume accompanying the Fine Art Facsimile edition by Faksimile Verlag Luzern / www.faksimile.ch