MS M.638, fol. 32v

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A Massing of Malcontents, Ahimelech Executed

Old Testament Miniatures with Latin, Persian, and Judeo-Persian inscriptions

Paris, France
ca. 1244–1254
390 x 300 mm

Purchased by J.P. Morgan (1867–1943) in 1916

MS M.638, fol. 32v
Page description: 

A Massing of Malcontents
David escapes to the wilderness. At the cave of Adullam, his distressed brothers and other poor people of the kingdom gather to the young leader and proclaim him their prince. All told, David's ragtag company will number four-hundred men. (1 Kings 22:1–2)

Ahimelech Executed
Saul has discovered how Ahimelech and his priestly house provided David with aid. Ahimelech reminds Saul that David is a faithful servant, but the paranoid king will not listen to reason: the priest and his entire family are violently killed. (1 Kings 22:11–18)


Folio 32v (Latin)

Upper half: How Saul sends for Ahimelech and for his family members who were all priests. (I Samuel 22:11)

Lower half: How, when Ahimelech and the other priests, all eighty-five of them, had come to the king, he had them all killed and their city so utterly destroyed, that hardly one man escaped. (I Samuel 22: 6–19)

Folio 32v (Persian)

Persian foliation: 12

Upper left margin: The king sent [someone] and had the priest and his brethren brought forth.

Lower left: Then the king ordered the priest and his people slain.

Folio 32v (Judeo-Persian)

Lower right, above Latin: Doeg, having informed the king, the king ordered, "Go, bring Ahimelech and the rest of the priests." They brought them and they [the priests] were all killed. This also belongs to the tale [of?]

Italicized words are in Hebrew.


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