The Israelites worshipping the Golden Calf. The Lorenzkirche [Church of St. Lawrence], Nürenberg, Germany. Sixteenth century [?]. What is unusual about this Old Testament scene is that it is not accompanied by the next stage of the narrative, which contains typological image of the brazen serpent: After Moses returned from his encounter with God Who gave him the ten commandments, he found the Jews worshipping a golden idol. God then punished them by sending a plague of snakes whereupon the sinners asked Moses to intercede with God, Who commanded them to set up a brazen serpent on a pole and, looking at it, pray to Him. Interpreters then took this example of saving prayer as a type of Christ and the crucifixion. [Click on image to enlarge it.]

Photograph by George P. Landow [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.]