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571 years ago 1450
571 years ago 1450

What happens in this picture ?!

This is a scene from the biblical story of Daniel, who was thrown into the lions’ den by the king and came out without a scratch on him, thanks to protection from God of course.

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What happens in this picture ?!

This is a scene from the biblical story of Daniel, who was thrown into the lions’ den by the king and came out without a scratch on him, thanks to protection from God of course.

Lions

Daniel was a very devout man; he prayed to God three times a day. This annoyed King Darius, who wanted his subjects to turn to him for everything. When King Darius discovered that Daniel was still praying, he had him arrested and cast into the lions’ den. In the middle of the picture, you can see Daniel in the den with the lions. To the right, you can see an angel in a white dress: this angel saved Daniel from the lions. The prophet Habakuk is on the left. An angel is carrying him to the lions’ den by his man bun, so that he can bring Daniel something to eat. King Darius was so impressed by this adventure that he ordered his subjects to have more respect for God. The moral of this story is: you will be saved if you have faith.

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If you look closely at the lions, you might notice something: they don't look at all like lions! People in the Middle Ages didn't get to travel much, and certainly not outside Europe. They didn't have internet, and photography hadn't been invented yet, so the person who painted this picture had never actually seen a lion. He'd heard a few descriptions and used his imagination for the rest. #Notalion.

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The picture comes from a picture bible, an interpretation of the historical biblical texts, but written in normal language. This one was written in Utrecht in the mid-fifteenth century.