Jacob and Laban Divide The Flock

5th century, with medieval and modern restorations
Mosaic (with painted-in restoration at the bottom)
Nave, Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

In the lower register on the right Jacob and Laban agree that after Jacob has spent a season caring for the flock Laban will have all the sheep and goats that are completely white while Jacob will have the others. Then, on the left, Laban has his men hide the animals that are not entirely white so that Jacob will not get them. But in the upper register Jacob outwits Laban by artificially coloring the better animals and leaving the weaker ones for Laban. See Genesis 30:25-43.

This is part of the extensive series of Old Testament scenes portrayed in mosaics along the two walls of the nave. To view the others follow this link.

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Photographed at the basilica by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.