Jacob Leaves Mesopotamia
5th century, with medieval and modern restorations
Nave, Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome
In the upper register the scene on the left uses the multitude of sheep to register Jacob's developing prosperity (Genesis 30:43). On the right, God tells him to leave his uncle Laban and return home to his father Isaac (Genesis 31:1-3).
In the lower register, Jacob tells his wives Rachel and Leah that he will be leaving, but they persuade him to take them and their children with him (Genesis 31:4-18). As in previous panels in this sequence, Leah wears a blue robe and Rachel a red one. The children standing with the women are Leah's sons Reuben (in front as the first-born), Simeon, and Levi (Genesis 29:31-35).
This is part of the extensive series of Old Testament scenes portrayed in mosaics along the two walls of the nave. Follow this link for links to the others.
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Photographed at the basilica by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.