The Israelites Rise Against Moses
5th century, with medieval and modern restorations
Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome
These are two sequential episodes from Moses' story. In the upper register, spies return from Canaan to report on its abundance (Numbers 13:26-29). In the lower register, when Moses decides to go forward with the invasion of Canaan, the Israelites resist and try to stone him and his lieutenants Caleb and Joshua. But as these three stand before the Ark, God appears (viz. the hand above the aegis encircling the three figures) and denounces the Israelites' perfidy (Numbers 14:2-11).
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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Read more about Moses and about Joshua.
Photographed at the site by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.