I Samuel 11:14- 12:22
Samuel (prophet) His book covers 120 years. His prophetic experiences lasted about 100 years, from 1070 – 970 B.C.E He was the 16th and the last of the Shoftim (Judges).
Samuel the prophet has just anointed Saul as King. He reminds the people of all that G-d has done for them, and how he himself has been an honest and caring prophet and leader. He tells B’nai Yisrael if they do not listen to G-d and obey His commandments they will be punished.
The image is a painting of Samuel speaking to Saul, from ”Meshal ha-Kadmoni” (The Ancient Proverb), published in Southern Germany, 1450. The book is a translation based on stories by Isaac ben Solomon ibn Abi Sahulah. According to the Encyclopedia Judaica Sahulah was a poet, scholar and kabbalist. He was born in 1244 and lived in Guadalajara, in Castile. Isaac was concerned that Jews were reading and being influenced by non-Jewish texts. For example The Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor and Kalila and Dimna- fables from India- were translated into Hebrew and read extensively by Jews in the Middle Ages. Below are two illustrations from an edition of Kalila and Dimna dated 1210 CE.
To counter the effects of the non-Jewish texts Isaac wrote his own book of stories, poems, fables and parables. The book was illustrated with miniatures and wood cuts. The ”Meshal ha-Kadmoni” was very popular and reprinted six times. It was also reprinted nine times in Yiddish.
My illustration for the haftarah of Korach is modeled on a reproduction from ”Meshal ha-Kadmoni”.