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Ephraim

century jacob joseph christian

Ephraim and Manasseh were the sons of *Joseph. They were brought by their father to be blessed by their grandfather *Jacob, when the elderly man was near *death. Although Joseph positioned the boys so that the elder Manasseh would receive the firstborn right-hand blessing, Jacob crossed his arms, in spite of Joseph’s objections, in preference for the younger Ephraim, predicting greatness for Ephraim’s descendants . Not unlike the blessing stolen by the youthful Jacob from his brother *Esau, the event was interpreted by early Christian and medieval theologians as a prefiguration of *Christ; the preferred Ephraim represents the triumph of the Christian *church over the Jewish *synagogue, and Jacob’s crossed arm gesture prefigures the *Crucifixion. The image appears on sixth-century ivories, in illustrated manuscripts from the sixth century onward, and features frequently in typological programs, for example, twelfth-century Mosan enamels and Gothic manuscripts, sculpture, and stained glass.

Erasmus, Desiderius (1466/1469–1536) - BIOGRAPHY,  , CRITICAL RECEPTION [next] [back] Environment (AKA Trial of Earth) (1971) - Overview, Synopsis, Critique

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