Produced by David Widger
THE DORE GALLERY OF BIBLE ILLUSTRATIONS
Illustrated by Gustave Dore
Isaiah (in Hebrew, Yeshayahu, "Salvation of God"), the earliest and most
sublime of the four greater Hebrew prophets, was the son of Amoz (2 Kings
xix, 2-20; Isaiah xxxvii, 2), and he uttered his oracles during the
reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. The dates
of his birth and death are unknown, but he lived from about 760 B.C. to
about 700 B.C. He was married and had three sons--the children referred
to in Isaiah viii, 18; and he appears to have resided near Jerusalem.
But by most competent critics it is now held that the last twenty-seven
chapters (40-66) of the book bearing his name were the work, not of the
prophet, but of a later writer who is commonly styled the second or
Deutero-Isaiah. In this portion of the book, Cyrus, who was not born till
after 600 B.C., is mentioned by name (Isaiah, xliv, 28; xlv, i); and
events which did not take place till a century after the prophet's death
are referred to as happening contemporaneously with the writer's account
of them. The style of these last twenty-seven chapters, also, is
different, and the tone is more elevated and spiritual.
Dore's ideal portrait is more suited to the second or pseudo-Isaiah, than
to the real one.
DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB'S HOST.
Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, He shall
not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it
with shield, nor cast a bank against it. By the way that he came, by the
same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the Lord.
For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my
servant David's sake.
And it came to pass that night that the angel of the Lord went out, and
smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five
thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all
So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt
at Nineveh. And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of
Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with
the sword: and they escaped into the land of Armenia. And Esar-haddon his
son reigned in his stead.--2 Kings xix, 32-37
And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah
king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,
Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have
spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the
nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even
unto this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil
which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his
evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.
Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah: and Baruch wrote from the
mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the Lord, which he had spoken unto
him, upon a roll of a book. Jeremiah xxxvi; 1-4.
The word that Jeremiah the prophet spake unto Baruch the son of Neriah,
when he had written these words in a book at the mouth of Jeremiah, in
the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying,
Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, unto thee, O Baruch; thou didst
say, Woe is me now! for the Lord hath added grief to my sorrow; I fainted
in my sighing, and I find no rest.
Thus shalt thou say unto him, The Lord saith thus; Behold, that which I
have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck
up, even this whole land. And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek
them not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the Lord:
but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou
goesth. Jeremiah xlv, 1-5.
Ezekiel, the third of the great Hebrew prophets, was the son of the
priest Buzi. (Ezekiel i, 3). He was probably born about 620 or 630 years
before Christ, and was consequently a contemporary of Jeremiah and
Daniel, to the latter of whom he alludes in chapters xiv, 14-20 and
xxviii, 3. When Jerusalem was taken by Nebuchadnezzar in 597 B.C. (2
Kings xxiv, 8-16; Jeremiah xxix, 1-2; Ezekiel xvii, 12; xix, 9), Ezekiel
was carried captive along with Jehoiachin, or Jeconiah, king of Judah,
and thousands of other Jewish prisoners, to Babylonia, or as he himself
calls it, "the land of the Chaldeans." (Ezekiel i, 3). Here, along with
his exiled fellow-countrymen, he lived on the banks of the river Chebar
(Ezekiel i, 1-3), in a house of his own (viii, i). Here also he married,
and here, too, his wife, "the desire of his eyes," was taken from him
"with a stroke" (Ezekiel xxiv, 15-18). His prophetic career extended over
twenty-two years, from about 592 B.C. to about 570 B.C.
The book bearing his name is written in a mystical and symbolical style,
and abounds with visions and difficult allegories which indicate on the
part of the author the possession of a vivid and sublime imagination.
Ezekiel's authorship of it has been questioned. The Talmud attributes it
to the Great Synagogue, of which Ezekiel was not a member. It is
divisible into two portions. The first (chapters i-xxiv) was written
before, and the second (chapters xxv-xlviii) after, the destruction of
Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C, the eleventh year of the
prophet's captivity (Ezekiel xxvi, 1-2; XI, i). The present text is very
imperfect, being corrupted by the interpolation of glosses and other
additions by later hands.
Dore's picture represents the prophet uttering his oracles to his
fellow-exiles ("them of the captivity"), or to the "elders of Judah," or
"elders of Israel," on one of the occasions to which he himself alludes
(viii, I; xi, 25; xiv, I; xx, I).
THE VISION OF EZEKIEL.
The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the Spirit of the
Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,
and caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very
many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.
And he said unto me; Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O
Lord God, thou knowest.
Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye
dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these
bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:
And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and
cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live and ye
shall know that I am the Lord.
So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a
noise, and behold a shaking, and the, bones came together, bone to his
bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them,
and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.
Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and
say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O
breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and
they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of
Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we
are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus
saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and
cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of
Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your
graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall put
my Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own
land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed
it, saith the Lord.--Ezekiel xxxvii, 1-14.
Respecting the parentage or family of Daniel, the fourth of the great
Hebrew prophets, nothing is known, though he appears to have been of
noble if not of royal descent (Daniel i, 3). When, in the third year of
the reign of King Jehoiakim (607, 606, 605, or 604 B.C.), Jerusalem was
first taken by Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel, then a youth, was among the
captives carried to Babylon. By the king's orders, he, with others of the
Jewish youth, was educated for three years (Daniel i, 3-7). At this time
Daniel acquired the power of interpreting dreams (i, 17), which he used
with such advantage in expounding a dream of Nebuchadnezzar, that he was
made ruler over the whole province of Babylon (Daniel ii, 46-48).
Daniel's interpretation of Belshazzar's famous vision having been
fulfilled by the capture of Babylon by Darius, that conqueror promoted
Daniel to the highest office in the kingdom (Daniel vi, 1-3). The prophet
also prospered greatly during the reign of Cyrus (Daniel vi, 28).
The book of Daniel is written partly in Chaldaic or Syriac (the
vernacular Aramaic language spoken by the people of Palestine), and
partly in sacred Hebrew. It is manifestly divisible into two portions.
The first (chapters i-vi) narrating the details of the prophet's life,
and the second (chapters vii-xii) setting forth his apocalyptic visions.
Much doubt has been cast upon the authenticity of the work. The evident
reference in the eleventh chapter to the conquest of Persia by Alexander
the Great, which took place about 330 B.C., or more than two hundred
years after Daniel flourished, has led many modern critics to believe
that the work was composed in the time of the Maccabees.
Dore's picture appears to be intended to represent the prophet meditating
over one of the many visions which came to him.
THE FIERY FURNACE.
Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.
They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live forever.
There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the
province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; these men, O king,
have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden
image which thou hast set up.
Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abed-nego. Then they brought these men before the king.
Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach,
and Abed-nego? do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image
which I have set up? Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the
sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and
all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made;
well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the
midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver
you out of my hands?
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O
Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it
be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery
furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be
it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship
the golden image which thou hast set up.
Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was
changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego: therefore he spake, and
commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it
was wont to be heated. And he commanded the most mighty men that were in
his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, and to cast them into
the burning fiery furnace.
Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats,
and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning
fiery furnace. Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent and
the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took
up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. And these three men, Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abed-nego fell down bound into the midst of the burning
Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and
spake, and said unto his counselors, Did not we cast three men bound into
the midst of the fire? They answered, and said unto the king, True, O
He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of
the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the
Son of God.
Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace,
and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, ye servants of the
most high God, come forth and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abed-nego, came forth of the midst of the fire. And the princes,
governors, and captains, and the king's counselors, being gathered
together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was
a hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the
smell of fire had passed on them.--Daniel iii, 8, 9, 12-27.
Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and
drank wine before the thousand. Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine,
commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father
Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that
the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink
therein. Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the
temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his
princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. They drank wine
and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood,
and of stone.
In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over
against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's
palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king's
countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the
joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.
[On the failure of his astrologers and soothsayers to interpret the
writing, the king, at the suggestion of his queen, sends for Daniel, who
interprets it as follows:]
O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom,
and majesty, and glory, and honor: and for the majesty that he gave him,
all peoples, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom
he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he
set up; and whom he would he put down. But when his heart was lifted up,
and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne,
and they took his glory from him and he was driven from the sons of men;
and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the
wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with
the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the
kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.
And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou
knewest all this; but hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven;
and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and
thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and
thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and
stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy
breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified.
Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was
And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy
kingdom and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art
found wanting. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and
In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius
the Median took the kingdom.--Daniel v.
DANIEL IN THE LIONS' DEN.
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house;
and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled
upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his
God, as he did aforetime.
Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making
supplication before his God. Then they came near, and spake before the
king concerning the king's decree Hast thou not signed a decree, that
every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days,
save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.
The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of
the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.
Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the
children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the
decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.
Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with
himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till
the going down of the sun to deliver him.
Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O
king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor
statute which the king establisheth may be changed. Then the king
commanded, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions.
Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest
continually, he will deliver thee. And a stone was brought, and laid upon
the mouth of the den and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with
the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning
Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither
were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from
him. Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste
unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a
lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O
Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest
continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?
Then said Daniel unto the King, O king, live forever. My God hath sent
his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me:
forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee,
O king, have I done no hurt.
Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should
take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and
no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God. And
the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel,
and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their
wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones
in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.--Daniel vi.
THE PROPHET AMOS.
Amos, one of the earliest of the Hebrew prophets, flourished during the
reign of Uzziah, about 790 B.C., and was consequently a contemporary of
Hosea and Joel. In his youth he lived at Tekoa, about six miles south of
Bethlehem, in Judaea, and was a herdsman and a gatherer of sycamore fruit
(Amos i, i; vii, 14). This occupation he gave up for that of prophet
(vii, 15), and he came forward to denounce the idolatry then prevalent in
Judah, Israel, and the surrounding kingdoms.
The first six chapters of his book contain his denunciations of idolatry;
the other three, his symbolical vision of the overthrow of the people of
Israel, and a promise of their restoration. The style is remarkable for
clearness and strength, and for its picturesque use of images drawn from
the rural and pastoral life which the prophet had led in his youth.
JONAH CALLING NINEVEH TO REPENTANCE.
And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise,
go unto to Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching
that I bid thee.
So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord.
Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey. And Jonah
began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet
forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on
sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word
came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid
his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And
he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree
of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor
flock taste anything: let them not feed, nor drink water: but let man and
beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them
turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their
hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his
fierce anger, that we perish not?
And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God
repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he
did it not.--Jonah iii.
DANIEL CONFOUNDING THE PRIESTS OF BEL.
Now the Babylonians had an idol called Bel: and there were spent upon him
every day, twelve great measures of fine flour, and forty sheep, and
sixty vessels of wine. The king also worshipped him, and went every day
to adore him: but Daniel adored his God. And the king said unto him: Why
dost thou not adore Bel? And he answered, and said to him Because I do
not worship idols made with hands, but the living God, that created
heaven and earth, and hath power over all flesh. And the king said to
him: Doth not Bel seem to thee to be a living God? Seest thou not how
much he eateth and drinketh every day? Then Daniel smiled and said: O
king, be not deceived: for this is but clay within, and brass without,
neither hath he eaten at any time.
And the king being angry called for his priests, and said to them: If you
tell me not, who it is that eateth up these expenses, you shall die. But
if you can show that Bel eateth these things, Daniel shall die, because
he hath blasphemed against Bel.
And Daniel said to the king: Be it done according to thy word.
Now the priests of Bel were seventy besides their wives and little ones
and children. And they went with Daniel into the temple of Bel. And the
priests of Bel said: Behold, we go out: and do thou, O king, set on the
meats, and make ready, the wine, and shut the door fast, and seal it with
thy own ring: and when thou comest in the morning, if thou findest not
that Bel hath eaten all up, we will suffer death, or else Daniel that
hath lied against us.
And they little regarded it, because they had made under the table a
secret entrance, and they always came in by it, and consumed those
So it came to pass after they were gone out, the king set the meats
before Bel: and Daniel commanded his servants, and they brought ashes,
and he sifted them all over the temple before the king: and going forth
they shut the door, and having sealed it with the king's ring, they
But the priests went in by night, according to their custom, with their
wives and their children: and they eat and drank all up.
And the king rose early in the morning, and Daniel with him. And the king
said: Are the seals whole, Daniel? and he answered: They are whole, O
king. And as soon as he had opened the door, the king looked upon the
table, and cried out with a loud voice Great art thou, O Bel, and there
is not any deceit with thee. And Daniel laughed: and he held the king
that he should not go in: and he said: Behold the pavement, mark whose
footsteps these are. And the king said: I see the footsteps of men, and
women, and children. And the king was angry. Then he took the priests,
and their wives, and their children: and they showed him the private
doors by which they came in, and consumed the things that were on the
The king therefore put them to death, and delivered Bel into the power of
Daniel: who destroyed him, and his temple.--Daniel xiv, I-21 (Douay
HELIODORUS PUNISHED IN THE TEMPLE.
But Heliodorus executed that which he had resolved on, himself being
present in the same place with his guard about the treasury.
But the spirit of the Almighty God gave a great evidence of his presence,
so that all that had presumed to obey him, falling down by the power of
God, were struck with fainting and dread. For there appeared to them a
horse with a terrible rider upon him, adorned with a very rich covering:
and he ran fiercely and struck Heliodorus with his fore-feet, and he that
sat upon him seemed to have armor of gold. Moreover, there appeared two
other young men, beautiful and strong, bright and glorious, and in comely
apparel: who stood by him, on either side, and scourged him without
ceasing with many stripes.
And Heliodorus suddenly fell to the ground, and they took him up covered
with great darkness, and having put him into a litter they carried him
out. So he that came with many servants, and all his guard into the
aforesaid treasury, was carried out, no one being able to help him, the
manifest power of God being known. And he indeed by the power of God lay
speechless, and without all hope of recovery.--2 Maccabees iii, 23-29.
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