Alright: There's a lot to explain about this one. First off, it's not really a sermon series...although it could be since you could spend weeks if not months on the full passage alone. So let's just break it down into the Technical (photoshop) and the Spiritual for the explanation of the image.
In a photoshop sense this is probably the messiest one I've ever made...sorry about that. It took me almost a week to decide how to do this. Also, I had to go a to a lot of places before I found a picture of the Pharaoh that I liked/needed. Believe it or not, the Pharaoh is the key part of the image, with the image of the pharaoh holding the crook and flail in his hands...it's pointless.
Made at a relatively high resolution. I tried to place some things into their proper folders (verses, backgrounds, brushes, etc. but they're not labeled too well.)
Also, if you look closely enough, you might be able to catch the verse in Hebrew running behind everything. It runs the full image (and yes, for those that read Hebrew, it is just the verse repeated). There's also a few other little things in there like Egyptian Hieroglyphics hidden here and there if you're looking close enough.
Alright, if you're will to follow me on this, it really is quite incredible. If you're not familiar with Psalm 23, please Google it and read...it will not disappointed. Here's where it gets cool...but you have to have studied the Biblical/historical culture of that time to get the nuances of this verse.
- Back then Pharaohs were commonly adorned with different scepters, reigning implements. Throughout the Old Testament, between the time of Moses and King David, the pharaoh used to new scepters to symbolize his reign of the people.
- In one hand, pharaoh held a crook. This was a simple
shepherding crook that the shepherds used to rescue
the sheep that had fallen in some way. The crook then,
essentially came to symbolize protection/safety.
- In the other hand tightly held was the flail. Another
shepherding device actually. It was used to discipline the
sheep that had gone astray from the master/shepherd.
In using these two as a scepter, Pharaoh was making a statement. "I AM YOUR SHEPHERD. YOU ARE MY SHEEP, I WILL PROTECT YOU, BUT I WILL ALSO DISCIPLINE YOU."
....ok, so what? Here's the awesome thing:
- By this time in Biblical History; David is writing this verse about the valley of the shadow of death. What he says is in direct defiance to Pharaoh (...the greatest world empire of the day no less!) and he tells Pharaoh, you're not my god, instead, the Hebrew God Yahweh is my God.
- David is saying, "I'm walking into death by saying this, But I will fear no evil." If you've ever studied Egyptian culture or seen any movies with Egyptian stuff: you know that RA is the sun god. In addition to that, RA was usually represented in the human form of Pharaoh, he was the physical embodiment of the god RA on earth.
- Again, so what? Now for a Hebrew lesson. In the Biblical Hebrew language, the word for evil...I kid you not, go look it up....is RA. So David is saying in the face of Pharaoh (the leader of the largest power on earth) "even though I'm facing down death by saying this, I will not fear RA...Pharaoh...I will not fear Pharaoh."
- Because Thy (Yahweh's) rod and Thy (Yahweh's) staff, they comfort me. Not Pharaoh.
David didn't see his king as pharaoh. David saw his king/protector and even the one who disciplines him as Yahweh.
....pretty cool huh!
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