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This icon of Sinai depicts Moses on the left, and his brother Aaron on the right. Aaron is anointed by Moses and is represented as the High Priest (Exodus 19, 130), wearing the appropriate vestments.

The privilege granted to Aaron is confirmed by the miracle of the barren branch (Numbers 17) that bloomed. This miracle has been interpreted as a foreshadowing of the Mother of God, the shoot of the genealogical tree of Jesse that blossomed into the eternal flower, Jesus Christ.

Aaron’s hair style and crown indicate eastern influences, while the High Priest looks like a hero in an illustrated book of Persian fables.


Details

Tempera on wood
Twelfth – thirteenth century
approx. 27,5 Χ 36,3 cm
St. Catherine's Monastery Saint Catherine, South Sinai Governorate