The Seed Of Faith by Elspeth Young

The Seed Of Faith

{ The Little Maid }
Pre-mounted Giclées on canvas (gatorboard)
High-grade canvas artwork reproductions pre-mounted to durable gatorboard for easy framing without glass.
12" x 16"$140.0014" x 18"$175.0016" x 22"$233.0018" x 24"$280.00
12" x 16.75"$145.0016" x 20"$215.0016" x 22.5"$238.00
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18" x 25.25"$217.0020" x 24"$228.0020.25" x 28.5"$268.00
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16" x 20"$73.0018" x 24"$93.0020" x 24"$100.00
Other products
Other options including the original artwork, bookmarks, and limited edition prints.
Original oil painting$7,516.00 Sold
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Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper.

And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman's wife.

And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.

And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel...

And Elisha sent a messenger unto [Naaman] saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean...

Then went [Naaman] down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again...

and he was clean.

2 Kings 5: 1-5, 10, 14

verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence...

and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Matthew 17:20

The story behind The Seed Of Faith

In this painting the young girl known as "the little maid" is seated in Namaan's palace, looking into the distance—looking toward home, reflecting on her personal testimony of the Israelite prophet, Elisha, and his power to heal her master of his leprosy.  She knows that "the prophet in Samaria" has the Priesthood power to heal Namaan and is considering communicating this to her mistress, Namaan's wife.  Her willingness to do so indicates her fearless faith and courage—the kind of faith the Savior taught his disciples.

Symbolism in The Seed Of Faith

The Biblical account in 2 Kings 5 uses the Hebrew word naarah to describe the Israelite servant, perhaps better rendered "girl" than "maid" in translation (see the Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary from Strong's Concordance), hence the artwork here depicts a young child.  She wears a simple tunic-like overdress, reminiscent of the costume worn by a serving girl in an 8th century Syrian relief (see Educational Heritage 270).  The tunic's whiteness symbolizes her faith and purity.  It is as simple as the testimony burning within her: "Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy."

Only secondary in importance to the young girl in the artwork, is the bowl of orchids blooming close by.  Its symbolism is two-fold.  First, and most importantly, it represents the faith of this young girl who is willing to step forward and bear her testimony of the Prophet, despite the fact that she is living alone in a strange land.  It also symbolizes the faith of Namaan who is willing to humble himself by listening not only to an obscure servant girl, but also to the word of Elisha by accepting the "trial" of his faith (see Ether 12:6).  When the Savior spoke to His disciples about faith, as recorded in Matthew 17:20, He compared faith to a grain of mustard seed.  One scholar agrees that "at the time of Christ mustard seed was one of the smallest of all known seeds," but goes on to point out that, "orchid seeds, as infinitesimal as fine dust, are today considered to be the smallest [seed] in the plant kingdom, but these were not familiar to Jesus' audience in Galilee" (Rosengarten, 300).

Therefore the orchids represent the faith spoken of by Christ.  They are a reminder that despite her relative insignificance as a household slave, her testimony is of lasting significance to the captain of the Syrian host.  Just as an exquisite orchid blooms from the smallest of seeds, her simple, faith-filled testimony reaps bounteous blessings for Namaan and his household.

The orchids also symbolize the little maid's own captivity.  Just like the little maid, these orchids are out of place, away from their native homeland, but blossoming beautifully, nonetheless.  Similarly, the little maid does not allow her difficult circumstances to blight the energy and vitality of her faith.

Archaeological evidence confirms the use of pillars in homes throughout Palestine and surrounding countries well before the story of the little maid (see Mazar 343). The pillars' capitals rendered here are based on carved lotus blossoms appearing in a 9th century ivory inlay of the king of Syria from c. 950 B.C. (see Educational Heritage 264).

When Elisha's servant first counsels Namaan to "wash in Jordan seven times" (2 Kings 5:10), Namaan is "wroth" and asks:  "Are not Abana and Pharpar rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel?" (2 Kings 5:12).  His statement is represented in the painting by the waters which stretch out into the distance.  They symbolize our need to follow the words of the Prophet, despite any personal misgivings concerning the counsel we receive.
© By Elspeth Young, All Rights Reserved. You may not print, copy, or reproduce this artwork or make derivative works from it without the prior written consent of the copyright holder. For permissions, please review our FAQ page.

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High-resolution digital copies are available from the Studios for use as illustrations.  Use the serial number—appearing below the thumbnail—in requesting permission from the Studios (see links at the bottom of this page for detail).

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