By The River's Brink by Elspeth Young

By The River's Brink


{ Miriam }
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And when she could no longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him…Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?

Exodus 2:3-4, 7

The story behind By The River's Brink

Jochebed, the mother of Moses and Aaron, entrusted her daughter with the care of her younger brother, Moses.  Jochebed placed the infant Moses in an ark among the bulrushes and charged Miriam to watch over this future prophet.  This painting seeks to portray Miriam's faith, even as the child she must have been.  It shows the courage this little girl must have had; courage which was desperately needed in a time when her lack of courage could have proved her brother's destruction (see Exodus 1:22).  This artwork also conveys another lesson learned from this Biblical account; that even a small child's faith and obedience builds the Lord's Kingdom and accomplishes His purposes.

Symbolism in By The River's Brink

Biblical scholars believe that the bulrushes "in the flags by the river's brink," into which Jochebed placed her infant son, is a description of reed-mace.  It grows in sheltered places along the Nile, rooted in the mud, and quickly multiplies through seeds dispersed upon the wind.  The plant seems a particularly appropriate companion for young Miriam as she waits out a patient vigil, the sole guardian of her tiny brother's life.  At this point in Old Testament history, the children of Israel were indeed rooted in the mud of their bleak, brick-making lives, and were growing in awesome strength soon to cast its power far beyond the rivers of Egypt.

Bibliography

Freeman, James M. Manners and Customs of the Bible. New York: Logos International, 1972.

Hepper, FN. Baker Encyclopedia of Bible Plants: flowers and trees, fruits and vegetables, ecology. Leicester, England: Inter Varsity Press, 1992.

© 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.



From the Newsroom


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Domestic Shipping
Please be aware of the following policies and recommendations:
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Illustration: By The River's Brink

By Al R. Young
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).


The correct form of attribution when publishing an image is specified in the license agreement issued to the publisher by Al Young Studios.Guidelines for requests to copy or publish artworks created by the Artists of Al Young Studios

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The original image is available for sale, please contact us for details... Read more »

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Elspeth C. Young completes new oil painting - "By The River's Brink"

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Click here to see a larger image of the new painting, read the artist's commentary, and look at the selection of prints--if any are available.... Read more »

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