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Page 56 Commentary

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Image © Hildesheim, St Godehard


David sits on a fine folding chair playing a viol or rebeck held between his knees. The instrument is very accurate: David holds the bow and neck correctly; the strings are convincingly attached over a hook at the bottom and tuning keys project from the top. His music and psalms are inspired by the dove of the Holy Spirit whispering in his ear. On either side of David are a sheep and goat, reminders that the humble shepherd became king. David the musician (playing the harp), inspired by the dove of the Holy Spirit is depicted earlier in the Anglo-Saxon manuscript, London, British Library, MS Cotton Tiberius C.VI, f18.

The presence of the sheep and goat (albeit the wrong way around) also implies a reference to the Last Judgement (Matthew 25:3). This fits in to the discourse at the start of the Psalms (p71-2) where the main theme of the Psalter is defined as the fight between good and evil, sin and redemption. It also makes a fitting conclusion to the life of Christ, ending in judgement and redemption.

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Thread or stitch holes for protective curtain

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