Yale University Art Gallery Dura-Europos Collection

The Torah shrine of Dura Europos. A shell decorates the roof of the niche. Above the niche is a painting of a two-doored ark, also surmounted with a shell. On the left is a lulav and etrog, and a three-footed menorah. On the right is an unusual portrayal of the binding of Isaac. The figures all have their backs to us; their heads are black blots. A ram stands under a tree, waiang to be substituted for Isaac. Above the ram is Abraham in a white robe holding an upraised knife; only his buttock is outlined. To the left is the child Isaac on the altar. At the top is another figure, back turned to us, inside a tent. Is this Sarah waiting below, Abraham’s servant, or another picture of Abraham himself? To the left of the tent is the hand of God telling Abraham to lay not his hand on his son.