Newark Museum, NJ/Art Resource, NY

The burning bush extends from the wilderness of Horeb to the heavens in American artist Beauford Delaney’s 1941 painting. While Moses is tending his father-in-law’s sheep near Mt. Horeb, he spies an eternally burning bush, which is “all aflame” yet never “consumed” (Exodus 3:10). God cries out from the flames and announces that he will send Moses to Egypt to free the Israelites. God instructs Moses: “Thus shall you speak to the Israelites: ‘The Lord, your fathers’ God, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:15). At last, Moses has the authority—from God himself—to command the Israelites and to address their oppressor.