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Elijah and Isaiah

These are two of the figures in the row of statues under the south gable of Rockefeller Memorial Chapel on the University of Chicago campus. The entire work, done by Lee Lawrie and Ulric Ellerhausen in 1928, is called "The March of Religion Across the Centuries".

 

Elijah (left) was a 9th century BC prophet in Isreal. According to the Books of Kings, Elijah raised the dead, brought fire down from the sky and ascended into heaven on a chariot. In the Jewish tradition, Elijah's return to Earth is thought to be the precursor to the coming of the Messiah. You can see the fiery chariot in which God took him to Heaven on the shield beneath his feet. Flying horses drew the chariot to Heaven, so they are also pictured on either side of the shield.

 

Isaiah (right) was an 8th century BC Judean prophet. Most consider him the author of the Biblical Book of Isaiah. He declared the world to be under Yahweh's control and warned his people that their nation would be destroyed if they turned from Yahweh. I think the two animals at the sides of the shield are a lion and a lamb, referring to Isaiah's prophecies regarding peace on Earth after the return of the Messiah. But, then, I'm not religious, so I could be totally wrong on that. :)

   

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Taken on June 5, 2008