Matthew 2:13 (NLT)
After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
TIME OF DAY:
This is a dream, so there is no actual lighting. However, the ghastly king Herod figure produces a sickly green/blue glow, whilst in contrast, the angel suffuses the scene with warm yellow tones.
King Herod on the left, with angel on the right. Mary holding the baby Jesus on the donkey, with Joseph pulling the animal along.
This is a picture of Joseph’s dream. The actual content of his dream is not specified in the text, but I have imagined that it would have alarmed Joseph sufficient to make him move his family to Egypt immediately.
This ‘dream-scape’ showing a ghoulish king Herod on the left, brandishing a sword. He has sharp teeth & claws, hideous eyes & appears vast & threatening. I image this might have been how Herod appeared in Joseph’s dream… certain to get his attention!
Notice that baby Jesus is fast asleep, & that Mary (sitting on the donkey) seems serene & unworried, whilst Joseph (leading the equally unworried donkey) looks back in alarm at the spectral Herod figure. These expressions are all intentional. In dreams it seems common for other characters to be unaware of a threat or danger, whilst the dreamer him/herself is often overcome with fear & anxiety. There is also often a sense of not being able to move fast enough. This scene depicts Joseph’s dream, hence it shows his anxiety at the angel’s words, whilst Mary, Jesus, the angel & the donkey are all unconcerned. Only Joseph is in a state of high anxiety.
Behind the fleeing figures is the angel, point towards Egypt, which is represented in my picture by the great pyramids of Giza, one of the most famous landmarks of that country.