Tuesday, April 24, 2007

King David and the Spider

Jenni Gottschalk is my favorite graphic artist. In this case she illustrated an ancient Jewish legend without even knowing it, which only proves my point, because when you make an excellent illustration it conveys more meanings than you intended to convey:
Retold by Aaron Zerah:
David decided to ask God about it. "Why, O Creator of the world, did you make spiders? You can't even wear their webs as clothing!"

God answered David, "A day will come when you will need the work of this creature. Then you will thank me." ...King Saul was jealous and afraid of David and sent his soldiers to kill him. David ran away to the wilderness. He hoped King Saul's fit of anger would pass and David would be safe to return. But King Saul's men kept chasing him.

At last, the soldiers were very close. David ran into a cave to hide. He heard the footsteps of the men and knew that they would soon find him. David was so afraid, his bones shook and hurt.

But then David saw a big spider at the front of the cave. Very quickly, it was spinning a web all the way across the opening. Just before the soldiers came up to the cave, the spider finished the web. As the men started to enter the cave, they ran into the web. "Look," they said, "This web is unbroken. If David were here, he'd have torn the web to pieces. He must be hiding somewhere else. Let's go!"

So because of the spider, David's life was saved. David understood that God was wise and thanked God for creating all the creatures, including the spiders.

In this Star of David work Jenni Gottschalk even makes it possible to think that the origin of the six-pointed star is this special spider web and it is destined to remind us to thank God for creating all the creatures, including the spiders.

Another meaning: the Star of David is a symbol of protection. King David is protecting those who read his Psalms, the Lord is protecting King David, the spider is protecting King David...the Lord is protecting King David and every creature on earth, including us.

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