Moses and his horns

In the Ringling Museum's "Gathering of the Manna" painting, as well as in many other 16th and 17th Century paintings and sculpture, Moses was depicted with horns or "rays of light". Also Michelangelo's statue of Moses, in the Church of San Pietro,  include horns on his head.

It is the result of a mistranslation of the Hebrew Bible into the Latin Vulgate Bible. The Hebrew word taken from Exodus means either a "horn" or an "irradiation." Experts at the Archaeological Institute of America show that the term was used when Moses "returned to his people after seeing as much of the Glory of the Lord as human eye could stand," and his face "reflected radiance." In early Jewish art, moreover, Moses is often "shown with rays coming out of his head."

Another author explains, "When Saint Jerome translated the Old Testament into Latin, he thought no one but Christ should glow with rays of light — so he advanced the secondary translation. However, writer J. Stephen Lang points out that Jerome's version actually described Moses as "giving off hornlike rays," and he "rather clumsily translated it to mean 'having horns.'" It has also been noted that he had Moses seated on a throne, yet Moses was neither a King nor ever sat on such thrones.

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