A Roman oil lamp from North Africa featuring a long, canal nozzle with a rounded body and small, lug handle to the rear. The discuss is decorated with an Old Testament scene, portraying the three Hebrews before Nebuchadnezzar and his idol (Daniel 3: 13–18). The shoulders frame the scene and are decorated with foliage motifs.
The scene depicted shows the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, standing by an idol. The biblical narrative, from the Old Testament book of Daniel, tells the story of Nebuchadnezzar and his three Hebrew subjects. Having constructed an idol in gold he ordered his subjects to worship it. Only three refused, for they were Hebrews who believed in God. Nebuchadnezzar was outraged and ordered for them to be burnt alive. The Hebrews were flung into the fire. Nebuchadnezzar however beckoned them out as he saw not three subjects, but four, unharmed in the flames. Only three withdraw however, their clothing unsinged and their skin free from burns and harm. The fourth person was of course God, standing next to his loyal devotees, saving them from harm. Nebuchadnezzar, so astounded by this miracle, decreed that no man should speak ill of the Hebrew God.
Date: Circa 4th – 5th century AD
Provenance: Private Israel collection, SM. Israeli export license for the collection.