And God said to Abram, “Go forth from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you, and make your name great and you shall be a blessing… (Genesis 12:1-2)
And He took him outside, and He said, “Look at the sky and count the stars….that is how numerous your offspring will be.” (Genesis 15:5)
This painting comprises two separate canvases. On the smaller one, the large luminous figure of Abram (later known as Abraham) is shown with his back to the viewer, facing a starry sky dotted with golden sparks of light. This panel shows Abram as set apart before God, breaking free from constraints to become a source of blessing for future generations.
The smaller canvas is affixed to a larger one showing a vast landscape of mountains and the suggested curve of the earth, reflecting the midrash according to which God took Abram out of earthly realm and elevated him above the constellations, so that he (and we, his offspring) might receive blessings beyond the laws of nature. (Rashi on Genesis 15:5)