Jacob de Wit 1695 – 1754

Moses chooses seventy elders (1737)

oil on canvas (594 × 1371 cm) — 1737 Museum Royal Palace, Amsterdam

Jacob de Wit biography

This work is linked to Numbers 11:16

Tags: Moses

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Moses tells God that the leadership of the Israelites is a heavy burden, too heavy at times. He and his people have been travelling for years and still haven't reached the promised land. God then commands Moses to choose seventy elders, men of good reputation to support him. God gave them the same spirit as the one that inspired empowered Moses.

Jacob de Wit made this enormous painting for a room in Amsterdam's city hall, now royal palace. At the time, city governors liked to compare themselves to biblical examples. The Rijksmuseum has a modello of the painting, a small panel with a study.

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