Bible Verse Illustrated

Ecc’s. XII. 6, 7, V.

“Then shall the dust return to the

Earth as it was: and the spirit shall

Return unto Go who gave it.”



BORN JAN. 13, 1808:

Died Aug. 24, 1877.

The white marble gravestone of Martha Lodge and of Mary Scearce have an elaborately carved deep bas-relief illustrating a Bible verse depicting a cistern in the center of the sculpture framed by two columns.  Water flows from a fountain into a cistern.  On top of the cistern is a broken pitcher and a broken cup.  On one side of the cistern is a broken wheel with what must be the sliver cord described in the Bible verse.  On the other side twines an ivy vine up the side of the cistern.

There are two gravestones of this design in the cemetery that I found—possibly more.  They were carved by a stone cutter, J. S. Clark & Company, out of Louisville, Kentucky.  The imagery is Biblical from two verses from Ecclesiastes, which are identified in the base of the scene:

King James Version:

Ecclesiastes 12:6

Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.”

Ecclesiastes 12:7

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”

Ecc’s. XII. 6, 7, V.



DIED APR. 11, 1877


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The Divine Scales of Justice






FROM 1846 TO 1865.


NOVEMBER 26, 1806:


MARCH 29, 1873.

The memory of the Just, is blessed.

William Daniel, Jr. (November 26, 1806 – March 28, 1873) was born in Winchester, Virginia, the son of jurist William Daniel, Sr. and Margaret Baldwin Daniel. William, Jr. graduated from Hampden-Sydney College and attended the University of Virginia to study law.  At the young age of 21, he was admitted to the bar.  William Daniel Jr. was elected to the House of Delegates for the terms of 1831–1832, 1835–1836, and 1838.  The apex of his career was when William Daniel, Jr. was appointed as a judge on the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals from 1847 to 1865.  On March 28, 1873 – William Daniel Jr. died of apoplexy. He was laid to rest in the Old City Cemetery, also called the Old Methodist Cemetery, in Lynchburg, Virginia.

The gray marble tablet marking the judge’s grave appropriately has the scale of justice carved into the top which one might expect on a jurist’s gravestone.  However, this scale is held by the hand of God coming down from the clouds.  The epitaph, “The memory of the Just, is blessed.” is a Biblical verse—Proverbs 10:7.  The verse is truncated with the second clause not carved into the stone.  The second half is “but the name of the wicked shall rot.”  Now it is the jurist’s turn to be judged in the ultimate judgment!

The Old City Cemetery has several walking tour guides.  In A Quick Guide to Gravestones in the Old City Cemetery: Their History, Art and Symbolism, Daniel’s gravestone is described, “The marble tombstone marking the grave William Daniel, Jr. (1806 – 1873) is a well-preserved example of an epitaph having Biblical and biographical messages as well as the symbolism of God’s hand descending from Heaven holding the scales of justice….”

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The Cross

St. Joseph’s Cemetery in San Antonio has a variety of grave markers in the form of a cross—the universal symbol for Christianity.  The crosses come in many different styles, shapes from plain to very elaborate.














This cast iron cross shape is a Latin cross with rays emanating out from the crossbars and is called a Glory Cross.   The rays symbolize God’s glory.   It makes use of the shape by stacking the words in the vertical bars and running the deceased name along the horizontal bar.

In Loving Memory


MARCH 10, 1902

FEBRUARY 16, 1931

The iron cross is almost fanciful with the heart shape in the center.  The heart shape is repeated in the arms of the cross.

Robert Salm

Geb. Mai 1 – 1855

Geft. Marz 19 –


This elaborate iron cross was enameled at one time, though, most has been eroded.  This cross is adorned with a winged cherub.

The winged cherub was a symbol that became popular in the 18th Century.  Winged cherubs replaced the stark and morbid flying death’s heads from our Puritan forefathers.  The cherubs have a childlike countenance of innocence.  The iconography represents the flight of the soul from the body upward to Heaven and the hope of the resurrection.

This iron cross has an intricate design that crisscrosses the vertical and horizontal arms of the cross.  At the bottom of the cross is a chalice with a wafer.  The chalice and the wafer represent the blood and the body of Christ.

This marker, crafted from wood, is shaped into a Botonee Cross.  The Botonee Cross is characterized by a trefoil at the end of each arm of the cross which symbolizes the Holy Trinity.

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Emerging Woman

I Corinthians 15:51-52



JULY 27, 1947 – JANUARY 4, 1992

Marking the grave of Susan Colbert in St. Paul’s Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C., is a 6-foot bronze statue, sitting on a rose-colored, polished granite base, completed in 1995, titled, “Emerging Woman,” sculpted by Jay Hall Carpenter.

Carpenter is a world-renowned, award-winning sculptor who gained early fame from his monumental work on the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. where he created over 500 carver’s models of angels, gargoyles, and saints for the massive gothic church. His work can be found at the State Department, the Smithsonian Institution, the New England Medical Center, Canterbury Cathedral, the Maryland State Capitol, and Saint Anne’s Catholic Church in Barrington, Illinois, among many others.  Notable works include a sculpture of Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog and a bronze statue of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.

The bronze Carpenter created for Susan Colbert’s memorial shows a woman emerging from stone which is reminiscent of the brilliant sculptures that are on display at the Academy in Florence, Italy, of four slaves.  Michelangelo was carving the statues for the tomb of Pope Julius but the project was never completed.

In a blog post by David Leeds (August 21, 2011) titled, “Michelangelo at the Accademia, Part 2 – The Unfinished Slaves,” Leeds writes, “Michelangelo is famous for saying that he worked to liberate the forms imprisoned in the marble. He saw his job as simply removing what was extraneous. The endless struggle of man to free himself from his physical constraints and liberate the more enlightened spirit within….”

When one looks at the Carpenter bronze, Leeds could just as easily been describing the Colbert monument.  The woman is emerging from the rock, struggling to free herself.

Leeds writes, “The burden of the flesh constrains the soul. This is by far the most dynamic and expressive battleground of these forces I’ve ever encountered. The metaphor is inescapable.”

Another metaphor is possible and it relates to the Biblical verse that is inscribed on the base of the statue, I Corinthians 15:51-52, that says, 52—“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

The sculpture may be the physical representation of the Bible verse, “…We shall not sleep …the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible….”  In the same blogpost Leeds writes, “This piece is one of the most powerful and expressive works of art I’ve ever seen. The figure feels like it is writhing and straining, and going to imminently explode out of the marble block that holds it.”  Looking at the Colbert bronze, it is as if Leeds is writing about Carpenter’s bronze.  Leeds writes further, “The latent power one feels is extraordinary. Is this a Herculean effort to be born physically from the imprisoning stone, or a titanic struggle to escape the bounds of physical reality and move onto some other plane?

Often in funerary art the artist tries to convey the passage from one realm to another.  Sometimes it is depicted as a veil that is lifted so the soul can travel from the Earthly Realm to the Heavenly Realm.  Thus, this bronze could be a metaphor for the physical being struggling to be released from its mortal coil to escape to the next plane.

Susan Colbert was born July 27, 1947 in Baltimore, Maryland, and she passed away on January 4, 1992, the age of 44—a very young age for such an accomplished woman—IBM computer developer, member of the Junior League, consultant for NBC, scientist, mother of two, and wife.  The title of the sculpture, Emerging Woman, might also be a reference to a woman who was coming into her own—in the prime of her powers.  It could be that the sculpture represents all three metaphors.

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Lost Hero




BORN DEC. 28, 1914


LOST JUNE 1, 1945


Standing tall in the St. Francis Cemetery in Phoenix, Arizona, is the marble cenotaph memorializing the life and service of Lieutenant Peter E. Coury, who was an airman in World War II serving in the Pacific Theater.  Peter Coury was the son of Elias and Margarita Coury, born December 28, 1914, in Sonora, Arizona.

Coury was assigned to the 676th Bombardment Squadron, which was a unit assigned to the 444th Bombardment Group.  The 676th Bombardment Squadron began their training at the Davis-Monthan Field, Tucson, Arizona, on March 1, 1943, then to Great Bend Army Air Field, in Kansas from August 1943 to March of 1944.

The 676th first trained with the Consolidated B-24 Liberator, then the B-17 Flying Fortress in 1943 to 1944.  They then flew the YB-29 and finally the Boeing B-29 Superfortress aircraft.

Boeing B-29 Superfortress

Their first combat missions were staged from the Charra Airfield in Purulia, West Bengla, India, in the summer of 1944 where they bombed railroad yards at Bangkok, Thailand.   In the spring of 1945, the 444th moved to a West Field Airbase on Tinian Island, one of the three Northern Mariana Islands, to stage operations against the island of Japan.  The 676th Bombardment Squadron engaged in heavy bombardment operations against Japan to destroy their military and industrial capabilities.

On June 1, 1945, Lieutenant Peter Coury was declared “Missing In Action over Pacific aboard U.S. Army Air Corps B-29-35-BW Superfortress #42-24524, named “Super Mouse.” Nine other crewmembers also MIA, while returning from mission over Osaka, Japan.”  Along with his cenotaph in the St. Francis Cemetery at Phoenix, Arizona, his name also appears on the Tablets of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Army Air Force Engineer’s Wing

Carved into the marble in bas-relief on the gravestone’s flanks are shields each with a Latin cross, symbolizing the Christian faith.  Also on the cenotaph are the Army Air Force Flight Engineer’s Wing and the B-29 Superfortress in which he flew those heroic missions.

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July 3, 1825.


July 26, 1892.

The rounded-top white marble tablet in the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, in Lexington, Virginia, of Sarah A. Miller has turned gray as it has weathered.  The bas-relief sculpture in the top of the gravestone depicts the hand of God holding a broken chain. The broken link of chain represents a life that has ended. This symbolism dates back to medieval times when people believed that the soul could be held to the body by a golden chain. Once the chain was broken, the soul took flight and rose from the body leaving Earth and ascended to Heaven.

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Undaunted by Failure



Oct. 13, 1872

Feb. 5, 1967




1865 — 1939

A few years ago I had a business trip to Freeport, Maine, the home and headquarters of the L. L. Bean Company.

The early failure and then success of Leon Leonwood Bean is legendary.  As a young boy, Leon was an avid hunter, fisherman, and outdoors man.  He was used to traipsing around the woods, marshes, and riverbanks in search of game and fish.  What he didn’t like, however, was the water that seeped up through his boots and soaked his feet.

On display outside the L. L. Bean Company is a monument to the Maine Hunting Shoe (also known as a duck boot) the company’s first and most famous product.

So, he went about inventing a boot that was rubberized to repel the water.  In 1912, Bean enlisted the services of a local shoe cobbler and had 100 pairs made for sale–which he sold through a mail-order catalog with a full refund policy if customers weren’t satisfied.  Of that first 100, 90 pairs of boots were returned.  Undaunted, he kept experimenting until, working with the U. S. Rubber Company, he came up with the right formula for the rubber that would not crack.  He made good on his promise and replaced all 90 of the pairs of boots that were returned.

His money-back guarantee and a unique and superior product gained him customers across the country.  Eventually he expanded his line of sporting goods to include clothing, tents, backpacks, and various other outdoor goods.  What started out as a small boot operation is now close to a two-billion dollar sporting goods mail order business still based in Freeport, Maine.

L. L. Bean died in Pompano Beach, Florida, at the age of 94. He was interred in the Webster Cemetery next to his wife, Bertha, in Freeport, Maine.  His gravestone is a modest, light-gray, unpolished granite grass marker.

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