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Receiving the Ten Commandments: Exodus 20

Receiving the Ten Commandments

Collection:  Biblical Scenes

  • Needlework by Ilana Limoni

  • Illustrations painted by Lindy Tilp

  • Illustrations adapted by Lindy Tilp from

        The Illustrated Family Bible, DK Publishing

  • Text from the Koren Tanakh (1965 edition)

  • Completed in 2003

  • It took about one year to make

Materials and technique:

  • Petit Point Canvas made from cotton with an 18 mesh mono weave (i.e., 324 stitches per square inch)

  • Threads are silk, cotton, wool and metallic fibers

  • Technique is a variety of stitches


  • H: 92½” (234.9 cm)    W: 37” (94.0 cm)   

  • With frame: H: 93” (236.2 cm)    W: 37½” (95.3 cm)


Biblical context:

The “Five Books of Moses” (Torah) is the first major section of the Bible (Tanakh).  Exodus is the second of the Five Books of Moses.  This needlepoint based on Exodus 20: 2-14, depicts scenes from before, during and after the receiving of the Ten Commandments on two stone tablets.  

Process in general:

Unlike other needlepoints in this collection, Ilana specifically directed her artist as to what she wanted illustrated on the canvas. After the painting was finished, Ilana free form stitched in petit point the applicable biblical verses in both Hebrew and English, referencing graphs of the alphabets (Ilana created the Hebrew graph and utilized a published English graph). Then she needlepointed the artwork and covered the remainder of the canvas with a background and border.  

Other comments: 

All needlepoints in the biblical scene collection have a similar border. 

The dedication is an acknowledgment of Ilana’s paternal ancestry.  She is a descendent of many scribes, including Chatam Sofer.

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