Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Star of David - The History

Much folklore mention the Shield of David, known in Hebrew as Magen David, alleged to have contained a six pointed star or hexagram used by the early Israelite soldier warrior David, who later became Israel's second king. Some theories note that the combinations of two pyramids may have been derived from ancient Egypt, a country that often was connected with ancient Israel, both as an adversary as well as ally. Another theory is that the design was actually the metal framework for David's shield, as many warriors used a stretched hard leather over a wood or metal framework; a practice still in use by some African tribes to this day.
Some folklore says that David's shield, also contained Hebrew words to protect him during warfare. These words included Shadai, which meant Almighty, as well as the names of protective angels. Other legends say that David's son and successor, King Solomon, had a signet ring made with the hexagram symbol which later became known as the 'Seal of Solomon'.
The symbol may also have been by later warriors, including Judas Maccabeus, and Shimeon Bar-Kokhba (Son of the Star) who let a futile revolt against the Roman Empire in the 2nd Century C.E. The symbol also is noted in a mosaic floor design from a synagogue in Capernaum located on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. One of the first known written usage of the six pointed hexagram occurred in the 10th Century with the Leningrad Codex, written in the year 1008 CE.
Biblical scholars have written numerous interpretations as to why this symbol became important in Judaism. One of these deals with the Creation, in which God created the world in six days, and rested on the seventh – the seventh being the center. Other scholars interpret the 'star' as being the joining of two triangles, with the upper pointing to the Kingdom of Heaven, and the lower to Mankind's dominion on earth.
The two separate triangles, also resembling the Greek letter 'Delta' also are said to denote two of the Hebrew letters of King David's biblical name. Along with this, the symbolic meaning of the conjoining of the two triangles are said to point to the astrological positions of the stars at the time that David was made king of Israel.
The Star of David and Shield of Solomon also became symbols used by alchemists and others during the Middle Ages. Its use as a dominantly Jewish symbol came later when it was popularized during the 19th and 20th centuries.

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marciad said...

Your entries for the past two days are so interesting. I am fascinated by the theories of the origin of the Magen David.

zeevveez said...

Another fascinating theory about the Jewish origin of the Star of David from the Tabernacle Menorah is on