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orion Earliest Occurence of the Shield of David; Significance?
Date: Wed, 01 Jul 1998 09:52:06 -1000
From: rlarsen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Orion List Members,
A collegue writes (used with permission):
"The earliest occurrence of the "shield of David" of which I am aware is
the fourth-century A.D.synagogue at Capernaum, where it appears in
relief on one of the lintel
stones. The lintel also had depictions of the doors of Herod's temple,
the ark of the covenant (with wheels attached), and of the seven sacred
species of plants."
Does anyone know of an earlier occurrence of the symbol in the area?
Unless I am mistaken Scholem reports that it was found on lamps in the
area as early as 7th century B.C.E. /1
Scholem also reports that the symbol is found dating back to the bronze
age in India and on the Iberian Peninsula.
Scholem disputes the claim that the "star" was a Planetary symbol for
the planet Saturn and that it was found on the holy stone
in the Sanctuary in pre-Davidic times [lets not discuss historicity on
Does anyone have an idea as to the signficance of the symbol (if any)
in ancient times among the Israelites or their neighboring cultures?
Any guesses how the symbol made it into the shinto temple in Japan?
Is it possible that the Alchemical use of the "star" as a symbol for the
union of the elements fire and water has roots before the 4th century?
Thanks in advance,
1/ G. Scholem, Kabbalah p. 367
2/ Hildegard, in Archiv Orientaliv Vol 18 1950 330-365 cited by
Scholem in Kabbalah
at page 367 note 1.
Hawaii Pacific University
University of Hawaii at Manoa