Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Was the Original "Shield of David" a Hexagram or a Menorah?

Of course we all know that the hexagram "Star of David" only recently became a widespread symbol for the Jewish People (19th century).  According to Gerben Oegema, the first intermittent examples of the hexagram in Judaism come from the seventh century--but it wasn't widespread at that time.  The hexagram was originally a symbol associated with non-Jewish magic and mysticism and was only slowly adopted by the Jewish People as a Jewish symbol.

But not many folks know that there is an old Jewish tradition that holds that David's shield was actually the Menorah:
"According to a strong Jewish tradition, the image displayed on King David's shield was not, as many have assumed, a six-pointed star (the so-called Magen David) but a menorah inscribed with these words:  'May God be gracious to us, and bless us and make his face to shine upon us.'  The menorah was likely the shield of David as well as the seal of Solomon.  The Golden Menorah, published in Prague in the sixth century, declared, 'This psalm, together with the menorah, is an allusion to great things...King David used to bear this psalm inscribed, pictured, and engraved on his shield, on a sheet of gold, in the shape of the menorah, when he went forth to battle, and he would meditate on its mystery, and conquer," John D. Garr, God's Lamp, Man's Light:  Mysteries of the Menorah, pg. 174
 So was the real shield of David a hexagram or a Menorah?  Guess we may never know.

But, for our purposes, there's no reason to search for anything other than the Menorah.  After all, the Menorah symbolizes Yeshua, the Light of the World.  So why look for a better symbol?

3 comments:

  1. Honestly, am a bit torn by the whole thing and think the Mashiach will have to sort it out... But, here are a couple notes:

    I just came back from Israel and have a picture of an engraved stone capital from a column in Capernaum dating to the 2nd or 3rd century with the Magen David on it...

    It is interesting that during the discussion on the formation of the nation of Israel in 1948, the flag design first offered was a Menorah. (Maybe, Divinely, that was reserved until the Mashiach gets here? Who knows?)

    I do find Acts 7:42-43 and Amos 5:25-26 to be particularly troubling...

    Personally, like you say, we may not be able to be sure at this point, so the star is not something to divide over. Best to hold with an open hand and if the Spirit leads one away from it, then be obedient without judging others...

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    1. You'll find plenty of hexagrams on Jewish artifacts from that era because there were many Jews interested in magic in those times. But, like you said, Moshiach will sort it out. No worries. : )

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  2. Amos relates this star to the god chiun.
    Torah requires NO semblence of veneration of heavens earth or sea.
    The tendancies of man to worships icons can be seen in Israel even 800 years after Moses placed the serpent on the pole.
    What did Israel do?? They made a shrine for it and venerated it,,,,,until Hezekiah finally broke into pieces.

    The mazzuzah(my opinion) is also a non-Torah tradition based on isaiahs rebuke of "putting your remembrance behind the doors").

    The "banner" spoken of in isaiah appears to me to be the man of david with the attributes of Isaiah 11 that the nations see,,,,not some flag.

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