Tetradrachm of Bar Kokhba

14 May 2019  Tue

On the 71st Anniversary of the Declaration of Israel as an independent state, we present you one of the lesser known and unique coins that provide an assertion of the Jewish People.

Known as the Bar Kokhba Coins, these coins were issued by the Judaean rebel state, headed by Simon Bar Kokhba, during the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire of 132-135 AD. The Bar Kokhba revolt was a rebellion of the Jews of the Roman province of Judea against the Roman Empire. Fought circa 132–136 CE, it was the last of three major Jewish–Roman wars, so it is also known as The Third Jewish–Roman War or The Third Jewish Revolt.

The revolt erupted as a result of ongoing religious and political tensions in Judea following on the failure of the First Revolt in 66?73 CE. Unfortunately, the revolt was suppressed and many Jews were captured. The Bar Kokhba revolt greatly influenced the course of Jewish history and the philosophy of the Jewish religion.

During the Revolt, large quantities of coins were issued in silver and copper with rebellious inscriptions. These coins are among the most religiously significant coins issued by the ancient Jews, because the Holy of Holies of the Jerusalem Temple is shown, with the Ark of the Covenant. Agricultural symbols connected with the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot.

The coin shown above is a tetradrachm (Selah) of Bar Kokhba. Issued in the year 134 CE to 135 CE, this silver coin issued by Simon bar Kokhba – the leader of the Bar Kokhba revolt and the ruler of independent state of Judea.

The coin depicts the Jewish Temple facade with the rising star on the obverse along with Inscription in Paleo-Hebrew “Shimeon”. The reverse of the coin depicts a lulav (a closed frond of the date palm tree) and a lemon fruit with the inscription "to the freedom of Jerusalem"in Paleo-Hebrew around.

Image Courtesy: http://numismatics.org

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