Symbolism: Star of David or Solomon's Seal نجمة داوود و خاتم سليمان

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Symbolism: Star of David or Solomon's Seal نجمة داوود و خاتم سليمان

The hexagram, or six sided star is known today as an exclusively Jewish symbol. This has not always been the case though. In this article, we discuss what other faiths and cultures it has represented over the millenia.

Star of David نجمة داوود

The hexagram formed by the intersection of two equilateral triangles known today as the Star of David is the most prominent symbol of the state of Israel, and Judaism today, as can be seen on the flag of Israel.

However, this symbol was not adopted by Judaism nor Zionism as their symbol until recent times.

Magen David مجن داوود

It is said to be "The Shield of David", or Magen David in Hebrew. The Semitic root M-G-N has the same meaning in Hebrew and Arabic.

The symbol was adopted by Jews in Prague in the 17th century, with somesources quoting the 14th century instead. The earliest mention of theMagen is in a 12th century Karaite book by Judah Hadassi. Some sources mention it as a Cannanite symbol, but archeological digs in Palestine have failed to confirm neither a Hebrew nor a Canaanite origin. It was adoped by some American Jewish publications in 1873, and by the Zionist Congress of Basel.

The earliest association with Judaism is a Jewish tombstone in Tarentum, in southern Italy dating from the 3rd century C.E.

It is commonly found on jewelry today.

Seal of Solomon خاتم سليمان

The Seal of Solomon was associted with Solomon, son of David. He is seen in Islam as a prophet, as well as a great miracle maker.

However, in folklore, legends of his miracles took mythical dimensions, with a ring of his that had the "The Greatest Name of God" on it, unknown to anyone else. With it, unimaginable feats can be done. It is mentioned in the Arabian Nights, for example in the Fisherman and the Jinni story, and the Eldest Lady's Tale. It was believed by the superstituous to be a talisman طلسم with magicaland healing qualities.

As a result, the Seal of Solomon was used by Muslims from India to Spain to adorn and decorate the bottom of drinking vessels, coins issued by various dynasties, decorations on mosques and other buildings, and elsewhere. Click on the images on the side to see a larger version.

Several religious and quasi-medical manuscripts show the hexagram in relation to incantations for healing and warding off evil.

For example, the so called Libros Plumbeos, or the Leaden Books, found in the Sacromonte hill in Granada in the 16th century, show the hexagram among writings about the Virgin Mary, Jesus, and some of his disciples. A Morisco Muslim, Ahmad Ibn Qasim al-Hajari writes about them in the first half of the 17th century as if they are Muslim symbols.

In Europe, the symbol also took a non-Jewish character, as can be seen in this collection of building decorations in St. Petersburg, including some churches.

The kings of Ethiopia, claiming direct descent from Solomon, instated a Knightly Order of the Seal of Solomon in 1874.

The Pentagram

The five pointed star, the pentagram, is also associated with Solomon, being another variant of the Seal of Solomon. Since his persona took magical and mythical qualities, the pentagram also took these qualities. In Medieval Europe, this symbol is adopted by those delving into the realm of the Occult, and is still associated with that notion.

Note that the pentagram was adopted on the flag of Morocco. Although this web site claims it is a symbol of the link between "God and the people", it is most likely due to the pentagram being an ingrained symbol in the society, going back to its attribution to Solomon.

In other disciplines

In Astrology, a formation in the sky that is more of an extrapolation than an observation is called the Star of David or Solomon's seal.

In geometry of Solomon's Seal is interesting, as can be seen in this exercise. There are mathematical theories behind it, such as the Eightfold Way, Solomon's Seal, and Solomon's Seal Knot.

In botany, There is a family of flowering plants that is called Solomon's Seal. They are common garden plants in North America.

Conclusion

The hexagram was not always an exclusively Jewish symbol, apart from the last century and a half. It was used by many cultures, including Arab and Islamic ones.

Resources and Links

The Hebrew Wikipedia for

The Hebrew Wikipedia for "magen David" (Star of David) mentions that there's a theory about the origin of the Star of David from the Tabernacle without referring to the representative of this theory, Uri Ofir, who published a research and a book about this:

http://star-of-david.blogspot.com/2006/04/jewish-origin-of-star-of-david.html

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regardingthearticle about the star of David or the sealofSalomon

I thank you for the informations given in your article related to the star of David or the seal of Salomon. I totally agree with you that this symbol is not only jewish but also muslims. In many old muslims houses in Algiers at the Casbah city, we can see on the top of the entry door the seal of Salomon.Also,in many mosques built during the Moghol period in India.This means that the flag of Israel is not a genuine symbol of jewish