Kass Evans' Ancient Coins Page

The Jerusalem Temple on Coins

This line drawing is of a coin minted during the second revolt in Israel of Jews against their Romans conquerors. The revolt of 132-135 CE was led by Simon ben Kosiba who became known affectionately by the Aramaic "Bar Kochba" or "Son of a Star" after Rabbi Akiba proclaimed him the Jewish messiah.

The above coin is silver and of the denomination "tetradrachm" or the weight of four drachms. It is almost identical to the coin in the photographs below except it has a star over the Temple no doubt representing the hope of Bar Kochba.

One of the goals of the revolt was to restore the Temple in Jerusalem which had been razed by the Romans in 70 CE. The obverse picture shows a facade of the Jerusalem Temple and inside the ark of the covenant with the Torah scrolls rolled up and viewed from the end. The inscription written in old Hebrew characters reads: Jerusalem.

The coin's reverse shows a lulav (myrtle, palm brach, and willow tied in a bundle) and etrog (citron fruit) which are used in the celebration of the Jewish holiday Sukkot or Feast of Tabernacles. The inscription reads: Year 2 of the freedom of Israel.

The pictures of the coins are taken from: David Hendin, Guide to Biblical Coins (New York: Amphora Books, 1987), no. 144-145 and Plate 10.

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Last revised: June 8, 1996