The mystery of the Star of David

Published: 19th February 2007
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The symbol that is used today to represent the Jewish people is known as the Star of David. The Star of David is also known as the Shield of David, Magen David in Hebrew, the Seal of Solomon, or the Hexagram. The shape of the Star of David consists of two interlocking triangles, one pointing upward and one downward, and may be used as a talisman to bring harmony, knowledge and invoke the aid of the angels. This name is assigned to this symbol because it is supposed to have been used by King David of ancient Israel, a fearsome warrior and a skilful psalm writer.

The most famous story about David that just about everyone knows is related to the time when he confronted as a little boy the giant Goliath and defeated him. Throughout his life he carried his faith in God proudly and passed it on to his children. The most famous of his children was the wise King Solomon, who, the same as his father, trusted God and His teachings. However, he established Jerusalem as a city of peace and justice, unlike his father who was a warrior and used his skills to conquer and rule over all Israel.

There are a lot of significances attributed to the Star of David. Some sources say that it signifies the number seven, six corners and the center. The number seven has itself significance in Judaic religion like the six days of creation plus the seventh day of rest, the Seven Spirits of God and more. Another symbol became used alongside the Star of David, the menorah, a seven branched candelabrum lit by oil that is said to symbolize the burning bush as it was seen by Moses on Mount Sinai.

How the Star of David came to relate to Jewish identity is unknown. Some researchers have presented a theory according to which the hexagram represents the astrological chart at the same time when David was born or when he was anointed as king. Some beliefs refer to the Star of David as a symbol for the six directions of space plus the center: up, down, east, west, north, south and center. Another representation of this symbol is that of the Six Sefirot of the Male united with the Seventh Sefirot of the Female.

A popular belief, though there is no evidence to support it, is that the symbol is molded after King David's shield. The shield was made of leather spanned across a simple metal frame consistent of two interlocking triangles that would hold a round shield.

Evidence to support the use of the symbol in times prior to the Middle Ages is scarce. During the 12th century they found the earliest existent mention in a Jewish text by a Karaite Judaism adherent named Judah Hadassi. Some other symbols that can relate to the Star of David have been found dating back to the 3rd century, but the relation is frail and other than that no evidence exists to sustain the belief that it was used to symbolize the Jewish people earlier than the third century.

One very strange coincidence, but nonetheless amazing, is the link of the symbol with the Age of Aquarius. The start of the Age of Aquarius was declared officially on January 23rd 1997 and if a map was drawn by Jerusalem, cast for that specific time, we would have received a perfectly aligned Magen David. Nobody can really tell what that means, but it is quite amazing.

The Star of David has a past filled with controversy. Now it is known all over the world as a Jewish symbol. You can make anyone happy if you offer them a gift representing this symbol either made from gold or silver, enriched with a lot of other precious stones.

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