Sunday, April 16, 2006

Capernaum Synagogue

capernaum hexagram

It is well known that the earliest Jewish use of the Star of David was as the seal of Joshua Ben Asayahu found in Sidon (Second Temple period, 6th century B.C.E.) and then as a carved decoration in a synagogue frieze on fourth-century synagogue at Capernaum (Kfar Nachum) in Israel.

Photo courtesy of Dan Mahler from Hofesh Organization

Re Dating and Updating the Capernaum Synagogue
There's an archeological debate about the dating of Capernaum synagogue:
Paul Roche represents the old theory about this dating problem and writes in his book, The Bible's Greatest Stories (2001 Page 380)
Capernaum was a prosperous city became the center of Jesus' Galilean ministry, perhaps because Peter had a house there. The Franciscans, who have been constantly excavating the ruins of Capernaum since the 1920s have identified Peter's house…Recent archeological finds have also unearthed the ruins of a first-century synagogue which is almost certainly the one in which Jesus preached.
James D G Dunn represents the more updated theory in his book, Jesus Remembered: Christianity in the Making (2003 Page 318) and writes that it dates from 4th or 5th century CE although underneath it there are earlier walls of houses and stone pavements
The reason for this re-dating is that archeologists Corbo and Loffreda excavated underneath the synagogue and discovered coins from the 5th century.
This re dating is very significant since there are numerous reviews about the history of this symbol that start with saying that this artifact is the earliest Star of David that was found in a synagogue. Even if there are ruins underneath the synagogue the artifacts are belonging to the later date. Now it is not only about re dating – it is also about updating.


zeevveez said...

More about Asayahu on

"The paleo-Hebrew inscription reads, `Belonging to Asayahu, servant of the king' and dates to the 7th century BC.
Asaih' is the shortened form of `Asayahu' and can be read about in 2.Kings 22:12 and 2.Chronicles 34:20. It could be that this seal belonged to Asaiah, a servant of King Josiah, who was sent by the king in 622 BC to the Temple in Jerusalem to examine the Scroll of the Law - perhaps being the Book of Deuteronomy - which was discovered by the High Priest Hilkiah after have ing lost sight of. It is of interest to know that Josiah banned horses as a symbol during his religious reform. "He removed the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun at the entrance to the House of the Lord." 2.Kings 23:11".

zeevveez said...

In the Capernaum Star of David there's a pagan symbol, so that it is not unmistakably Jewish. Anyhow
next to it there's a stone with a lily and above it there's a cornice with a side view of a lily. The connection between the Lilium Candidum and the Star of David was well established in Uri Ofir's research

zeevveez said...

In 1985 the Bank of Israel issued a coin to commemorate the Synagogue of Kfar Nahum in Capernaum. On the front of this un circulated silver coin is a Star of David at the bottom of the ruins of the Capernaum Synagogue with the Lake Tiberius in the background. []

I found many more photos from Capernaum on

zeevveez said...

Ida Huberman wrote in her book titled living symbols a chapter about the Star of David pp. 68-70:

"...with various other shapes...These shapes may have taken on apotropaic characteristics as well in addition to their decorative role"

apotropaic - having the power to prevent bad luck.

John Lord said...

This Capernaum synagogue magen David is the national emblem of the Nation-State of Judah.

It is not per se a JEWISH symbol.

This symbol can be proven to be traced backwards to the time of King Zedekiah, when the encircled magen David (Solomon's seal-circle, plus magen David) was a world emperor/empire symbol.

This same NATIONAL EMBLEM can be shown on the Babylonian carving of Nebuchadnezzar capturing King Zedekiah. Above the head of Nebuchadnezzar is the winged (imperial) sun disc of the Babylonian empire. Above the head of King Zedekial is the NATIONAL emblem of an encircled magen David.

These are the only two known national emblems remaining from history. They are not Israelite, or Jewish (per se). They are directly related to the Tribe of Judah, the King-Emperor David and Solomon royal dynasty and the population living within the Kingdom of Judah down to its destruction 69 CE.

Look for the Babylonian bas relief. You can't deny the proof after this.

The symbol is not some kabballistic or other goo-gah symbol. It is valid. It is national. It is genetic. And it is related to those descendants of the Tribe of Judah royalty.