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Tuesday, 24 February 2015
Bar Kochba Coin Shows Herod's Temple
In A.D. 132, Simeon Bar Kochba led a Jewish revolt against Roman occupation of Israel. Over the next three years, Hadrian's troops decimated Jerusalem, killed Bar Kochba, and scattered the Jews to the slave markets of the world.
Bar Kochba was the only Jew in history to be distinguished as the messiah by their High Priest, an obvious mistake. Unfortunately, his revolt failed. However, during his campaign, Bar Kochba minted some coins, among which, was the one above, showing what Herod's Temple looked like. It is the only drawing of the Temple that has survived the centuries.
Until the discovery of this coin, we had only a word-description of the Temple by Flavius Josephus, an eyewitness to its destruction in A.D. 70. This coin is of special historical value, since the coin's designers were close enough to the Temple to recall what it actually looked like.
The Temple on the coin is shown resting upon a stone foundation. The image of the Temple, itself, shows four fluted columns. Two columns are on each side of an arched doorframe, which contains huge double doors. The Temple's flat roof recalls the construction of the Tabernacle of the wilderness, with its animal skins stretched horizontally taut across a framed rectangle.
Herod's Edomite rule and a corrupt priesthood brought down the dream of a messianic kingdom in the first century. The Bar Kochba coin tells the pathetic story of Herod's pretense. One day, the Third Temple will be rebuilt.
Gold: Man's Most Amazing Discovery
The world's currencies included gold for nearly 2,500 years. Some say, ever since King Croesus of Lydia produced the first gold coins in history. Until the twentieth century, gold was the standard of wealth. There are at least ten billion tons of gold in the oceans, just waiting to be retrieved.
Toward the end of World War I, Dr. Fritz Haber, a German chemist, thought he could repay Germany's war debt from the gold in the North Sea. He tried to produce a method of mining it, but failed. Perhaps one day his idea will be revived.
One of the obstacles to recovering this vast treasure is its elusiveness. Generally, there are ten milligrams of gold to one ton of saltwater, so 2,835 tons of water need to be filtered to produce a single ounce.
Even in most mines, the rate of extraction can be as low as one part gold to 300,000 parts of waste rock.
In 1869, two Englishmen, John Deason and Richard Oates were prospecting in Victoria, Australia, and discovered the largest gold nugget in history. It measured 21 inches long and 10 inches across, and weighed more than 150 pounds. They named it, "the welcome stranger" and sold it for about $50,000.00.
Gold cannot be tarnished by air, water, or most corrosives; and can be melted down time and again without losing any quality. A single ounce can be drawn out to make an unbroken wire 35 miles long - or hammered into a sheet 1/250,000 if an inch thick. Historians say that of all of mankind's discoveries, gold was the most amazing!