Authorized Reproductions From The Holy Land

Finding the Silver Amulets While Excavating an Ancient Tomb

Silver AmuletTwo small silver amulets— blessings and magical phrases used to ward off bad luck and danger—were found in a burial cave in Jerusalem in 1979 during archaeological excavations at a place called /Ketef Hinnom/ (the shoulder of the Hinnom [valley],  just on the hill opposite the southwest corner of  the Old City of Jerusalem. Made from thin pieces of silver, with old-script paleo-Hebrew letters incised on them, the two were only about an inch and a half long and less than an inch wide.

Amulets have been used since the beginning of time and surely still are being used today. They were, and still are, written manuscripts with magical or religious texts on them, usually rolled up into a tight roll, put in a case, and worn on a cord or chain around the neck. Thus the person carried the protection of the deity on his or her body at all times.

The two amulets found here are not only an interesting from the point of view of illuminating old religious practices among Jews, but of the utmost importance in validating the accuracy of the text of the Bible.

Author:  Walter Zanger

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