ISRAEL BULLION COIN 2012
Third in the “Jerusalem of Gold” Bullion Coin Series
Legal Tender issued by the Bank of Israel
The third coin in the "Jerusalem of Gold" Bullion Coin Series features the Menorah, the seven-branched candelabrum.
An impressive sculpted Menorah created by the British Jewish sculptor of German origin, Benno Elkan, was donated to the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament), by the British Parliament, in 1956. It had taken six years to complete this masterpiece. Cast in bronze, the artistic 4.30m high Menorah stands today in the Rose Garden facing the Knesset Building in Jerusalem and has become a popular tourist attraction. Its sculpted decorations depict the turbulent history of Israel, the struggles of the people from exile to rebirth.
The Menorah is first mentioned in the Book of Exodus, Chapter 25. Moses received precise instructions from G-d how to build the Menorah in pure gold, in one piece, and it was Bezalel the architect who actually constructed it.
This same Menorah accompanied the Children of Israel on their journey through the wilderness and was later moved to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
The Prophet Zechariah sees a Menorah in his prophetic visions (Zechariah 4:2-3). Here, the significance of the Menorah is explained by the words "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit", meaning that spiritual force will prevail over physical power. These words are sculpted on the Knesset Menorah Monument.
In Hasmonean times (second to first century BCE), the Menorah appeared on the Jewish Coins and first served as a national symbol of the Jewish people. When the State of Israel was established in 1948, the Menorah became the main feature of the Israel State Emblem.
| The famous “Lion of Megiddo” taken from an ancient 8th century BCE seal, excavated in Megiddo (Armageddon) in the Jordan Valley. The seal belonged to Shema, a servant of King Jeroboam II, who was King of Israel during the time of the Prophet Amos. The lion is also the symbol of the Tribe of Judah and of Jerusalem. The same "Lion of Megiddo" appeared on the Israeli 5 Lira Banknote (1958), 5 Lira Coin (1978) and on the Half Sheqel Coin (1980). Above the figure of the lion appears the State of Israel Emblem and below it the word “Israel” in English, Hebrew and Arabic.