Answers to Quora Questions by Yair Davidiy
The Star of David (in Hebrew "Magen David" i.e. Shield of David) is a symbol comprised of two ancient Hebrew letters super-imposed on each other to create a symbol representing the name DAVID.
This information is explained in detail along with illustrations. This is knowledge worth knowing.
(5 August, 2018, 24 Av, 5778)
The question was,
What does the "Star of David" symbolize?
The Star of David is known in Hebrew as Magen David meaning â€œShield of David.â€ It is connected with David.
I once saw an interesting explanation for the Star of David. It was suggested that the symbol is in effect two pictures of the ancient letter Dalet (i.e. "D") one being inverted and placed on top of the other.
This makes sense. It would be an acceptable symbol of the name DAVID.
Let us explain
The State of David is in effect two triangles placed on top of each other.
In Biblical Times the so-called â€œCanaaniteâ€ or â€œPaleo-Hebrewâ€ Aphabet was used by both Canaanites (also called â€œPhoeniciansâ€) and Hebrews.
Here is an inscription from Tell Dan in the Galilee mentioned â€œThe House of David,â€ from ca., 841 BCE.
Here is another view of the same inscription with the words â€œBait Davidâ€ (House of David) enhanced in white.
Here is the name DAVID from the said inscription:
It is the equivalent of ×“×•×“ DVD. The D(Dalet) letter is here:
It looks like a triangle. It has a short tail on the righhand side. Sometimes in Paleo-Hebrew the tail is a little longer and at other times the tail is not there at all!.
Taking one of the letters â€œDâ€ and then taking another and turning it upside down and then combining the two we get the Star of David.
By way of background remember that this alphabet was borrowed by the Greeks. The Greeks received it from the Phoenicians or from the Hebrews. Hebrew is written from left to right. The early Greeks at first wrote either from left to write or from right to left. They even had a system whereby they wrote one line in one direction and the next line in the other. This was known as Bousterophon.
This type of writing was actually known in Ancient Hebrew and that is where the Ancient Greeks got it from! The Izbet Sarta inscription from Aphek in the Mountains of Samaria is the oldest known example of ancient Hebrew writing.
The Izbet Sarta inscription dates from ca. 1000 â€“ 800m BCE. The inscription at Izbet Sarta was found on the way between Aphek and Shiloh.
Izbet Sarta has been identified as the Biblical Eben-ezer. It also employs the bousterophon method about 400 or more years before the Greeks did! [By comparison, the Hebrew Gezer Calendar from ca. 800 BCE appears to be written from right to left, inÂ the same direction as the Ancient Greeks wrote about 400 years later!].
The name of David is Hebrew is spelled DVD. The middle letter â€œVâ€ was a vowel or semi-vowel. In Hebrew writing vowels could be discarded or at least were expendable. We therefore have the possibility of two DDs representing David. In addition we see that the direction of the letters was elastic. Some inscriptions appear to be vertical. The letters could be switched around from one direction to another. Early Hebrew used symbols interspersed with letters. It would seem that the State of David may have evolved from such usage.