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2,100 Year Old Coins, Bearing Names of Maccabean Kings, Unearthed in Israel

“The law of Thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.” Psalms 119:72 (The Israel Bible™)

A hoard of silver coins, along with bronze coins bearing the names of the Maccabean kings, dating to the year 126 BCE in the Hasmonean period was discovered in April during an archaeological excavation near the city of Modi’in, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced on Tuesday.

The bronze coins bear the names of the Jewish kings Yehohanan, Judah, Jonathan, and Mattathias (including his title: “High Priest and Head of the Council of the Jews”) – all of the Hasmonean family that rose up against the Greek persecution in events commemorated by the holiday of Hanukkah. Images of the Selucid Greek King Antiochus IV, the villain of the Hanukkah story, appear on the silver coins unearthed.


“To discover a hoard of coins is a very exciting find,” head of the IAA excavation team Avraham Hendler told Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “You begin to see one or two coins then you keep cleaning gently with a brush in a small pit and then you discover a pile of coins.”

Hendler expressed particular fascination with the overall story behind the hoard of coins that was found.

“Beyond the beautiful quality of the coins is the story that it tells us about that period of time and the people that lived there,” Hender shared with TPS. “It provides us with a window into their lives.”

The revelation that the coins were hidden in a rock crevice of a wall that



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