THE STAR OF DAVID

by Avram Yehoshua

(Endnotes: Click on the number to go to endnote. Click the BACK button on your browser to return to the article)

A number of years ago, when the Lord was dealing with me about the 'Jewish' Star of David, my heart was bound up in the symbol. Being raised Jewish it had much emotional meaning for me. When someone first suggested that it wasn't kosher, and that I look into its history, I became defensive. But, I did, and the more I looked into the matter, the more I became convinced that I could not, in good conscience, continue to use it on my stationary (letterhead and synagogue card), or wear it, because it was not a biblical symbol but a pagan one. At best, it was a profane (common), ordinary symbol, the innocent placing of two triangles together. At worst, it was taken from the occult and introduced into Judaism by the Kabala.1 But Kabala picked it up from the occult.

I found the following information upon a book marker. It read that the Star of David was,

'In use for many centuries and in many cultures, the original hexagrams were a part of ritual magic and cabalistic mysticism. It was only about two hundred years ago that the Star of David was appropriated as symbol of the Jewish people.'2

That's not exactly what you want to read concerning something you wear around your neck or use on your stationary. In The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia, under 'Magen David' (Hebrew for Shield of David, a common term for the Star of David), this article appears, quoted at length:

'(Heb. 'Shield of David'): Mystical symbol consisting of two superimposed triangles forming a star or hexagram; today regarded as a Jewish symbol. Although occurring in the Capernaum synagogue (3rd cent. CE), it was in ancient times predominantly a non-Jewish decorative motif (e.g. on Roman mosaic pavements), and is found in Christian churches in the Middle Ages, while absent from contemporary Jewish decoration and not mentioned in rabbinic literature.

The name figures from the 13th cent. in the 'practical Kabbalah,' where it is a magic symbol associated with the pentagram or 'Star of Solomon' (with which it is frequently confused). The origin and period of its adoption as a Jewish symbol is a matter of dispute. It occurs in a specifically Jewish context in Prague in the 17th cent. The M.D. was adopted by the First Zionist Congress (1897) as a symbol, and figures on the flags of the Zionist Organization and of the State of Israel. It was used by the Nazis, in the form of a yellow star, as the Jewish 'Badge of shame.'3

A 'magic symbol associated with the pentagram'?! The pentagram is one of the most powerful symbols of the occult. The Lord specifically warns against this kind of thing in His Torah. As Jews, and certainly as followers of Yeshua, we are not to look to magicians, mediums or sorcerers, etc. to guide us in our walk with the Lord, or protect us. And we are certainly not to use their symbols as representative of Yahveh or His People Israel:

'When you enter the Land which Yahveh your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to Yahveh and because of these detestable things Yahveh your God will drive them out before you. You must be blameless before Yahveh your God. For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you,Yahveh your God has not allowed you to do so.' Deuteronomy 18:9-14
How can believers take the things of sorcerers (the cross, the Star of David, etc.), and use them for symbols of Yeshua or the Jewish People. We must be blameless before Yahveh our God.

'But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.' Hebrews 5:14

'If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the Truth...' 1st John 1:6
Messianic Rabbi Barney Kasden, in wanting to uphold the Star of David within Messianic Judaism writes:

'The earliest apparent mention of this symbol is found in the Talmud. In describing the reign of King Solomon, the mention is made of how he had power over demonic forces by the emblem on his ring known as the "Seal of Solomon" (Gittin 68). Although the specific design of this seal is not described in this passage, it is also called the "Shield of David" (Magen David) because according to later tradition this also appeared on King David's battle gear.

The first concrete evidence in archaeology was found in the city of Sidon. This consisted of a ring with a seal on it in the shape of a six-pointed star, which was dated from the seventh century BCE. For those who have been to Israel, you will remember the famous six-pointed star on the synagogue of Capernaum. This structure has been dated from the second century CE but it is believed to be directly over the site of an earlier synagogue, the one likely used by Yeshua himself (Luke 4:31-37).' (This was taken from the website of Rabbi Barney Kasdan)

Rabbi Kasdan appears to have confused the Star of David (six pointed), for the Seal of Solomon (five pointed), as the Encyclopedia mentions above. Be that as it may, he wants to foster a foundation for acceptance of the Star of David by telling us of the archeological 'evidence' that makes it kosher. But this no more makes the Star of David kosher, than finding crosses and fish symbols on the tombs of early Roman Gentile Christians. Perhaps they didn't realize that those symbols were representative of the pagan gods, Tamuz and Dagon, respectively.4 Today, most believers who wear the Star of David or the cross or who use the fish symbol, don't realize it either. That's a very sad commentary on our 'teachers.'

When Rabbi Kasdan speaks of the ring appearing in the Talmud, lending itself to magic (that by the ring Solomon could control the demons), is utter rabbinic nonsense. How would the author of Gittin 68, living at least 600 years after King Solomon, know if Solomon had a ring like that if it wasn't written in Scripture? The Rabbis love to make up legends as they go along.

What makes it so anti-Torah, and therefore anti-Yahveh, is that this lends credence to magic and the occult, which Yahveh soundly condemns. Unfortunately, this practice is prevalent within Judaism (and Christianity), today. An interweaving of occult mysticism, with the Scriptures and the traditions of the Jewish (or Christian) People. The Talmud was begun in Babylon, with all its pagan-occult influences, long after King's David and Solomon were dead. And the Kabala5 is not part of the Word of God. Kabala is Jewish sorcery.

That the ring had no specific star design mentioned in the Talmud, lends itself to silence, as there is no way for us to know what actual design was upon it (the five points being given to the ring at a later date). But this is a moot point, for the ring never existed, except in the minds of the Rabbis.

Second, Sidon was never a city in Israel. Therefore, the ring that was found in the 7th century BCE with the 'Jewish Star of David' was not the ring of a Jew, but of a pagan. Only it wasn't known as the Star of David to the person who wore it!

So why do we Jews now have it as the symbol of ourselves? Because we Jews have always longed after the Gentile nations and their way of worshiping their gods. Stop a Jew (Messianic, traditional or secular, it doesn't matter), on the street and ask them why they wear their Star of David and they'll tell you it's Jewish or they want to identify with the Jewish People. Tell them about where it came from and what it means, and they'll tell you they don't care; it's not magic to them! Not the greatest answer for one seeking to walk in Truth. It says that the Serpent was more subtle than all the beasts of the field.6 How Satan loves to pervert the Truth!, to mix the perverse with the pure.

Third, the star spoken of in Capernaum, dating back to the 3rd century as the Jewish Encyclopedia states, or the 2nd century CE as Rabbi Kasdan writes, again speaks of pagan or Christian influence, just as the zodiac found on another synagogue floor in Israel, tells us that those Jews were not unduly influenced by their pagan neighbors. Nothing new for us Jews.

There is no biblical evidence, whether Scriptural or archeological, that the so called 'Star of David' is a God given symbol for His People Israel. But there is extensive evidence that the 'Star of David' originated in the occult and continues to occupy a place in it today. I could not see how I, as a representative of Yeshua (Truth), could give legitimacy to an anti-biblical symbol. Therefore, I discontinued using the Star of David because I could not biblically justify it. It was from ancient time, and still is today, a symbol of the occult, long before it came to be a symbol for the Jewish People.

One of the principals that I live by is to be able to biblically state to anyone, 'why I do the religious, ceremonial, symbolic things that I do.' I keep Shabat because it is commanded. I wear the tzit-ziot because it is commanded, etc. I cannot defend the 'Star' that way.

Many years ago, in 1983, the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth began shaking my theological, church leavened understanding of the Scriptures. I began to see the Word of Yahveh in His Light. I said to the Lord that I didn't want to walk in darkness of any kind, thinking that it was Light. For no darkness, however it glitters, has the Life of God in it. It may look good, but intrinsically, there is no real Light or Life within it.

When believers 'don't care' about the origin and occultic practices that they participate in (i.e. Sunday, Easter and Christmas, etc.), or the wearing of occultic objects (the cross, the fish, and the Star of David), it tells me that their flesh is overruling the Spirit. The Lord Yeshua said, 'But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the Truth...' (John 16:13).

As we walk with the Master, the Way gets narrower and narrower. Our flesh is continually put to the test: 'Which way do we go?' It's nice to sing and dance and praise the Lord, but we are also called to walk after Him, to become like Him, to walk in the Truth and to be a living example of Truth.7 I just can't imagine the Apostles wearing a 'Star of David' or a cross or placing a fish symbol on their Bibles. For in their day, they knew what those symbols represented, and it wasn't the Jewish People or the Lord Yeshua. It was Satan.

'Everybody does it' is the justification for walking in the way of the pagan, and not looking too closely as to why one does or thinks what they do. But the Lord has specific words for Israel in relation to what we believe and therefore practice:

'When Yahveh your God cuts off before you the nations which you are going in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, beware that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, 'How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?' You shall not behave thus toward Yahveh your God, for every abominable act which Yahveh hates they have done for their gods. For they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. Whatever I command you, you must be careful to do. You shall not add to nor take away from it.' Deuteronomy 12:29-32
This paper may be offensive to some. It is not my intention to offend anyone, but there may be some that, like myself in the beginning, become defensive. May you overcome your defensiveness and search out the Truth of the matter for yourself.

We must learn to discern the Voice of our Savior, and not give way to the Enemy of our soul who would deceive us into representing Yeshua to others, in ways and symbols that are consistent with Satan. For those who have ears to hear, and hearts to obey; may this paper be a tool in Yeshua's Hand for your good.


END NOTES

  1. The first Jewish 'Star of David' is seen on a gravestone of a Jewish man named David who practiced kabala in the Middle Ages. It was around 1400 CE.
  2. A 24 karat, gold plated Pagemarker? Bookmarks; designed and manufactured by Marbex, Inc. (c) 1994.
  3. Geoffrey Wigoder, D. Phil., Editor in Chief, The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia (New York - Oxford: Facts on File, 1990, 7th Edition), p. 618.
  4. For an excellent work on this and the cross see The Two Babylons by the Rev. Alexander Hislop. (Neptune, New Jersey, U.S.A: Loizeaux Brothers, 1959)
  5. The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia. Listed under Kabbalah on page 535 appears these phrases of Kabala: 'The mystical religious stream in Judaism.' 'In all periods it was influenced by foreign spiritual currents, such as GNOSTICISM and NEOPLATONISM;' 'popular religious movement in the 16th cent. and again, later, in Hasidism.' ',,,consisted of the use of Divine or Holy Names, the permutation and combination of Hebrew letters, magical formulae (amulets), etc. for healing the sick...hastening the advent of the Messiah,' 'The religious syncretism (the mingling and fusion of various oriental religions, mythologies, semi-philosophical notions, etc.)...' Some major concepts: 'transmigration in human or animal form in order to make restitution and be cleansed.' And 'Man must restore the damage...' '...complete restoration will lead to redemption and the advent of the Messiah.'
  6. Genesis 3:1: 'Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Yahveh God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the Garden?'
  7. Rom. 2:20: 'a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the Truth,'
    2 Cor. 13:8: 'For we can do nothing against the Truth, but only for the Truth.'
    Gal. 4:16: 'So have I become your enemy by telling you the Truth?'
    Gal. 5:7: 'You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the Truth?'
    Eph. 4:25: 'Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak Truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.'
    Eph. 5:9: 'for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and Truth,'
    1 Tim. 2:4: 'who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the Truth.'
    2 Tim. 2:15: 'Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of Truth.'
    2 Tim. 3:7: 'always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the Truth.'
    2 Tim. 4:4: 'and will turn away their ears from the Truth and will turn aside to myths.'
    Heb. 10:26: 'For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the Truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,'
    1 John 1:6: 'If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the Truth;'
    1 John 2:4: 'The one who says, 'I have come to know Him,' and does not keep His Commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in him;'


Email Avram — avramyeh@gmail.com

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