Shema Israel Silver Amulet. Adaptation. 5th-6th century CE
925 Sterling silver
Size: 1.6" X 2" / 4 X 5 cm
Pendant / Brooch
This silver amulet is special for two reasons: it is the oldest known amulet bearing these biblical verses, and it was designed to be seen, not concealed, just like a piece of jewelry. The leaf-shaped pendant is incised on one side with the first four verses of Shema (“Hear O Israel”; Deuteronomy 6:4-7). The first of these is interwined with the first verse of Psalm 91, and the last is followed by Proverbs 18:10. These biblical verses appear on other amulets and in incantations, but the manner in which they are combined here is unique.
This item comes with a certificate of authenticity of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem together with a description of its historical background in English and Hebrew.