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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Judean & Biblical Coins| ▸ |Biblical Coins| ▸ |Cities in the Bible||View Options:  |  |  |   

Cities in the Bible

The coins below were minted by cities that are mentioned in the bible. Click here to read about the travels of Paul.

Persian Empire, Samaria, c. 375 - 333 B.C.

|Persian| |Rule|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Samaria,| |c.| |375| |-| |333| |B.C.||obol|
The obverse was copied from a very rare Cilician obol (SNG Levante 201). The very interesting reverse appears to depict five coins with owl reverses, presumably Athenian tetradrachms. In "Coinage for Redeeming the Firstborn: An Ancient and Modern Jewish Ritual" in The Celator|, December 2002, pp. 14 - 22, Ronn Berrol discusses a possible connection to the pidyon haben (click the article title to read it online). The pidyon haben is a mitzvah through which a Jewish firstborn son is "redeemed" from predestination to serve as a priest by giving five silver coins to a Kohen.
GA96462. Silver obol, Meshorer-Qedar 141, Sofaer Collection 185, HGC 10 418 (R2), VF, typical crude uneven weak strike, weight 0.604 g, maximum diameter 9.3 mm, Samaria (10 km NW of Nablus, West Bank) mint, middle Levantine' series, c. 375 - 333 B.C.; obverse triform bearded male head, wearing round cap; reverse five discs each with owl standing right and head facing (Athenian coins?), piled up with one in center on top of four around in a cruciform arrangement; ex Leu Numismatik auction 12 (30 May 2020), lot 657; ex Canaan Collection; very rare; $650.00 (€598.00)
 


Persian Empire, Samaria, c. 375 - 333 B.C.

|Judaea| |&| |Palestine|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Samaria,| |c.| |375| |-| |333| |B.C.||obol|
Meshorer-Qedar lists Athena on the obverse, but on the three specimens known to FORVM it is clear that Athena is on the reverse. The types copy contemporary Cypriot stater types from Kition (obverse) and Lapethus (reverse).
GS95808. Silver obol, Meshorer-Qedar 102, cf. Sofaer Collection 63 (hemiobol), HGC 10 -, VF, well centered, toned, struck with worn dies (as are all specimens of this type known to FORVM), weight 0.65 g, maximum diameter 8 mm, die axis 10o, Samaria (10 km NW of Nablus, West Bank) mint, c. 375 - 333 B.C.; obverse lion right atop and attacking a stag fallen right, (Aramaic 'šn', abbreviating Samarian) above; reverse head of Athena facing, wearing crested Attic helmet; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 11 (22 Feb 2020), lot 1128; ex Canaan Collection; only three sale of this type recorded on Coin Archives for the last two decades (and one of the three is this coin); very rare; $500.00 (€460.00)
 


Persian Empire, Samaria, c. 375 - 333 B.C.

|Persian| |Rule|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Samaria,| |c.| |375| |-| |333| |B.C.||obol|
Samaria was the capital of the northern Kingdom of Israel in the 9th - 8th centuries B.C. The ruins are located in the Samaria mountains of Palestine, almost 10 km to the northwest of Nablus. The Assyrians took the city and the northern kingdom in 722/721 B.C. The city did not recover until the Persian period, the mid 5th century. The tensions between the ruling Sanballat family and Jerusalem under the governorship of Nehemiah are documented in the Bible (Ezra 4:10, Neh 4:7–8). Samaria became Hellenistic in 332 B.C. Thousands of Macedonian soldiers were settled there following a revolt. The Judaean king John Hyrcanus destroyed the city in 108 B.C., but it was resettled under Alexander Jannaeus. In 63 B.C. Samaria was annexed to the Roman province of Syria.
GS95809. Silver obol, Sofaer 57; cf. Meshorer-Qedar 95 (similar, plated); HGC 10 -, VF, tone, die breaks, rough, weight 0.511 g, maximum diameter 9.6 mm, die axis 270o, Samaria (10 km NW of Nablus, West Bank) mint, c. 375 - 333 B.C.; obverse laureate male (Apollo?) head right, dot border; reverse female head left, wearing sphendone, Aramaic ('šmyrn' - Samarian) behind; ex Leu web auction 11 (22 Feb 2020), lot 1126; from the Canaan Collection; very rare; $280.00 (€257.60)
 


Lot of 20 Prutot, Judean Kingdom, Herod Agrippa I, 37 - 44 A.D.

|Agrippa| |I|, |Lot| |of| |20| |Prutot,| |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Herod| |Agrippa| |I,| |37| |-| |44| |A.D.||Lot|
Agrippa was son of Aristobulus and Bernice, a grandson of Herod the Great. He spent his boyhood at the imperial court in Rome. His friend Caligula bestowed former territories of Philip and Herod Antipas. Claudius bestowed Judaea. He had James, the brother of John, executed (Acts 12:1-2) and imprisoned Peter (Acts 12:3-5).
LT68227. Bronze Lot, Hendin 1244, lot of 20 prutot (singular: prutah), Jerusalem mint, 41 - 42 A.D.; obverse AΓPIΠA BACIΛEWC (King Agrippa), umbrella-like canopy with fringes; reverse three heads of barley between two leaves, L - ς (year 6) divided across field; actual coins in the photograph, as is, no returns; $270.00 (€248.40)
 


Herod Archelaus, Ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea, 4 B.C. - 6 A.D.

|Herod| |Archelaus|, |Herod| |Archelaus,| |Ethnarch| |of| |Samaria,| |Judea,| |and| |Idumea,| |4| |B.C.| |-| |6| |A.D.||prutah|
This is a scarcer variety with the inscriptions transposed. EΘNOPXOY (Ethnarch) is usually on the reverse and HPω∆HC (of Herod) is usually on the obverse. BMC Palestine lists 15 specimens of the usual variety and only one of this variety.
JD97424. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1196a; BMC Palestine p. 233, 26; Meshorer TJC 74; RPC I 4917 var. (Ethnarch on rev., Herod on obv. - the usual type), gF, broad flan, highlighting earthen deposits, a little off center, part of edge ragged, weight 2.098 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 4 B.C. - 6 A.D.; obverse EΘNOPXOY (Ethnarch), bunch of grapes, with leaf on left; reverse tall helmet with crest and neck straps viewed from the front, small caduceus in lower left field, HPω∆HC (of Herod) below; scarce; $225.00 (€207.00)
 


Judaean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus I (Yehohanan), 134 - 104 B.C., for the Seleukid King Antiochus VII

|John| |Hyrcanus| |I|, |Judaean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |I| |(Yehohanan),| |134| |-| |104| |B.C.,| |for| |the| |Seleukid| |King| |Antiochus| |VII||AE| |15|
Struck by John Hyrcanus, King of Judaea, in the name of the Seleukid King Antiochos VII, Euergetes (Sidetes). John Hyrcanus was the son of Simon the Maccabee and nephew of the folk hero Judah Maccabee, the hero of the Hanukkah story. Soon after Hyrcanus assumed power, the Seleukid king marched on Jerusalem. Antiochus VII and Hyrcanus I negotiated a treaty that left Hyrcanus a vassal to the Syrian king. Probably as a conciliatory gesture to the Jews, the lily (a symbol of Jerusalem) replaced the head of the Seleukid king. Later, John Hyrcanus would be the first Jewish ruler to issue coins in his own name.
JD97079. Bronze AE 15, Hendin 1131b, Houghton-Lorber II 2123(3), SNG Spaer 2140, Houghton CSE 833, SGCV II 7101, HGC 9 1103, Meshorer TJC p. 30, aVF, green patina with highlighting light earthen deposits, obverse off center, small edge cracks, obverse edge beveled, weight 2.159 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 131 - 130 B.C.; obverse lily on stem with two leaves, dot border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY EYEPΓETOY (Greek: of King Antiochus, Benefactor), anchor, upside down, BΠP (Greek: year 182 of Seleukid Era) below; $160.00 (€147.20)
 


Judean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 104 - 76 B.C.

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|
The lily was regarded as the choicest among the flowers. It graced the capitals of the two main pillars which stood at the entrance to the sanctuary. See Symbols| on Judean| Coins| in NumisWiki.
JD97434. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1148; Meshorer TJC N; Meshorer AJC A; Sofaer Collection 214; BMC Palestine p. 198, 1; HGC 10 636, VF, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, parts of legends unstruck, obverse slightly off center, obverse edge beveled, edge cracks, casting sprue remnant, weight 1.849 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, die axis 270o, Jerusalem mint, c. 95 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yehonatan the King, half opened lily flower; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY (King Alexander in Greek), anchor with two cross bars within diadem; scarce; $135.00 (€124.20)
 


Neapolis, Macedonia, c. 525 - 450 B.C.

|Other| |Macedonia|, |Neapolis,| |Macedonia,| |c.| |525| |-| |450| |B.C.||obol|
Neapolis, Macedonia (Kavala, Greece today), was founded by settlers from Thasos near the end of the 7th century B.C., to exploit the rich gold and silver mines of the area. At the end of the 6th century B.C. Neapolis ("new city" in Greek) claimed its independence from Thasos and struck its own silver coins with the head of Gorgon. A member of the Athenian League, Neapolis was besieged by the allied armies of the Spartans and the Thasians in 411 B.C., during the Peloponnesian War, but remained faithful to Athens. The Apostle Paul landed at Neapolis on his second and third missionary journeys.
GA96103. Silver obol, SNG ANS 423 - 424; BMC Macedonia p. 84, 13; HGC 3-1 585; SNG Cop -; Rosen -, gVF, slightly grainy, slightly porous, weight 0.632 g, maximum diameter 10.5 mm, Macedonia, Neapolis mint, c. 525 - 450 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion), tongue protruding; reverse quadripartite incuse square; ex Roma e-sale 43 (3 Feb 2018), lot 95; $125.00 (€115.00)
 


Judean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 104 - 76 B.C.

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|
The lily was regarded as the choicest among the flowers. It graced the capitals of the two main pillars which stood at the entrance to the sanctuary. See Symbols| on Judean| Coins| in NumisWiki.
JD97081. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1148; Meshorer TJC N; Meshorer AJC A; Sofaer Collection 214; BMC Palestine p. 198, 1; HGC 10 636, VF, green patina with highlighting lighter green deposits, reverse off center, reverse edge beveled, remnants of pre-strike casting sprues, weight 2.682 g, maximum diameter 14.8 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, c. 95 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yehonatan the King, half opened lily flower; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY (King Alexander in Greek), anchor with two cross bars within diadem; scarce; $125.00 (€115.00)
 


Judaea, Pontius Pilate, Roman Prefect Under Tiberius, 26 - 36 A.D.

|Pontius| |Pilate|, |Judaea,| |Pontius| |Pilate,| |Roman| |Prefect| |Under| |Tiberius,| |26| |-| |36| |A.D.||prutah|
Pontius Pilate is chiefly known for the part he played in the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. Scholars disagree on the date of this type. If the "S" is actually a retrograde (backward) "Z," the date is year 17 or 30 A.D. If the "S" is actually the Greek letter stigma, the date is year 16 or 29 A.D.
JD97417. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1342a, Meshorer TJC 333b, RPC I 4968 var. (LIZ), SGICV 5623 var. (LIZ), aVF, nice green patina, highlighting lighter green deposit, reverse edge beveled, casting void edge flaw, remnants of pre-strike casting sprues, weight 2.058 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, Jerusalem mint, 29 or 30 A.D.; obverse TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC, lituus (augural wand); reverse LIς (year 16) or LIZ (Z retrograde, year 17) within wreath; $125.00 (€115.00)
 




  



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