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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Non-Olympian| ▸ |Melqart||View Options:  |  |  | 

Melqart

Melqart (Phoenician: lit. Melek-qart, "King of the City") was the tutelary god of the Phoenician city of Tyre. Melqart was often titled Ba'l Sur, "Lord of Tyre," and considered to be the ancestor of the Tyrian royal family. In Greek, by interpretatio graeca he was identified with Heracles and referred to as the Tyrian Herakles. As Tyrian trade and colonization expanded, Melqart became venerated in Phoenician and Punic cultures from Lebanon to Spain. The first occurrence of the name is in a 9th-century B.C. stela inscription found in 1939 north of Aleppo in today northern Syria, the "Ben-Hadad" inscription, erected by the son of the king of Aram, "for his lord Melqart, which he vowed to him and he heard his voice." Melqart is likely to have been the particular Ba'al found in the Tanakh (the Jewish Bible, specifically in 1 Kings 16.31?10.26) whose worship was prominently introduced to Israel by King Ahab and largely eradicated by King Jehu.

Tyre, Phoenicia, 111 - 110 B.C., Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver

|Phoenicia|, |Tyre,| |Phoenicia,| |111| |-| |110| |B.C.,| |Judas'| |30| |Pieces| |of| |Silver||shekel|
Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver
"Then one of the 12, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, 'What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?' And they covenanted with him for 30 pieces of silver." Matthew 26:14-15. Shekels of Tyre were the only currency accepted at the Jerusalem Temple and are the most likely coinage with which Judas was paid for the betrayal of Christ.

The Temple Tax Coin
"..go to the sea and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou has opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them [the temple tax collectors] for me and thee." Since the tax was one half shekel per man the coin would have to be a shekel to pay the tax for both Jesus and Peter. Matthew 17:24-27
SL86641. Silver shekel, BMC Phoenicia p. 237, 85; Cohen DCA 919-18 (C); Baramki AUB -, NGC Ch AU*, strike 5/5, surface 5/5 (4280576-003), weight 14.20 g, maximum diameter 28.0 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, 109 - 108 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, date HI (year 18) over club and palm frond left, ZB right, Phoenician letter beth between legs; NGC| Lookup; SOLD


Jerusalem or Tyre, 12 - 11 B.C., Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver

|30| |Pieces| |of| |Silver|, |Jerusalem| |or| |Tyre,| |12| |-| |11| |B.C.,| |Judas'| |30| |Pieces| |of| |Silver||shekel|
Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver
"Then one of the 12, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, 'What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?' And they covenanted with him for 30 pieces of silver." - Matthew 26:14-15. Shekels of Tyre were the only currency accepted at the Jerusalem Temple and are the most likely coinage with which Judas was paid for the betrayal of Christ.

After the coinage of Tyre was debased under Roman control, some experts believe Herod the Great began to strike "Tyre" shekels in Jerusalem. These coins were of cruder fabric and style, but maintained the silver purity required to pay the temple tax. The Jerusalem shekels have the letters KP or KAP to the right of the eagle and dates range from PH (18/17 B.C.) to PKE (69/70 A.D.). The Greek letters KP or KAP are probably an abbreviation for KAICAP, Greek for Caesar.
GP94922. Silver shekel, RPC I 4645; BMC Phoenicia p. 248, 192 var. (beth vice aleph); Baramki 79 var. (same); Rouvier 2088 var. (same); Cohen DCA 920/115; HGC 10 357, VF, attractive style, centered on tight flan, toned, slight porosity, light marks and scratches, weight 13.619 g, maximum diameter 27.8 mm, die axis 45o, Tyre or Jerusalem mint, 12 - 11 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle left, right foot on ship's ram, transverse palm frond on far side, PIE (year 115) over club left, KP (Caesar) over BN (control) right, Phoenician letter aleph (control) between legs; from the Ray Nouri Collection; SOLD


Jerusalem or Tyre, 20 - 21 A.D., Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver

|30| |Pieces| |of| |Silver|, |Jerusalem| |or| |Tyre,| |20| |-| |21| |A.D.,| |Judas'| |30| |Pieces| |of| |Silver||shekel|
Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver
"Then one of the 12, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, 'What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?' And they covenanted with him for 30 pieces of silver." Matthew 26:14-15. Shekels of Tyre were the only currency accepted at the Jerusalem Temple and are the most likely coinage with which Judas was paid for the betrayal of Christ.

The Temple Tax Coin
"..go to the sea and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou has opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them [the temple tax collectors] for me and thee." Since the tax was one half shekel per man the coin would have to be a shekel to pay the tax for both Jesus and Peter. Matthew 17:24-27
SH86527. Silver shekel, RPC I 4659; Prieur 1419 (3 spec.); Cohen DCA 920; HGC 10 357; BMC Phoenicia p. 248, 200 - 201 var. (different monogram right), VF, toned, tight flan as typical for this issue, bumps and marks, weight 14.180 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem or Tyre mint, 20 - 21 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle left, right foot on ship's ram, transverse palm frond on far side, letter between legs, PMς (year 146) and club left, KP over monogram right, uncertain Aramaic letter between eagle's legs; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; SOLD


Tyre, Phoenicia, c. 302 - 301 B.C.

|Phoenicia|, |Tyre,| |Phoenicia,| |c.| |302| |-| |301| |B.C.||didrachm|
This era by which this type was dated is presumably that of Alexander the Great, starting with his conquest of the city in 332 B.C.
SH26477. Silver didrachm, BMC Phoenicia p. 232, 36, VF, weight 8.378 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, c. 302 - 301 B.C.; obverse bearded Melqart riding hippocamp with curled wing to right, waves and dolphin below; reverse owl standing right, head facing, crook and flail behind, date (year 30) in right field; SOLD


Tyre, Phoenicia, c. 392 - 391 B.C.

|Phoenicia|, |Tyre,| |Phoenicia,| |c.| |392| |-| |391| |B.C.||stater|
This type was issued from 393 to 360 B.C.
SH57817. Silver stater, Cohen DCA 909, BMC Phoenicia p. 229, 14; Elayi II 1.2.1.g, SNG Cop 307 var. (year), F, encrusted, weight 12.617 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, c. 330 - 329 B.C.; obverse bearded Melqart riding hippocamp with curled wing to right, waves and dolphin below; reverse owl standing right, head facing, crook and flail behind, date II (year 2) right; rare (R1); SOLD


The Temple Tax Coin, Tyre KP Type Half Shekel, Jerusalem or Tyre Mint, 39 - 40 A.D.

|The| |Temple| |Tax| |Hoard|, |The| |Temple| |Tax| |Coin,| |Tyre| |KP| |Type| |Half| |Shekel,| |Jerusalem| |or| |Tyre| |Mint,| |39| |-| |40| |A.D.||half| |shekel|
At the Great Temple in Jerusalem the annual tax levied was 1/2 shekel per male. The 1/2 shekel and shekel were the only coins accepted by the temple. Some experts believe that after the coinage of Tyre was debased under Roman control, Herod the Great began to strike "Tyre" shekels in Jerusalem. These coins were of cruder fabric and style, but maintained the silver purity required to pay the temple tax. The "Jerusalem" shekels have the letters KP or KAP to the right of the eagle and dates range from PH (18/17 B.C.) to PKE (69/70 A.D.). The Greek letters KP or KAP are probably an abbreviation for KAICAP, Greek for Caesar.

JD40469. Silver half shekel, RPC I 4697, Prieur 1467, BMC Phoenicia -, F, dark toning, weight 6.203 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre or Jerusalem mint, 39 - 40 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle standing left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, PΞE (year 165) over club left, KP over monogram right, Aramaic letter between legs; SOLD







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