|HEXAGRAM ON LEFT: The Star of David --- HEXAGRAM ON RIGHT: The Seal of Solomon|
Uniting the Water Triangle [facing downwards] with the Fire Triangle [facing upwards], the Hexagram is formed. It forms a six pointed star also known as the Seal of Solomon. This symbol is a [different type of] Star of David, the national symbol of Israel (God's chosen nation). The difference between the Star of David and the seal [of Solomon] is the triangles which make up the seal [Solomon] interlock and the two triangles of the Star of David lie flat against each other.
- Hexagram, TheForbiddenKnowledge.com
The traditional understanding that the Star of David and the Seal of Solomon have fundamental differences in both their origins and visual appearances, seems to have been nearly lost in modern times. What's most frustrating is that more a few modern dictionaries have gotten the fundamental differences between these two distinct types of hexagrams completely wrong, thus misleading everybody. Some of them have even gone so far as to ignorantly claim the Seal of Solomon is actually a five-pointed pentagram instead, of a hexagram.
|Solomon's Seal is also a name for a species of plant|
In all honesty, however, one could cautiously state that both symbols can be viewed simply different versions of the Star of David. However, because the Seal of Solomon has always been depicted with three-dimensional, interwoven (or interlaced) triangles, the two-dimensional Star of David can never be properly referred to as a Seal of Solomon also. What is even more unfortunate is that literally no one these days really knows, or even cares, about what a Seal of Solomon actually is anyway. However, for the sake of precision, one should understand the Star of David as being comprised of OVERLAPPING triangles, just as the Seal of Solomon (Solomon's Seal) must always have the appearance of INTERLACED (or INTERWOVEN) triangles instead. The actual, factual, historically correct, dictionary definitions of these two emblems are listed below:
(Star of David) n. - A symbol consisting of two OVERLAPPED equilateral triangles forming a star with six points, used as a symbol of Judaism. It is also called Magen David, Mogen David, and Shield of David, and is shaped identically to the hexagram and Solomon's seal. It is used on the flag of the modern state of Israel.
- Collaborative International Dictionary of English, Dictionary.net
(Solomon's Seal) n. - A mystic symbol consisting of two INTERLACED triangles forming a star with six points, often with one triangle dark and one light, symbolic of the union of soul and body. It is shaped identically to the hexagram and Star of David, distinguished only in its usage.
- Collaborative International Dictionary of English, Dictionary.net
Among the various myths and legends concerning this age-old Biblical symbol, two of them stand out in particular. The first one concerns the reasons behind why the hexagram was ever called a star (or shield), while the second story explains the intricate three-dimensional pattern seen on the Seal of Solomon, but
|A Jewish Seal of Solomon (200-400 A.D.)|
Twinkle (Upward Triangle), Twinkle (Downward Triangle) little star, how I wonder what you are (Star of David). Up above the world so high (Upward Triangle), like a diamond in the sky (Downward Triangle)...
- An interpretation of the song 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star'
There is also a Biblical reason why the hexagram has been called a star and it concerns a certain, obscure prophecy found in the Book of Numbers. Keeping in mind that this was written long before King David was ever born, the relevant verse talks about an unknown future leader of Israel who will rise to power and go on to defeat the traditional enemies of the Israelites- the Moabites for example. This future hero is metaphorically described as 'a Star' which 'shall come forth from Jacob', obviously meaning a yet-to-born descendant from the one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Because of the importance of the Davidic Kingdom, quite a few scholars claim this passage from Numbers should be seen as a direct reference to the later military success and subsequent rule of King David. Indeed, David official founding of the Kingdom of Israel in Jerusalem was the first event of extreme significance which had occurred in Israel since the time period recorded in the Book of Numbers.
Yet the question remains as to why the hexagram, rather than David himself, is the 'Star' mentioned in Scriptures. The best, and probably only correct answer to this is that the original Star of David served as his personalized signature- comprised of two triangular Hebrew letters written on top of each other with one of them turned upside down. In short, the hexagram was simply a uniquely clever way David wrote the first and last initials to his own name. Therefore, the claim that the six-pointed hexagram used for David's name was also a perfect symbolic representation of the Biblically prophesied 'Star' of 'Jacob' happens to be fairly logical, at least in a metaphorical sense. Also, because the Bible just so happens to be filled to the brim with metaphors, this legendary explanation may indeed be the real truth behind the origins of the six-pointed Star.
STAR OF DAVID: I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A STAR shall come forth from Jacob. A scepter shall rise from Israel and shall crush the corners of Moab, and destroy all the sons of Sheth.
- Numbers 24:17
SEAL OF SOLOMON: Place me like a SEAL upon your heart, like a SEAL on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.
- Song of Solomon 8:6
|A Christian Seal of Solomon (400-600 A.D.)|
The hexagram, as the Seal of Solomon, is generally...believed to have protective powers and magical properties...[It] has a long history of providing protection from demons and evil spirits. In some magical practices, it is associated with exorcisms.
- Who Knew Two Triangles Could Do So Much?: The Hexagram, by Rebecca, themagicalbuffet.com
The Seal of Solomon dates back to the Bronze Ages and is a powerful symbol with many mystical and magickal qualities...the Seal of Solomon is believed to offer protection against both enemies and the evil eye, control spirits, and bring good luck in all aspects of life.
- Seal of Solomon, Amulet Power, Angelfire.com
|An Islamic Seal of Solomon (750–1258 A.D.)|
In the middle Ages it was common to find amulets and talismans which reproduced the Seal of Solomon...It was believed that these magic drawings protected the wearer from the influence of demons and evil spirits, or just bad luck. It was also common to record the seal on a frame or lintel of the entrance door to homes...with the same protective character against the spirits or to potential fires.
- The Hexagram, Star of David or Seal of Solomon, Looking4thetruth77.blogspot.com
One might apt to conclude that both the form and function of the Seal of Solomon were in perfectly alignment, thus explaining the legendary spiritual powers this symbol was believed to possess. These days, Christians (and Jews) are free to choose to believe or disbelieve in its significance, yet even today, in the 21st century, the Seal's actual power over the minds of men (and women) has yet to disappear completely. Indeed, look at the dozens and dozens, perhaps even hundreds, if not thousands, of modern, educated adults who still use this symbol to practice magic and/or witchcraft. Even if one doesn't believe in any magic whatsoever, there still has to be a reason why so many fellow humans have such an on-going obsession with this one particular geometric shape. as if by its very appearance the supernatural will then become possible. A more balanced view concerning the power of the Star of David/Seal of Solomon can be found in the Catholic Church of today. Mentioning the Star of David by name, it reads as follows:
|The Papal Hexagram on top of the Pope's head is actually a Seal of Solomon |
- Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church
In conclusion, the actual history of the hexagram in terms of the Judeo/Christian tradition indicates a fairly long and extensive history of Christian use. Hopefully, Christian respect and admiration for this particular emblem will extend itself into an open friendliness, rather than hostility, towards those who still practice and believe in Judaism, This seems to be the general attitude of today's Catholic Church and the Pope's recent appearance with a Star of David on top of his head and the direct reference to 'THE STAR OF DAVID' in the recently updated Catechism of the Catholic Church, which serve as an official set of doctrines all Catholics are expected to believe in and obey, is simply further proof that times have changed for the better.