Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hear The Golden Bell Found In Jerusalem

Last week a "Golden Bell" from the second temple period was found in Jerusalem.  There is a tendency that whenever any item is found in Jerusalem it is immediately ascribed to some well known figure. In this case a golden bell was a no brainer - and was immediately connected to the High Priest. PaleoJudaica puts it nicely:

Well, maybe. On the one hand it is true that the only references to golden bells in the Hebrew Bible are to bells on the vestments of the high priest (Exodus 28:33-34; 39:25-26). On the other hand, first, the only other mention of bells (a different Hebrew word) refers to horses' trappings (Zechariah 14:20). Presumably, bells were used in many other contexts, so our sample of cultural allusions is limited. But, you say, what about golden bells? Well, second, Isaiah 3:16-18
refers to bangles that the rich women of Jerusalem wore on their ankles and which "tinkled" or made some king of bangle noise. These ladies clearly had lots of jewelery and finery (cf. also vv. 19-23), so it seems entirely likely that they sometimes wore bells as jewelry and that some of those bells might well have been made of gold. And we know that Second-Temple-era ladies in Jerusalem had very nice gold earrings. So this bell need not have come from "a man of high authority."

Now as an added bonus, you can hear the sound the bell makes:

Hat Tip: PaleoJudaica
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