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Shield of David

Two interlaced triangles, more commonly known as the Seal of Solomon, and considered by the ancient Je vs as a talisman of great efficacy (see Seal of Solomon). Because the shield was, in battle a protection, like a talisman, to the person, the Hebrews used the same word, Magen, to signify both a shield and a talisman. Gaffarel says, in his Curiositates Inauditae (London, 1650, page 133), "The Hebrew word Maghen signifies a scutcheon, or any other thing noted with Hebrew characters, the virtue whereof is like to that of a scutcheon." After shoving that the shield was never an image, because the Mosaic law forbade the making of graven images, he adds: "Maghen, therefore, signifies properly any piece of paper or other like matter marked or noted with certain characters drawn from the Tetragrammaton, or Great Name of four letters, or from any other."

The most usual form of the Shield of David was to place in the center of the two triangles, and at the intersecting points, the Hebrew word sass, Agla, which was compounded of the initials of the words of the sentence, Atah Gibor Lolam Adonai, meaning Thou art strong in the eternal God. Thus constructed, the Shield of David was supposed to he a preservative against all sorts of dangers (see Magic Squares).

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