Shekel of Tyre or Jerusalem, Eclipse of 9 BC

September 20, 2014

This shekel was likely minted in Tyre between 27-6 BC. It has a total solar eclipse countermark stamped on the lower obverse. The countermark most likely shows the total eclipse from 9BC. There is a debate whether this coin was minted in Jerusalem or Tyre. The path of totality of the solar eclipse appears to be over Tyre. Photo from Athena Numismatics

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2000 years ago the cross was a Roman symbol of death and terror. Jesus Christ transformed this symbol into a universal sign of God's love, hope and resurrection. Solar eclipse events are recorded in Roman mythology during the conception of Romulus and Remus by the war god Mars and during the foundation of the city of Rome. The solar eclipse to the Romans was a sign from their gods that war was upon the Earth. The solar eclipse symbol of the star/pellet within the crescent on Roman coins and legionary standards was also a sign of their god's approval of Roman domination over conquered lands. Fifteen hundred years later, the "Our Lady of Guadalupe" Icon was presented to the New World as an inverted Roman Legionary Standard. Jesus Christ changed these symbols of Roman domination and slavery into an everlasting sign of God's love and compassion.