February 13, 2014 – The Bank of Israel has released the 18th Coin in the ‘Biblical Art’ Series. The Series that began in 1994 has become one of the most popular worldwide. The new coin featuring ‘David playing to Saul’ tells of the rise and fall of Saul, the first king of the people of Israel, told in the first Book of Samuel.
The kingship of Saul lasted for only two years and was torn by war against the Philistines. When he was commanded to wage war against Amalek, he listened to the people, who urged him to have mercy on Amalek. For this, the kingship was taken away from him and his successor was to be David the Shepherd, the youngest son of Jesse the Bethlehemite.
Rembrandt or workshop, Saul and David, between 1650 and 1670. Source: Wikicommons.
The Bible relates how the Divine spirit left Saul and passed to David and how an evil spirit began to torment Saul. It was suggested that young David, a talented music-player, play to Saul to relieve him of his depressive spirit.
The 10 New Sheqalim gold proof coin.
Artist Moshe Pereg’s skilful design of the coin reverse illustrates the biblical narrative. An outlined image of Saul seated on the throne, his crown detached from his head appears in the background, while David the young shepherd, whose anointment as future king was not yet known, appears in the foreground, playing for Saul.
The coin obverse designed by artist Gideon Keich, bearing the face value and Israel State Emblem, depicts a decoration that represents David’s harp.
The coin has been struck in 4 versions, including for the first time, a fine Silver/999 1oz. Proof Coin:
10 New Sheqalim, Gold/917 Proof, Diameter 30mm, Weight 16.96g, Mintage Limit 555;
1 New Sheqel, Gold/999 Proof, Diameter 13.92mm, Weight 1.244g, Mintage Limit 5,000;
2 New Sheqalim, Silver/999 Proof, Diameter 38.7mm, Weight 31.1g, Mintage Limit 2,800;
1 New Sheqel, Silver/925 Prooflike, Diameter 30mm, Weight 14.4g, Mintage Limit 1,800.
For more information on these coins please visit the website of Israel Coins & Medals Corp.
This subject was transformed into an opera by George Frideric Handel. You can listen to the overture of his ‘Saul’ here.