This beautiful set contains the 14th – 16th coins in the Biblical Art series issued by the Holy Land Mint, and includes ‘Jonah in the Whale’, voted as Coin of the Year 2012!
The set commemorates 3 important biblical figures: Jonah, Samson, and Elijah. The designs are simple yet deeply meaningful, teaching lessons about God’s forgiveness and mercy.
Jonah In the Whale
The story of Jonah is perhaps one of the most well known tales in the Bible. Jonah was commanded by God to warn the people of Nineveh to repent for their evil ways. However, he chose to flee from this task and instead boarded a ship bound for Tarshish. When the ship ran into a violent storm, the crew, who believed Jonah to be responsible, cast him into the sea, whereupon he was swallowed by a giant whale. After 3 days and 3 nights, Jonah was saved when the whale spat him out on the shore.
The obverse features the face value in Hebrew and English, the Israel State Emblem, "Israel" in Hebrew, English and Arabic, the mint year, inscription "Jonah in the belly of the fish", Jonah 2:1, in the 3 languages, and Jonah in prayer.
The reverse design, depicting Jonah praying from the belly of the whale, is inspired by the Chinese "Yin Yang" philosophy, which describes how seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world.
Samson and the Lion
Samson, a Nazarite who abstained from drinking alcohol and cutting his hair, fell in love with a Philistine girl and traveled from his home to ask for her hand in marriage. On the way, he was attacked by a lion and was divinely empowered by God to fight and destroy it. He later observed bees producing honey in the lion’s carcass – an unexpected outcome that, not unlike the story of Jonah, demonstrates how good things can come from unpleasant situations.
Obverse includes the face value in Hebrew and English, the Israel state emblem, the word "Israel" in three languages and the mint year.
Reverse is graced with an artistic rendering of Samson wrestling with the lion in the Philistine city of Timnat, in ancient Mesopotamian style typical of the Canaanite period. A stylized palm tree symbolizes the Land of Israel.
Elijah in the Whirlwind
An inspiration for artists throughout the ages, the tale of Elijah describes his ascent to heaven in a whirlwind, in a chariot drawn by horses of fire. This scene is masterfully depicted on the reverse side of the coin, in simple but dramatic fashion. Elijah’s disciple Elisha, refusing to believe his master is about to leave him, is shown with arm outstretched as the chariot departs.
Obverse: Face value, "Israel" in English, Hebrew and Arabic, biblical inscription in English and Arabic around the border, and upper right, in Hebrew in artistic letters resembling flames within the whirlwind. Top center, Israel State Emblem.
Reverse: Elijah going up to heaven in a chariot of fire drawn by horses of fire. Below left is Elisha, who is to take over Elijah's prophetic role, shocked by the parting of Elijah.