Numismatic Noah

Numismatic Noah August 14, 2014

Alexander Heidel (Babylonian Genesis, 235) notes that the word for “ark” in Greek accounts of the flood is not the normal word for boat but kibotos, a chest or coffer. 

This term was used to distinguish the Phrygian (Syrian) city of Apamea from other cities of the same name, and that designation was captured in coins issued during the reign of Septimus Severus, whose face is on one side of the coin.

Heidel writes that the obverse “picture[s] an open chest swimming in the water and bearing the inscription NOE or simply NO. In the chest are seen the deluge hero and his wife, both appearing from the waist upward. On the raised lid of the ark a dove is perched, while another comes flying toward the ark with a twig in its claws. To the left the same pair of human beings are seen but standing on dry ground and raising their right hands in adoration.”

Several such coins, with different portraits, can be found here.


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