In Eastern Galilee, not far from the site where Jesus walked on water and used five loaves and two fish to feed the multitudes, a modern miracle has occurred. Found nestled among the grass was an extremely rare 2,000-year-old gold coin minted with the face of Roman Emperor Augustus.
There it sat, waiting to be discovered by Laurie Rimon. Rimon, a resident of a kibbutz in northern Israel, found the coin while on a hike, and turned it over to the Israel Antiquities Authority.
The coin featuring Augusts’ image is only one of two coins minted by Emperor Trajan in AD 107 as part of a series of coins that honored emperors before him. This coin dedicated to Augustus refers to him as “Divus Augustus” or August the Divine who reigned during the life of Christ (27 BC to AD 14). According to Donald Ariel, head curator of the coin department for the Israel Antiquities Authority, Augustus was a Caesar’s heir and considered a deity after his death.
The coin, found in a place and from a period that not much is known about, has created a mystery. Because it was found on its own, it is very difficult to surmise why it was there, but that hasn’t stopped many from hypothesizing. Because of the coin’s high value, it would have not been used in everyday transactions. This has caused many to guess that the coin was part of a salary, possibly for a soldier, placed there to stop the Bar Kochva revolt of the Jewish people against the Romans.
Regardless of the reason for its location, it is still an interesting part of history. As for how Rimon feels about the situation, "It was not easy parting with the coin," she said. "After all, it is not every day one discovers such an amazing object, but I hope I will see it displayed in a museum in the near future." Who knows, maybe it will be ready for viewing on our next trip to Israel.
Quote taken from Libermann, Oran. “Hiker finds rare gold coin in Israel.” CNN, 15 March 2016. Web. 7 April 2016.