Coins dating to time of Ezra unearthed in Jerusalem

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Coins dating to the time of Ezra have been discovered in Jerusalem. They measure about seven millimeters across and date to the fourth century B.C., the Israeli new website YNETNews.com reported.

The coins would have been made around the time when the Jews were allowed by Persian king Cyrus to return to Jerusalem in 538 B.C. to build the temple, the Times of Israel reported. Those events are described in the book of Ezra.

 Zachi Dvira of the Temple Mount Sifting Project told YNETNews:

“These were the first coins ever minted by Jews. They express the people’s return to their land after the Babylonian exile, and their ability to hold and maintain diplomatic ties with the ruling empire, then Persia, similar to our relations with the United States today.

 “Throughout the 150 years of archeological digs all across the sites of ancient Jerusalem, only five of these coins were ever found. We have now found three whole coins, along with two eroded ones, apparently from the same series, and assume we’ll find more in the future.” Dvira added.

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