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The Fascinating Mystery of Solomon's Shamir

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Ravi loves writing within the cusp of relationships, history, and the bizarre, where boundaries are blurred and possibilities are immense.

The Fascinating Mystery of Solomon's Shamir

The Fascinating Mystery of Solomon's Shamir

Can History Be Called an Exact Science?

Whenever I talk about the quirks, idiosyncrasies, or oddities of history that cannot be easily explained, I often get a standard rebuke: ‘follow Occam's razor’.

For those who are not aware, Occam's razor is the principle stating that, of two explanations that account for all the facts, the simpler one is more likely to be correct. It is applied to a wide range of disciplines, including religion, physics, and medicine.

While I perfectly agree with all the true-blood logic lovers, I still have a basic question.

Is history an exact science that can be neatly summarized into clear-cut, one or two explanations for us to choose from? Can we really apply the so-called Occam's razor to a subject that is filled with doubts, uncertainties, surprises, and unanswered questions? The answer is no.

Let us take one of these unanswered questions: the incredible stonework, done by the ancients in a supposedly un-mechanized era.

We have all seen the hardest of stones like emeralds, quartzes, or even obsidian intricately carved by the ancients with an impeccable finish. The stoneworkers apparently had the skill the manipulate the hardest of stones like putty without using any electric saws, bits, special steel drills, or laser-powered tools. How did they do it? How was it even possible?

If we apply Occam's razor, the simplest explanation that comes to our mind is brute strength of labor. But then while brute strength can break stones, it certainly cannot intricately carve them into masterpieces. Carving requires a delicate altering of the stone so that it can be made ‘malleable’ for the craftsman to work on it.

And one of the ways to do it is with the help of King Solomon's magical Shamir mentioned extensively in the Talmudic literature. As the Talmud tells us.

“The Shamir was, without doubt, an extraordinary object as it possessed the ability to alter stone, iron, and diamond, by its mere gaze.”

According to an interesting story found in the Talmudic literature, King Solomon built his magnificent temple in Jerusalem with help of a magical worm named Shamir.

According to an interesting story found in the Talmudic literature, King Solomon built his magnificent temple in Jerusalem with help of a magical worm named Shamir.

The Story of the Shamir

According to an interesting story found in the Talmudic literature, King Solomon built his magnificent temple in Jerusalem with help of a magical worm named Shamir.

While the description of the Shamir is vague and ambiguous, its magical properties are very clearly mentioned. It can work on the hardest stones and create a smooth impeccable finish.

It leaves no residue on the stone and it is supposedly so dangerous that it must be kept insulated in a lead basket covered with wool and bran. And it has huge side effects. It almost scalded Moses and even killed the temple workers. And the most interesting part is that it becomes inactive in the long run.

The Talmud describes it as a “cutting worm” and the Zoar mentions it as a “metallic dividing worm”. In the tanach, Jeremiah it is described as a ‘stylus (the pen used at the time to engrave on the wax tablets) with a hard tip made out of a worm’

The Talmud describes it as a “cutting worm” and the Zoar mentions it as a “metallic dividing worm”. In the tanach, Jeremiah it is described as a ‘stylus (the pen used at the time to engrave on the wax tablets) with a hard tip made out of a worm’

Can Science Explain the Shamir?

But the Talmud and other texts are quite vague when it comes to describing the Shamir.

The Talmud describes it as a 'cutting worm' and the Zoar mentions it as a 'metallic dividing worm'. In the Tanach, Jeremiah it is described as a stylus (the pen used at the time to engrave on the wax tablets) with a hard tip made out of a worm’.

The common ‘worm’ description seems to imply that it is a living organism and not a man-made object. How can a worm be so strong that it can split the strongest of stones? Can it simply be a small point of light so strong that it can cut through stones like butter? But again, did the ancients have that kind of technology?

Lastly, the Talmud mentions that the ‘glance’ of the Shamir was so strong that it could split wood and stone. What causes this ‘penetrating’ glance?

BY science, the penetrating glance can only be explained in three ways.

  • The production of high or low-frequency waves that could disrupt the molecular structure of materials.
  • High-intensity laser beams.
  • Radioactive material.

If the Shamir is indeed any one of the above, then this is the proof of an advanced ancient technology that has been lost over the ages.

In 2018, marine biologists doing research in the Bohol region of the Philippines found an incredible worm in a remote river that ‘ate’ rocks. Locally, it’s known as ‘antingaw’ and scientists named it as Lithoredo abatanica.

In 2018, marine biologists doing research in the Bohol region of the Philippines found an incredible worm in a remote river that ‘ate’ rocks. Locally, it’s known as ‘antingaw’ and scientists named it as Lithoredo abatanica.

Has the Shamir been found?

In 2018, marine biologists doing research in the Bohol region of the Philippines found an incredible worm in a remote river that ‘ate’ rocks. Locally, it’s known as ‘antingaw’ and scientists named it Lithoredo abatanica.

The worm is a unique one. It eats rock and expels sand out while it burrows. So far the worm has only been found in a short stretch of the Abatan River in the Philippines, burrowing into the limestone.

As researcher Reuben Shipway enthusiastically described his new find.

“These animals are among the most important in the river and in this ecosystem. As they bore elaborate tunnels in the limestone bedrock, these animals change the course of the river and provide a really rich environment for other aquatic species to live in. So far, this is the only place on earth that we know these animals exist.”

Now the big question is, is this the Shamir?

Shipway does not think so as this worm does not harm humans (it is quite docile in fact) and neither does it have any kind of penetrative properties as mentioned in the Talmud.

And interestingly the Talmud explicitly says, “When the Temple was destroyed, the Shamir vanished.”

Whatever be the truth, this little discovery can at least strengthen our belief that the ancient texts are not all myth and legend. There is a ring of truth underneath the smokescreen, and it is up to us to dispel the smoke to find the gems of knowledge lying underneath.

Sources

© 2021 Ravi Rajan

Comments

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on August 18, 2021:

Thanks, Linda for your comments.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 18, 2021:

Like some of the other commenters, I had never heard of Solomon's Shamir before I read your article. Thank you for sharing the interesting facts and ideas, Ravi.

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on August 18, 2021:

Thanks Misbah

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Rebels. on August 18, 2021:

This was a fascinating and informative read. I had never heard of Solomon's Shamir before reading your article. Thank you for sharing this intriguing article.

Blessings and Peace

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on August 18, 2021:

Thanks Vanita

Vanita Thakkar on August 18, 2021:

I had never heard about any such worm before that was used to build a temple like this. The limestone eating worm found in Philippines also sound unheard of and interesting.

Your reflections on History and Science raise genuine queries. I liked that part of the article very much.

I came to know about "Occum's razor" as well, for the first time.

This was a great read indeed. Thanks. Good day.

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on August 17, 2021:

Thanks Brenda

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on August 17, 2021:

Ravi

I've heard of this only in folklore..

I don't know if it is is true since I don't think it's in the Bible, but who knows.

Sure would be magical if a worm could do all that work, but what's to stop it from eating the temple or building after it's built?

Interesting article.

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on August 17, 2021:

Thanks Peggy

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on August 17, 2021:

Thanks Miebakagh

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on August 17, 2021:

Thanks Bill

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 17, 2021:

I had never heard of Solomon's Shamir, nor have I heard about the worm that eats rocks in a portion of the Philippines. Thanks for this information. It is amazing what can be learned by reading articles on this site!

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on August 17, 2021:

Thanks for sharing. I doubt if the Shamir in the temple was guinuine. When Solomon's temple was being build, most of the materials were cut abroad and transport to the city of David, his father. Solomon, was a small boy when David his father wants to build a temple in honor to God. But David was stopped. And was inform Solomon should build it. These Thalmudic sources can be unrealiable materials.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 17, 2021:

Wonderful story/article. I liked the persona touch/discussion at the beginning about science. Well-done!

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on August 17, 2021:

Thanks John.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on August 17, 2021:

This was intriguing, Ravi. I had never heard of King Solomon's Shamir before, but you made me want to research it more. Thank you for sharing.

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