Four letters of Bar Kochba

Simon ben Kosiba, surnamed Simon bar Kochba ("son of the star") was a Jewish Messiah. Between 132 and 135, he was the leader of the last resistance against the Romans. After the end of the disastrous rebellion, the rabbis called him "Bar Koziba", which means "son of the lie".

In the 1960s, several letters written by Bar Kochba were discovered in caves at Wadi Murabba`at and Nahal Hever. They show that Bar Kochba was a rather authoritarian man. All translations were taken from Yigael Yadin, Bar-Kokhba. The rediscovery of the legendary hero of the last Jewish revolt against Imperial Rome (1971 London).

Letters from Simon bar Kochba

[1] Shimeon bar Kosiba to Yehonathan and to Masabala.

Let all men from Tekoa and other places who are with you, be sent to me without delay. And if you shall not send them, let it be known to you, that you will be punished.

[2] Letter of Shimeon bar Kosiba to Yehonathan, son of Be'ayan:

Peace! My order is that whatever Elisha tells you, do to him and help him and those with him. Be well.

[3] Shimeon to Yehudah bar Menashe in Qiryath 'Arabaya.

I have sent to you two donkeys, and you must send with them two men to Yehonathan, son of Be'ayan and to Masabala, in order that they shall pack and send to the camp, towards you, palm branches and citrons. And you, from your place, send others who will bring you myrtles and willows. See that they are tithed and sent them to the camp. The request is made because the army is big. Be well.

[4] From Shimeon bar Kosiba to the men of En-gedi.

To Masabala and to Yehonathan bar Bey'ayan, peace!

In comfort you sit, eat and drink from the property of the House of Israel, and care nothing for your brothers.note