Reflecting on 21 Centuries of Faith

Scripture: Good Fortune in the Cards

Did you know, W. Gurney Benham comments, that two of the twelve face cards within a deck of cards are taken directly from Scripture? Among the court cards in a deck we find King David and Rachel who were the inspiration for two of the cards. Here is a list of “Who’s Who” in our face cards found in his book entitled, The History and Secrets of the Pack:

  1. The king of spades is David. (On French cards, he holds a harp, alluding to the psalms. In English cards, he carries the sword of Goliath whom he slew.)
  2. The queen of diamonds is Rachel, wife of Jacob whose twelve sons founded the twelve tribes of Israel.
  3. The king of hearts is Charlemagne.
  4. The king of diamonds is Julius Caesar.
  5. The king of clubs is Alexander the Great.
  6. The queen of hearts is Judith of Bavaria, a daughter of Charlemagne.
  7. The queen of spades is Palias, Greek goddess of war and wisdom (the Latin Miverna).
  8. The queen of clubs is Marie d’Anjou (at least according to tradition), wife of dauphin Charles VII.
  9. The jack of hearts is La Hire, a 15th-century French warrior.
  10. The jack of spades is Hogier, one of Charlemagne’s paladins (one of the twelve peers or knight companions of legend attending Charlemagne).
  11. The jack of diamonds is Hector, or Roland, or possibly half-brother to Lancelot of the Round Table.
  12. The jack of clubs is Lancelot, a knight of King Arthur’s Round Table.

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