Silver Jerusalem Half Shekel Of Tyre - 126 - 18bc For SaleSilver Jerusalem Half Shekel of Tyre - 126 - 18BCAll sales are final. No returns or refunds. U. S. buyers only.Silver shekels and half shekels were produced by the cities of Tyre and Jerusalem, for use in trade, for paying mercenaries and for funding major city operations. By the half century before Jesus birth, they had become the predominant coin in the Judaeo-Phoenician area of the world. The Temple tax that was levied on every Jewish male over the age of 20 was specified in shekels - 1/2 shekel per person - but the Jews had no silver coinage of their own during the period when they were occupied by the Roman forces. Therefore, the Temple priests decreed that the tax could only be paid in Tyrian shekels. That decision made good financial sense - the shekels of Tyre were well-regarded and considered stable and of good silver quality. They did, however, violate one of the prime Commandments followed by the Jews - the First Commandment: I am the Lord, your God. You shall have no other gods beside me. You shall not make for yourself a sculpted image or any likeness of what is in the heavens above, or on earth below, or under the sea. In fact, the silver shekels minted in Tyre were doubly blasphemous - they depicted the head of Baal, the chief deity of the Phoenicians. On the reverse, they depicted an eagle engraved in the Egyptian style, with on claw resting on a ship's rudder, and the inscription, "Tyre, the Holy and Inviolable". Since few devout Jews would carry a coin with a graven image on it, there were moneychangers who set up in the Temple courtyards to exchange whatever coins they carried for the shekels that the Temple would accept as tax. They did a brisk business, and charged premium prices for their services. It was these moneychangers that Jesus addressed when he said, "My house will be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves!" Jesus and Peter most likely used a Shekel to pay the Temple tax, "Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee." (Matthew 17:27). And finally, when Judas delivered his kiss to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, the chances are that he was paid for the deed with thirty shekels - a princely sum for a reward at the time, since the shekels were guaranteed to be worth their weight.
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