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shekel Summary and Overview

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shekel in Easton's Bible Dictionary

weight, the common standard both of weight and value among the Hebrews. It is estimated at 220 English grains, or a little more than half an ounce avoirdupois. The "shekel of the sanctuary" (Ex. 30:13; Num. 3:47) was equal to twenty gerahs (Ezek. 45:12). There were shekels of gold (1 Chr. 21:25), of silver (1 Sam. 9:8), of brass (17:5), and of iron (7). When it became a coined piece of money, the shekel of gold was equivalent to about 2 pound of our money. Six gold shekels, according to the later Jewish system, were equal in value to fifty silver ones. The temple contribution, with which the public sacrifices were bought (Ex. 30:13; 2 Chr. 24:6), consisted of one common shekel, or a sanctuary half-shekel, equal to two Attic drachmas. The coin, a stater (q.v.), which Peter found in the fish's mouth paid this contribution for both him and Christ (Matt. 17:24, 27). A zuza, or quarter of a shekel, was given by Saul to Samuel (1 Sam. 9:8).

shekel in Smith's Bible Dictionary


shekel in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

(See MONEY.) It is found inscribed only with the Samaritan character, the original form of the Hebrew. The lulab is a frequent symbol, namely, branches of the three trees in Leviticus 23:40, the palm, the myrtle, and the willow, carried at the feast of tabernacles. Also the citron fruit, and a palm tree between two baskets of fruit.