Ancient Beka Found Near Temple Mount in Jerusalem

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Exodus 30:13-16 This is what everyone who is numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), half a shekel as a contribution to the Lord. Everyone who is numbered, from twenty years old and over, shall give the contribution to the Lord. The rich shall not pay more and the poor shall not pay less than the half shekel, when you give the contribution to the Lord to make atonement for yourselves. You shall take the atonement money from the sons of Israel and shall give it for the service of the tent of meeting, that it may be a memorial for the sons of Israel before the Lord, to make atonement for yourselves.”

beka Eliyahu Yanai David TOI

Photo: Eliyahu Yanai, City of David, Times of Israel

November 2018: An ancient weight from the first Temple era has been discovered in Jerusalem. The “beka” has been found in an archeological dig. A “beka” was used by Jews to pay the half-shekel Temple tax as mandated by the Law in Exodus 30 as noted in the verses above.

The term “beka” is noted two places in the Bible. The first notation is with Rebekah and Abraham’s servant Eliezer.

Genesis 24:22 When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold ring weighing a beka and two bracelets for her wrists weighing ten shekels in gold…

The second and last mention is in regards to the individual payment of the Temple tax.

Exodus 38:26 a beka a head (that is, half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary), for each one who passed over to those who were numbered, from twenty years old and upward, for 603,550 men.

A Biblical shekel weighs 11.33 grams. Two beka equal one shekel. One beka equals 5.67 grams. Ten gerah equal a beka.

The “beka” was located in Jerusalem’s Emek Tzurim National Park. Specifically, it was found at the foundation of the Western Wall. The pebble was found during 2013 excavations under Robinson’s Arch. The dirt came from a drainage canal under the foundation of the Western Wall. This location would be next to Solomon’s Temple.

Eli Shukron was in charge of the dig on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Shukron made the following statement.

“When the half-shekel tax was brought to the Temple during the First Temple period, there were no coins, so they used silver ingots. In order to calculate the weight of these silver pieces they would put them on one side of the scales and on the other side they placed the beka weight. The beka was equivalent to the half-shekel, which every person from the age of 20 years and up was required to bring to the Temple.”

“This three thousand-year-old beka weight, inscribed with ancient Hebrew was likely used in the First Temple, anchoring once again, the deep historical connection of the Jewish People to Jerusalem,” said Doron Spielman, Vice President of the City of David Foundation which funded the excavation.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/straight-from-the-bible-tiny-first-temple-stone-weight-unearthed-in-jerusalem/

 

In the 21st century, the modern-day Sanhedrin has revived the law or mitzvah for the half-shekel levy (roughly $4 in today’s economy). The cause is to rebuild the third Temple.

Here is today’s version of the half-shekel Temple tax…

Temple Coin Sputnik

Photo: Sputnik News

https://paulthepoke.com/?s=half+shekel

 

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Paul Lehr

About Paul Lehr

Paul Lehr is a Speech Pathologist and home health provider. The majority of his work focuses on swallowing disorders in neurologically impaired patients. He has been a business owner for the past 20+ years. Paul earned his BS in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Oklahoma State University. His MA was completed in Speech Pathology at Oklahoma State University. When Paul’s son was born prematurely in 2003, there was lots of support from family and friends. Keeping up with phone calls was too much. So he provided e-mails with updates on health and well-being. In time, his son was healthy and came home. The e-mails stopped but Paul was encouraged to keep writing. Three years later, Paul was asked to assist in writing a Sunday school curriculum. The lessons were well received by the local body and on the church website. Again, he was encouraged to keep writing. Next, Paul taught a Sunday School class for junior high and high school students. He would share notes with others from the class he was teaching. In 2010, a young man at a local church encouraged Paul to start a blog. The website focuses on topical studies such as creation, God’s Appointed Holidays and Feasts, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, end times prophecy, ancient Hebrew cultural customs, the Prophet Isaiah, and various topical studies. Three years later, Paul’s 10 year old son told me, “Dad, you need to do updates on how the news is tied to the Bible.” The “Trend Update” was born. In the spring of 2016, a friend and fellow Boy Scout father encouraged Paul to start a YouTube channel. His friend thought it was a natural fit considering the content and subscribers from the website. God’s prophetic words have reached millions in over 190 countries. Isaiah 55:11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. That same Boy Scout father would later introduce Paul to the movies of Trey Smith and the God in a Nutshell Project… Guest speak and presenter duties have focused on the topics of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in God’s Appointed Spring Feasts, Mystery Babylon, the antichrist, Ezekiel 38-39, and current events related to Bible prophecy. At this time, Paul would like to encourage each individual to learn about who God is. Because one way or another, we are all eternal. The issue is our destiny. Welcome to PaulthePoke and www.paulthepoke.com
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