Jerusalem: Archaeologists find rare 2,000 coin which appears to corroborate Biblical account in Exodus

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Archaeologists excavating south of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem have uncovered a rare 2,000-year-old silver “half-shekel” coin, which appears to corroborate the Biblical account in Exodus that every Jewish man must pay an annual tribute of half a shekel to the Holy Temple, Israel 365 reports.

The coin dates from the time of the Great Jewish Revolt against the Romans (66-70 AD); the Romans destroyed the Temple in 70 AD.

Announcing the find Tuesday,  Prof. Uzi Leibner, who led the excavation carried out by the Hebrew University and the Armstrong Institute of Biblical Archaeology, said in a statement: “This is the third coin of this type found in excavations in Jerusalem, and one of the few ever found in archaeological excavations anywhere.”

The coin was found in the ruins of a monumental public building, surrounded by mikvot (ritual baths), Israel 365 reports. The coin has the words “half-shekel” in ancient Hebrew on one side and a branch with three pomegranates, and the inscription “Holy Jerusalem” on the other side.

Payment of a half-shekel coin is referenced in the Book of Exodus: “Then the Lord said to Moses,  “When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the Lord a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them. Each one who crosses over to those already counted is to give a half shekel, according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs. This half shekel is an offering to the Lord.” Exodus 30: 11-13

“All who cross over, those twenty years old or more, are to give an offering to the Lord. The rich are not to give more than a half shekel, and the poor are not to give less when you make the offering to the Lord to atone for your lives.” Exodus 30: 14-15

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