According to multiple news sources , an extremely rare measuring weight has been unearthed in Jerusalem. This minuscule stone contains a Hebrew inscription "beka". Based on Exodus 38 we know that a beka was equal to half of a shekel. Every Israelite man of eligible of the military was to pay the beka or half-shekel tax to help pay for upkeep on the Tabernacle[1]. Exodus and Numbers confirm that around six-hundred thousand men were military eligible and thus would be subject to the "temple" tax[2]. Nehemiah has the tax at a third of a shekel at the time (probably due to the economic depression that the Jewish people were undergoing) The Gospel of Matthew mentions that the temple tax was still in place at the time[3].

The discovery is of a weight used on scales to test the amount of silver a traveler for the feasts was really paying. This was prior to them having a shekel coin that was standard across the country.


All this to say- it is always exciting to find artifacts of biblical history. By getting to see these objects with our own eyes (even not in person) it helps us picture and more intimately connect with the past. The people of the time were real people, who had lives like us. While the culture was very different, they were just as human as we are today. The ancient past is not full of barbaric brutes, but with people with everyday obligations like military service and taxes. Even under the reign of God's laws (and probably a King such as Solomon) issues of honesty were abound[4]

In Christ,
Superdadsuper, Sr. Content and Community Manager (Bible Wiki) 04:11, November 24, 2018 (UTC)

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  1. Exo 30:13, 38:26 (Link)
  2. Num 1:45-46, Exo 12:37 (Link)
  3. Matt 7:27 (Link)
  4. Prov 11:1, 16:11 (Link)
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