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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Piece of Silver

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Two words are thus rendered in the Old Testament ( רצּי־כסף , raccē - khāṣeph , and קשׂיטה , ḳesı̄ṭāh ) and two in the New Testament ἀργύριον , argúrion , and δραχμή , drachmḗ ). The first expression means pieces of silver broken off from bars or larger pieces ( Psalm 68:30 ). The second is used for money in Joshua 24:32 , and is so rendered in the Revised Version (British and American). The pieces were not coins, but perhaps bore a stamp. See MONEY . In other passages of the Old Testament where pieces of silver are mentioned, the Hebrew has simply a numeral joined with keṣeph , "silver," as in the account of the selling of Joseph (Genesis 37:28 ). In Isaiah 7:23 the word silverlings means small pieces of silver, and they were no doubt shekels. In the New Testament the Greek ἀργύρια , argúria (Matthew 26:15; Matthew 27:3-9 ), is translated as pieces of silver, but probably means shekels. In Acts 19:19 the same word occurs, but in this case the reference is probably to the denarius or drachma (compare Luke 15:8 f). Thus, the 30 pieces of Matthew would be equal to about 4 British pounds or (in 1915), and the 50,000 of Acts to about 2,000 British pounds or ,000 (in 1915).

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Piece of Silver'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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