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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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Before the Babylonian exile (see Deyling, Observ. 3. 222 sq., also in Ugolini Thesaur. 28) the Hebrews had and knew no regularly stamped money, but generally made use of a currency in traffic consisting of uncoined shekels (or talents) of silver, which they weighed out to one another (Genesis 23:16; Exodus 22:17; 2 Samuel 18:12; 1 Kings 20:39; Jeremiah 32:9 sq.; comp. Pliny, 33:13), just as among other nations in most ancient times uncoined metal served for money (A Elian, Var. Hist. 12:10; Strabo, 3. 155), and even to this day the Chinese make their commercial transactions by means of silver bars (Rosenmü ller, Morgenl. 1:98; see Sperling, De nummis non cusis, in Ugolini Thesaur. 28). Among the earliest Hebrews, but not afterwards (Crusius, De origin ib. pecunioe a pecore ante nummum sign. Petropol. 1748), an ox or other animal (comp. Pliny; 33:3) was traded instead of cash (see Michaelis, De siclo ante ex'l. Babyl. in the Comment. Soc. Gott. 2:1752, § 1). Yet already in the time of Abraham there circulated in hither Asia, as it seems, silver ingots (קְשַׁיטָה, Genesis 33:19; Joshua 24:32; see Gesenius, Thes. Heb. p. 1241; Bertheau, p. 24; Tuch, Gen. p. 399, 472) of a determined weight, which was probably indicated by marks (Genesis 23:16; Genesis 43:21) stamped upon them (so the Targum of Jonathan explains the former passage by פרקמטיא, i.e. πραγματεία ). (See KESITAH). Even under the regularly organized Hebrew state small silverpieces (comp, ἀργύρια, silverling) may have passed in exchange (as among their Phoenician neighbors; but see Herod. 1:94; Philostr. Her. 10:1), although destitute of national authority (see 1 Samuel 9:8; comp. Exodus 30:13; Leviticus 27:3 sq.; Copyright Statement
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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Coin'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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Thursday, November 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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