Monday, May 17, 2010

Exodus 30:11-16 - A brief summary of a Half Shekel Census Donation and a Value of a Shekel of the Sanctuary

These verses are do not have any significance to the actual architecture of the Tabernacle, so I will just give a brief summary:

Exodsu 30:11-16

11 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

12 When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them.

13 This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD.

14 Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD.

15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.

16 And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.

‎11 ‏וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר׃

‎12 ‏כִּ֣י תִשָּׂ֞א אֶת־רֹ֥אשׁ בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֮  לִפְקֻדֵיהֶם֒ וְנָ֨תְנ֜וּ אִ֣ישׁ כֹּ֧פֶר נַפְשׁ֛וֹ לַיהוָ֖ה בִּפְקֹ֣ד אֹתָ֑ם וְלֹא־יִהְיֶ֥ה בָהֶ֛ם נֶ֖גֶף בִּפְקֹ֥ד אֹתָֽם׃

‎13 ‏זֶ֣ה׀ יִתְּנ֗וּ כָּל־הָעֹבֵר֙ עַל־הַפְּקֻדִ֔ים מַחֲצִ֥ית הַשֶּׁ֖קֶל בְּשֶׁ֣קֶל הַקֹּ֑דֶשׁ עֶשְׂרִ֤ים גֵּרָה֙ הַשֶּׁ֔קֶל מַחֲצִ֣ית הַשֶּׁ֔קֶל תְּרוּמָ֖ה לַֽיהוָֽה׃

‎14 ‏כֹּ֗ל הָעֹבֵר֙ עַל־הַפְּקֻדִ֔ים מִבֶּ֛ן עֶשְׂרִ֥ים שָׁנָ֖ה וָמָ֑עְלָה יִתֵּ֖ן תְּרוּמַ֥ת יְהוָֽה׃

‎15 ‏הֶֽעָשִׁ֣יר לֹֽא־יַרְבֶּ֗ה וְהַדַּל֙ לֹ֣א יַמְעִ֔יט מִֽמַּחֲצִ֖ית הַשָּׁ֑קֶל לָתֵת֙ אֶת־תְּרוּמַ֣ת יְהוָ֔ה לְכַפֵּ֖ר עַל־נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶֽם׃

‎16 ‏וְלָקַחְתָּ֞ אֶת־כֶּ֣סֶף הַכִּפֻּרִ֗ים מֵאֵת֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְנָתַתָּ֣ אֹת֔וֹ עַל־עֲבֹדַ֖ת אֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֑ד וְהָיָה֩ לִבְנֵ֨י יִשְׂרָאֵ֤ל לְזִכָּרוֹן֙ לִפְנֵ֣י יְהוָ֔ה לְכַפֵּ֖ר

As you can see, every time the Census of the Children of Israel were to be concluded, a Half Shekel donation was to be received from every person of twenty(20) years of age and older. This donation was mandatory, and the amount was the same for those who could afford it and for those who could not.

As the Exodus 30:12 says, this donation had served as a divine atonement for the souls, that helped to redeem the souls of those being numbered, and save them from a plague.

What is interesting though, is that the collected silver was used (in this particular case) to make all of the Silver Parts of the Tabernacle. As Exodus 38:25-26 says, there were one hundred(100) talents and 1775 Shekels of Silver, which was collected from six hundred thousand five hundred and fifty (603550) people of twenty(20) years of age and older.

Now, let's do some preliminary math here:

603550 People 20yo and older / 0.5 Silver Shekels Donation per person  = 301775 Silver Shekels
301775 Silver Shekels - 1775 extra Silver Shekels beyond 100 Silver Talents = 300000 Silver Shekels
300000 Silver Shekels / 100 Silver Talents = 3000 Silver Shekels per one(1) Talent of Silver.

Now, as Exodus 30:13 states, each Silver Shekel was equal to twenty(20) Gerahs(גרה). And Exodus 38:16 states that each Silver Shekel was equal to two(2) Bekahs (בקע)

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