Monday, January 10, 2011

Q&A - How much gold was in the Tabernacle ?

Exodus 38:24-31 provides exact sum of the precious metals that were initially donated by the Israelites to construct the Tabernacle. The totals are as follows:

  1. Gold - 29 Talents and 730 Sanctuary Silver Shekels.
  2. Silver - 100 Talents and 1775 Sanctuary Silver Shekels.
  3. Copper - 70 Talents and 2400 Sanctuary Silver Shekels.
To have some fun, I would like also to calculate the cost of these metals as of today (01/10/2011). In order to do this, we would need to convert all totals into the Sanctuary Silver Shekels, and then calculate the cost based on the approximate Silver Shekel Weight.

There were 3000 Silver Shekels of the Sanctuary in 1 Talent, approximate weight of 1 Silver Shekel of the Sanctuary will be assumed to be 11g(0.011kg). Therefore, we have
  1. Gold - 87000+730 = 87730 Silver Shekels * 0.011kg =  965.03kg.
  2. Silver - 300000+1775 = 301775 Silver Shekels * 0.011kg = 3319.525kg.
  3. Copper - 210000+2400 = 212400 Silver Shekels * 0.011kg = 2336.4kg.
Based on the current prices of these metals as of (01/11/2011) Total value of these metals were as follows:

  1. Gold     - 42640673 USD.
  2. Silver    - 3091929 USD.
  3. Copper - 21027 USD
This would put Total value of all three precious metals at 45753629 USD, or 45.7 Million USD.

I used this and this web sites to calculate values.

You can also check out this blog, where author does similar calculations but in pounds, and arrives to similar numbers (although slightly higher).

Unfortunately, since no one really knows how to determine the proper weight of the Silver Shekel of the Sanctuary, as of now it is impossible to precisely calculate the weight and value of the metals employed in the construction of the Tabernacle.

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