Thursday, June 22, 2017

Exclusive Material: The value of the Silver Shekel of the Tabernacle is revealed!

Silver Shekel of the Sanctuary (Tabernacle) is one of the most important units of measure in the Torah because a lot of things are tied to the value of the Silver Shekel.

First, I would like to offer you to look back at my original post when I started researching this issue. Here is the post.

Also, check out my research that I have made over the years here.

Let's take a look at the verses where the word "gerah" is used:
CLV Ex 30:13 This shall they give, everyone passing over to the ones being mustered: a half shekel by the shekel of the holy place, which is twenty gerahs to the shekel; the half shekel shall be a heave offering to Yahweh. 
CLV Lv 11:3 Every one bisecting the hoof and cleaving the cleft of the hooves and bringing up the cud among beasts, you may eat it.
CLV Lv 11:4 Only this is what you may not eat of those bringing up the cud or bisecting the hoof: the camel (for it is bringing up the cud yet is not bisecting the hoof; it is unclean for you), 
CLV Lv 11:5 the coney, (for it is bringing up the cud yet is not bisecting the hoof; it is unclean for you),
CLV Lv 11:6 the hare, (for it is bringing up the cud yet does not bisect the hoof; it is unclean for you), 
CLV Lv 11:7 and the boar, (for it is bisecting the hoof and is cleaving the cleft of the hoof, yet it is not stirring up the cud; it is unclean for you). 
CLV Lv 27:25 All of your appraisals shall be by the shekel of the holy place: twenty gerahs shall there be to a shekel
CLV Num 3:47 you will take also five shekels, five shekels per skull. By the shekel of the holy place shall you take them, twenty gerahs to the shekel. 
CLV Num 18:16 As for his ransom, from a month old up shall you take ransom by your appraisal with five silver shekels by the shekel of the holy place. It is twenty gerahs.
CLV Dt 14:6 And any other beast bisecting the hoof, cleaving the cleft into two hooves and bringing up the cud, among beasts, it you may eat. 
CLV Dt 14:7 Only this you may not eat of those bringing up the cud and of those bisecting the cloven hoof: the camel, the hare and the coney, for they are bringing up the cud yet do not bisect the hoof; they are unclean to you; 
CLV Dt 14:8 and the swine, for it is bisecting the hoof and cleaving the cleft of the hoof, yet it is not stirring up the cud; it is unclean to you. From their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcass you shall not touch.
So as you can see, the ONLY meaning of the word "gerah" is in relation to the Cud or Silver Shekel.
Otherwise, the word "gerah" is not used anywhere else in the Torah.

The reason why I dismissed this explicit connection in my research was due to the traditional value of gerah. Tradition claims that "gerah" is a small coin and weighs roughly 0.5 gram, making Silver Shekel of the Sanctuary 0.5*20=10g. This is most certainly a very appropriate value but the catch here is that Torah never mentions any "coins" or any connection to the money. The only thing that Torah mentions explicitly is the cud of a clean animal.

So, as you can see, I felt a victim of tradition again, which led me on the wrong path and would not let me figure out the correct value of the Shekel and Gerah.

So what is the correct answer here?

First of all, the value of the Silver Shekel of the Tabernacle is connected to the bolus of cud of the clean animal. This is the most important thing here, which is based on reading the Torah verses above.

However, Shekel said to be 20 gerahs, which obviously does not fit. So what are we to do here?

Let's look at the numerals in the verses above. Here is the image that demonstrates what is going on and where is the problem:

As you can see, traditional grammar is not consistent because it uses the same terms to define the numerals. In other words, the word for "ten" and "tenth" are the same or similar. So what is going on in our verses?

The answer is very simple. Due to scribal mistakes, the text got corrupted and the original text said "twentieth of a gerah" and not "twenty gerahs". In Hebrew, the proper word for "twentieth" is עשרים (oshrim) or עשירים (oshirim). Therefore, in the verses about Gerah, we are to understand the passage as saying that Shekel equals "A TWENTIETH" of Gerah !!!

Now that we know the correct value of the Shekel, let's calculate how much it would weigh in modern units of measurements:

According to this, this and this source, a cud bolus (shown below) would weigh approximately 100 grams. This is the average cud bolus of the average cow.

Since Shekel is equal 1/20th of a Gerah, it means that Shekel of the Tabernacle weighs 100g/20=5g. The value that fits perfectly in the Tabernacle measurements. See my Tabernacle Calculator for exact numbers.

Therefore, a Silver Talent would weigh 5g * 3000 = 15kg

Here is how 5 gram of Silver looks like:

So as you can see, the Silver Shekel of the Sanctuary (Tabernacle) was a relatively small coin. The half of that coin was the redemption money for the Israelites. So it most certainly was very affordable for everyone, regardless of their financial abilities.

If you read my previous research on Shekel, you would see that the proper value is close to that of a carob. However, carob is never mentioned in the Torah so it is not correct way to do it. We are to use cow's cud for measuring the Shekel of the Sanctuary.

I hope now it is clear how much the Silver Shekel of the Sanctuary weighs.

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