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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Judean & Biblical Coins| ▸ |Biblical Coins| ▸ |30 Pieces of Silver||View Options:  |  |  | 

Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver - Matthew 26:14-15

"Then one of the 12, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, 'What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?' And they covenanted with him for 30 pieces of silver." -- Matthew 26:14-15. Shekels of Tyre were the only currency accepted at the Jerusalem Temple and are the most likely coinage with which Judas was paid for the betrayal of Christ. The silver shekels and half-shekels of Tyre were minted from c. 126 B.C. until c. 57 A.D. Any coin minted prior to 34 A.D. may have circulated in Jerusalem during Jesus' lifetime.

Jerusalem or Tyre, 18 - 19 A.D., Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver, Lifetime of Christ

|30| |Pieces| |of| |Silver|, |Jerusalem| |or| |Tyre,| |18| |-| |19| |A.D.,| |Judas'| |30| |Pieces| |of| |Silver,| |Lifetime| |of| |Christ||shekel|
Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver
"Then one of the 12, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, 'What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?' And they covenanted with him for 30 pieces of silver." Matthew 26:14-15. Shekels of Tyre were the only currency accepted at the Jerusalem Temple and are the most likely coinage with which Judas was paid for the betrayal of Christ.

The Temple Tax Coin
"..go to the sea and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou has opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them [the temple tax collectors] for me and thee." Since the tax was one half shekel per man the coin would have to be a shekel to pay the tax for both Jesus and Peter. Matthew 17:24-27
SL96054. Silver shekel, RPC Online I 4657 (8 spec.); BMC Phoenicia p. 248, 199; Rouvier 2103; Cohen DCA 920; HGC 10 357, NGC Ch XF, strike 4/5, surface 2/5 (5769683-005), weight 12.58 g, maximum diameter 25 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem or Tyre mint, lifetime of Christ, 18 - 19 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart (Herakles) right, Nemean Lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle left, wings closed, right talon on ship's ram, transverse palm frond on far side, Phoenician letter bet between legs, PM∆ (year 144) and club left, KP over monogram right; NGC| Lookup; $3150.00 SALE |PRICE| $2800.00
 


Tyre, Phoenicia, 78 - 77 B.C., Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver

|30| |Pieces| |of| |Silver|, |Tyre,| |Phoenicia,| |78| |-| |77| |B.C.,| |Judas'| |30| |Pieces| |of| |Silver||shekel|
Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver
"Then one of the 12, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, 'What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?' And they covenanted with him for 30 pieces of silver." Matthew 26:14-15. Shekels of Tyre were the only currency accepted at the Jerusalem Temple and are the most likely coinage with which Judas was paid for the betrayal of Christ.

The Temple Tax Coin
"..go to the sea and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou has opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them [the temple tax collectors] for me and thee." Since the tax was one half shekel per man the coin would have to be a shekel to pay the tax for both Jesus and Peter. Matthew 17:24-27
SL95986. Silver shekel, BMC Phoenicia p. 243, 141; Cohen DCA 919/49; HGC 10 357; SNG Cop -, NGC Ch AU, strike 4/5, surface 3/5 (5770405-008), weight 14.330 g, maximum diameter 28.6 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre mint, 78 - 77 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond under wing, date ΘM (year 49) over club left, ∆ right, Aramaic letter bet between legs; from the Errett Bishop Collection; NGC| Lookup; $3000.00 SALE |PRICE| $2700.00
 


Jerusalem or Tyre, 12 - 11 B.C., Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver

|30| |Pieces| |of| |Silver|, |Jerusalem| |or| |Tyre,| |12| |-| |11| |B.C.,| |Judas'| |30| |Pieces| |of| |Silver||shekel|NEW
Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver
"Then one of the 12, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, 'What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?' And they covenanted with him for 30 pieces of silver." - Matthew 26:14-15. Shekels of Tyre were the only currency accepted at the Jerusalem Temple and are the most likely coinage with which Judas was paid for the betrayal of Christ.

After the coinage of Tyre was debased under Roman control, some experts believe Herod the Great began to strike "Tyre" shekels in Jerusalem. These coins were of cruder fabric and style, but maintained the silver purity required to pay the temple tax. The Jerusalem shekels have the letters KP or KAP to the right of the eagle and dates range from PH (18/17 B.C.) to PKE (69/70 A.D.). The Greek letters KP or KAP are probably an abbreviation for KAICAP, Greek for Caesar.
GP94922. Silver shekel, RPC I 4645; BMC Phoenicia p. 248, 192 var. (beth vice aleph); Baramki 79 var. (same); Rouvier 2088 var. (same); Cohen DCA 920/115; HGC 10 357, VF, attractive style, centered on tight flan, toned, slight porosity, light marks and scratches, weight 13.619 g, maximum diameter 27.8 mm, die axis 45o, Tyre or Jerusalem mint, 12 - 11 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle left, right foot on ship's ram, transverse palm frond on far side, PIE (year 115) over club left, KP (Caesar) over BN (control) right, Phoenician letter aleph (control) between legs; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $1800.00 SALE |PRICE| $1620.00
 







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REFERENCES

Baramki, D.C. The Coin Collection of the American University of Beirut Museum. (Beirut, 1974).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry and P.P. Ripollès. Roman Provincial Coinage I: From the death of Caesar to the death of Vitellius (44 BC-AD 69). (London, 1992 and supplement).
Cohen, E. Dated Coins of Antiquity: A comprehensive catalogue of the coins and how their numbers came about. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Hendin, D. Guide to Biblical Coins, 5th Edition. (Amphora, 2010).
Hill, G.F. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum: Phoenicia. (London, 1910).
Hoover, O.D. Handbook of Coins of the Southern Levant: Phoenicia, Southern Koile Syria (Including Judaea), and Arabia, Fifth to First Centuries BC. HGC 10. (Lancaster, PA, 2010).
Meir, C. "Tyrian Sheqels and Half Sheqels with Unpublished Dates from the ‘Isfiya Hoard in the Kadman Numismatic Pavilion" in INR 3 (2008).
Meshorer, Y. "One Hundred Ninety Years of Tyrian Shekels" in Studies Mildenberg.
Prieur, M. and K. Prieur. The Syro-Phoenician Tetradrachms and their fractions from 57 BC to AD 258. (Lancaster, PA, 2000).
Rouvier, J. "Numismatique des Villes de la Phénicie" in Journal International d’Archéologie Numismatique, Tyre" in JIAN 6 (1903), pp. 269 - 332.
Sage, S.B. Biblical Numismatics: Thirty Pieces of Silver. (Jacksonville, FL, 2001).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 2: Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Volume 7: Cyprus to India. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).

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