Numismatic and History Discussions > Biblical & Judean Coins


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Hi to all,
I'm not an expert but I wish to know why on the ancient time in the Temple of Jerusalem was accepted a coin with the bust of Melqarth, and not for example the face of the Roman Emperor.
For an ortodox Jew are both sacrilege images, or not?
Thank you a lot

The short answer is that the Shekel of Tyre was the only one that came close enough to pure silver to be accepted at the Temple.  Roman coins at their best were still too debased to be acceptable at the Temple, so they were forced to use the Shekel of Tyre exclusively, as it was the only way of guaranteeing that they were getting the correct amount of silver.

When two commandments conflicted, one was considered to overrride the other. For instance, the Rabbis, the first Christians (obviously Jews) and almost certainly the Pharisees agreed that the comandments to do good and to save life override the Sabbath, so if someone is in danger or seriously ill, itbecomes a meritorious act to help them on the Sabbath, even if that involves working. The author of the 'Damascus Covenant', on the other hand, took the opposite view; if a man falls into a well or a fire on the Sabbath, you must not use a rope or a ladder or another utensil to pull them out. During the Roman period, the requirement to have the Temple tax paid in pure silver was clearly considered to override the ban on images, but the situation seems to have been reversed at the beginning of the First Revolt, given that the new government promptly started minting its own kosher shekels, without images.

Thank you Zam, thank you Robert for both answer, now I start to undertand something!!!
I like to see one of these kosher shekel, from the first revolt I seen everything but prutot.
How many time can has been used this kosher shekel?
I dont't think a lot because few year later of the first revolt the Temple has been destroy. 
Thank you and sorry for my awfull english  ;D ;D

The shekels of the First revolt are very nice, and yes, they were only used for a few years, during the war years.  They have a chalice on one side and 3 pomegranites on the other. 


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