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Silver (symbol Ag, from the Latin argentum, which was from argyros, the Greek word for silver) was used widely throughout Bible History for money, jewellery and various objects, just as it still is today. Although silver is about ten times more abundant in the earth's crust, it rivaled gold in value in earlier times. Early silversmiths worked at both refining the silver from ore and crafting the finished product. A large amount of silver was used in both The Tabernacle during the Wilderness Journey and in the Temple (see Temples) in Jerusalem. Pagans also used silver extensively to make their Images and Idols through the time of both the Old Testament (see Old Testament Fact File) and the New Testament (see New Testament Fact File).

Silver Coin Old Testament

"Abraham agreed with Ephron; and Abraham weighed out for Ephron the silver which he had named in the hearing of the Hittites, four hundred shekels [that is, about 10 pounds / 4.5 kilograms] of silver, according to the weights current among the merchants. So the field of Ephron in Machpelah, which was to the east of Mamre, the field with the cave which was in it and all the trees that were in the field, throughout its whole area, was made over to Abraham as a possession in the presence of the Hittites, before all who went in at the gate of his city. After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah east of Mamre, that is, Hebron, in the land of Canaan." (Genesis 23:16-19 RSV)

"And the servant brought forth jewelry of silver and of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave to her brother and to her mother costly ornaments." (Genesis 24:53 RSV) (see also Isaac)

"Then he commanded the steward of his house, "Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man's money in the mouth of his sack, and put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, with his money for the grain." And he did as Joseph told him." (Genesis 44:1-2 RSV) (see Coat Of Many Colors)

"And The Lord [see Rock Of Ages and The Logos] said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the people of Israel: 'You have seen for yourselves that I have talked with you from heaven. You shall not make gods of silver to be with Me, nor shall you make for yourselves gods of gold." (Exodus 20:22-23 RSV)

"The Lord said to Moses, "Make two silver trumpets; of hammered work you shall make them; and you shall use them for summoning the congregation, and for breaking camp." (Numbers 10:1-2 RSV) (see also The Tribes Of Israel)

"And David the king said to all the assembly, "Solomon my son, whom alone God has chosen, is young and inexperienced, and the work is great; for the palace will not be for man but for The Lord God...I have a treasure of my own of gold and silver, and because of my devotion to the house of my God I give it to the house of my God: three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver [that is, about 260 tons], for overlaying the walls of the house, and for all the work to be done by craftsmen, gold for the things of gold and silver for the things of silver." (1 Chronicles 29:1,3-5 RSV)

"And the king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stone, and he made cedar as plentiful as the sycamore of the Shephelah. And Solomon's import of Horses was from Egypt and Kue, and the king's traders received them from Kue at a price. A Chariot could be imported from Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver [that is, about 15 pounds], and a horse for a hundred and fifty [that is, about 4 pounds]; and so through the king's traders they were exported to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Syria." (1 Kings 10:27-29 RSV)

"And now they sin more and more, and make for themselves molten images, idols skillfully made of their silver, all of them the work of craftsmen." (Hosea 13:2 RSV) (see The Ten Commandments and What Is Sin?)

New Testament

"Then one of the twelve [see The Twelve Apostles], who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests [see Sanhedrin] and said, "What will you give me if I deliver Him to you?" And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray Him." (Matthew 26:14-16 RSV) (see Why Did He Do It?)

"Seeing Peter and John about to go into the Temple, he asked for alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, with John, and said, "Look at us." And he fixed his attention upon them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, "I have no silver and gold, but I give you what I have; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and walked and entered the Temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God." (Acts 3:3-8 RSV)

"Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the Deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, a representation by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all men everywhere to Repent" (Acts 17:29-30 RSV) (see Christian Living)

"And this became known to all residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks; and fear fell upon them all; and The Name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. Many also of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who practiced magic arts [see Witches And Sorcerers] brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all; and they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of The Lord grew and prevailed mightily." (Acts 19:17-20 RSV)

Fact Finder: After Jesus was arrested (see The Fateful Night), what did Judas do with the 30 pieces of silver that he was paid? What was the money then used for?
Matthew 27:3-10

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