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Monday, June 3 2013

What Happened To All Of That Gold?

The "talent" as a unit of weight measurement originated from the Greek word pronounced talanton, which meant a scale, as in a balance (a device used by ancient people long before the Greeks). The later Latin word, talentum, was merely a Roman translation of the Greek word. The English word originated from the Latin word, which is used to translate the actual Hebrew word of the Scriptures, pronounced kik-kar which literally meant a round loaf, which apparently referred to an object that served as the official "talent." The standard for the talent was variable from nation to nation, ranging from about 70 to over 90 pounds.

When the Israelites left Egypt in the Exodus (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Exodus), they did so with much gold and other valuables and supplies.

"12:35 And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: 12:36 And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians." (Exodus 12:35-36 KJV)

As we will read, the Israelites used many talents of gold in the Tabernacle (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Tabernacle) and the Temple (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Temple). Just to get an idea of the vast value of all of that gold, consider a single item made of gold. The original Lampstand (the "menorah" - see the photo below) was made of just one talent of pure gold, about 75 pounds, or 1,200 ounces. With the present-day (June 2013) price of gold at over $1,400 per ounce, that Lampstand today would have a value of about $1,680,000 from its gold alone (it would, it will, of course be priceless when found, regardless of the material from which it was made; see The Temple Vessel Prophecies Today).

An Egyptian Balance

"25:31 And thou shalt make a candlestick [see Lampstands Or Candlesticks?] of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same. 25:32 And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side: 25:33 Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick. 25:34 And in the candlestick shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers. 25:35 And there shall be a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out of the candlestick. 25:36 Their knops and their branches shall be of the same: all it shall be one beaten work of pure gold.

25:37 And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it. 25:38 And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold. 25:39 Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it, with all these vessels. 25:40 And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount." (Exodus 25:31-40 KJV)

So it was that a vast amount of gold was used in the construction of the Tabernacle (see also Bezaleel: Filled With The Spirit Of God).

"38:21 This is the sum of the tabernacle, even of the tabernacle of testimony, as it was counted, according to the commandment of Moses, for the service of the Levites, by the hand of Ithamar, son to Aaron the priest. 38:22 And Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made all that the LORD commanded Moses. 38:23 And with him was Aholiab, son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, an engraver, and a cunning workman, and an embroiderer in blue, and in purple, and in scarlet, and fine linen. 38:24 All the gold that was occupied for the work in all the work of the holy place, even the gold of the offering, was twenty and nine talents, and seven hundred and thirty shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary.

38:25 And the silver of them that were numbered of the congregation was an hundred talents, and a thousand seven hundred and threescore and fifteen shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary: 38:26 A bekah for every man, that is, half a shekel, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for every one that went to be numbered, from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty men. 38:27 And of the hundred talents of silver were cast the sockets of the sanctuary, and the sockets of the vail; an hundred sockets of the hundred talents, a talent for a socket. 38:28 And of the thousand seven hundred seventy and five shekels he made hooks for the pillars, and overlaid their chapiters, and filleted them.

38:29 And the brass of the offering was seventy talents, and two thousand and four hundred shekels. 38:30 And therewith he made the sockets to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the brasen altar, and the brasen grate for it, and all the vessels of the altar, 38:31 And the sockets of the court round about, and the sockets of the court gate, and all the pins of the tabernacle, and all the pins of the court round about." (Exodus 38:21-31 KJV)

The Temple in Jerusalem that replaced the portable Tabernacle had a far greater amount of gold, most of which was provided by David. Although he was born as a relatively poor shepherd of Bethlehem, David's victories brought the nation a great amount of gold. Consider a single golden crown that David captured from a foreign king that weighed a talent of gold - 75 pounds (like the lampstand, worth in gold nearly two million dollars today).

The Lampstand

"12:29 And David gathered all the people together, and went to Rabbah, and fought against it, and took it. 12:30 And he took their king's crown from off his head, the weight whereof was a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was set on David's head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance. 12:31 And he brought forth the people that were therein, and put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brickkiln: and thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon. So David and all the people returned unto Jerusalem." (2 Samuel 12:29-31 KJV)

By the time that he made preparations for the Temple, David contributed "an hundred thousand talents of gold" - worth over $160 billion dollars at today's gold prices.

"22:6 Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build an house for the LORD God of Israel. 22:7 And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God: 22:8 But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight. 22:9 Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days. 22:10 He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.

22:11 Now, my son, the LORD be with thee; and prosper thou, and build the house of the LORD thy God, as he hath said of thee. 22:12 Only the LORD give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the LORD thy God. 22:13 Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the LORD charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed. 22:14 Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the LORD an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto. 22:15 Moreover there are workmen with thee in abundance, hewers and workers of stone and timber, and all manner of cunning men for every manner of work. 22:16 Of the gold, the silver, and the brass, and the iron, there is no number. Arise therefore, and be doing, and the LORD be with thee.

22:17 David also commanded all the princes of Israel to help Solomon his son, saying, 22:18 Is not the LORD your God with you? and hath he not given you rest on every side? for he hath given the inhabitants of the land into mine hand; and the land is subdued before the LORD, and before his people. 22:19 Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the LORD God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the LORD." (1 Chronicles 22:6-19 KJV)

The famous visit of the Queen of Sheba (see also The Queen Of Sheba Prophecies) was also very profitable in gold; "And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold."

"9:1 And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to prove Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem, with a very great company, and camels that bare spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. 9:2 And Solomon told her all her questions: and there was nothing hid from Solomon which he told her not. 9:3 And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built, 9:4 And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel; his cupbearers also, and their apparel; and his ascent by which he went up into the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.

9:5 And she said to the king, It was a true report which I heard in mine own land of thine acts, and of thy wisdom: 9:6 Howbeit I believed not their words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me: for thou exceedest the fame that I heard. 9:7 Happy are thy men, and happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom. 9:8 Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on his throne, to be king for the LORD thy God: because thy God loved Israel, to establish them for ever, therefore made he thee king over them, to do judgment and justice.

9:9 And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices great abundance, and precious stones: neither was there any such spice as the queen of Sheba gave king Solomon." (2 Chronicles 9:1-9 KJV)

The wealth of Solomon's kingdom was vast, much more than most nations today.

The Visit Of The Queen Of Sheba

"9:13 Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and threescore and six talents of gold; 9:14 Beside that which chapmen and merchants brought. And all the kings of Arabia and governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon.

9:15 And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of beaten gold went to one target. 9:16 And three hundred shields made he of beaten gold: three hundred shekels of gold went to one shield. And the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.

9:17 Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold. 9:18 And there were six steps to the throne, with a footstool of gold, which were fastened to the throne, and stays on each side of the sitting place, and two lions standing by the stays: 9:19 And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps. There was not the like made in any kingdom. 9:20 And all the drinking vessels of king Solomon were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold: none were of silver; it was not any thing accounted of in the days of Solomon. 9:21 For the king's ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.

9:22 And king Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom." (2 Chronicles 9:13-22 KJV)

What happened to all of that gold? When Israel became corrupt, they became weak. Their enemies subjected them to extortion, to which the latter kings surrendered much of the gold e.g. "18:16 At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the LORD, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria." (2 Kings 18:16 KJV). By the time of Judah's fall, all that remained was taken away to Babylon.

"36:15 And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: 36:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. 36:17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. 36:18 And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. 36:19 And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof." (2 Chronicles 36:15-19 KJV)

Fact Finder: What role did some of the looted gold from Israel play in the famous "hand writing on the wall" incident?
See The Prophet Daniel: The Hand Writing On The Wall


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This Day In History, June 3

350: Nepotianus, of the Constantinian dynasty, proclaimed himself Emperor of Rome (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and Whatever Happened To Those Romans?).

1083: Henry IV of Germany attacked Rome and captured St. Peter's Cathedral (see The Holy Roman Empire).

1098: During the First Crusade, the Crusaders took Antioch after a five-month siege (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

1140: The French scholar Peter Abelard was convicted of heresy.

James Cook 1326: The Treaty of Novgorod defined the borders between Russia and Norway in Finnmark (an area of northeastern Norway).

1539: Hernando De Soto claimed what later became known as "Florida" for Spain.

1608: Samuel de Champlain completed his third voyage to "New France" (Quebec).

1621: The Dutch West India Company was granted a charter for New Netherland (the general area that later became known as New England).

1665: James Stuart, Duke of York (later King James II of England) defeated the Dutch fleet off the coast of Lowestoft.

1769: Captain James Cook, a year into his circumnavigation of the world, observed the transit of Venus over the sun.

1778: The first issue of The Montreal Gazette was published.

1818: The last of the Maratha Wars between the British and the Maratha Confederacy in India ended, securing British supremacy in India.

1866: The Fenians (a cult of Irish rebels) were driven out of Fort Erie, Ontario, into the U.S.

1841: Nicolas Appert died at age 91, The French chef and distiller, known as "the father of canning," invented the method of preserving food by enclosing it in hermetically sealed containers.

1885: The last military battle fought in Canadian territory: Cree against the North West Mounted Police (later to become the Royal Canadian Mounted Police).

1934: Dr. Frederick Banting of Toronto, co-discoverer of insulin, was knighted by King George V.

1937: The Duke of Windsor, who had abdicated as King Edward VIII of England, married Wallis Simpson in France. He gave up the crown to marry her, the first voluntary abdication in 1,000 years. His brother became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II.

1940: During the Second World War, the German Luftwaffe (air force) bombed Paris.

1969: Off the coast of South Vietnam, the Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne collided with the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Frank E. Evans; the destroyer was severed in half.

1979: An oil blowout at the Ixtoc I oil well in the Gulf of Mexico caused a 3 million barrel oil spill into the water. It was the second-worst accidental oil spill.

1989: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, revolutionary leader of Iran, died at age 89.

1989: China's crackdown on pro-democracy dissidents protesting in Tiananmen Square began.

1991: Mount Unzen erupted in Japan; 43 people were killed 43 people, all either scientists or journalists.





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