First Temple Tax Coin.jpg

87/86 B.C.E.

First Temple Tax Coin

Material- Silver

Denomination- Half-Shekel

Size- 8/10 inch in diameter

In the mid-second century B.C.E., the Hasmoneans formalized the payment of an annual Temple tax based on the requirement in Exodus 30-13 that “Each one… is to give a half shekel, according to the sanctuary weight… This half shekel is an offering to the Lord.” The first coin to be specified as acceptable payment for this tax—levied on all Jewish males over the age of 20 in Israel and abroad—was the so-called “Shekel of Tyre.”