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Shekel - (Easton's Bible Dictionary)

Weight, the common standard both of weight and value among the Hebrews. It is estimated at 220 English grains, or a little more than half an ounce avoirdupois. The "shekel of the sanctuary" (Ex. 30:13; Num. 3:47) was equal to twenty gerahs (Ezek. 45:12). There were shekels of gold (1 Chr. 21:25), of silver (1 Sam. 9:8), of brass (17:5), and of iron (7). When it became a coined piece of money, the shekel of gold was equivalent to about 2 pound of our money. Six gold shekels, according to the later Jewish system, were equal in value to fifty silver ones.

The temple contribution, with which the public sacrifices were bought (Ex. 30:13; 2 Chr. 24:6), consisted of one common shekel, or a sanctuary half-shekel, equal to two Attic drachmas. The coin, a stater (q.v.), which Peter found in the fish's mouth paid this contribution for both him and Christ (Matt. 17:24, 27). A zuza, or quarter of a shekel, was given by Saul to Samuel (1 Sam. 9:8).

Shekel - (Webster's 1828 Dictionary)

SHEK'EL, n. [Heb. to way; Low L. siclus.] An ancient weight and coin among the Jews and other nations of the same stock. Dr. Arbuthnot makes the weight to have been equal to 9 pennyweights, 2 4/7 grains, Troy weight, and the value of 2 Sam 3 3/8d. sterling, or about half a dollar. Others make its value 2 Sam 6d. sterling. The golden shekel was worht 1. 16. 6. pounds sterling, about $8, 12.

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