All Jewish men over the age of 20 were required to pat a half-shekel tax to the Temple by the 25th of Adar. “If one chose to pay the tax in the Temple, there were 13 shofar-chests in the Temple court which were used to collect different offerings (m. Shekalim 6: 5). One was inscribed ‘New shekel dues’ which was for that year” (Franz, 82; cf., Köstenberger, John, 105).
m.Seqal 1.3 On the fifteenth of that same month [Adar] they set up money changers’ tables in the provinces. On the twenty-fifth [of Adar] they set them up in the Temple. Once they were set up in the Temple, they began to exact pledges [from those who had not paid the tax in specie]. (Tr. Neusner, The Mishnah, 252).
Moneychangers were required because the half-shekel Temple Tax had to be paid with a Tyrian tetradrachma. Many popular preachers will…
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