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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Hoards| ▸ |The Temple Tax Hoard||View Options:  |  |  |   

The Temple Tax Hoard

Below we offer coins from a hoard of Tyrian or Tyrian type shekels from Judaea. The group contains 95 coins, of which only 3 are shekels and 92 are half shekels. These are the shekels and half shekels well known today as the coins used by the Jews to pay the annual tax at the Jerusalem Temple and as the 30 pieces of silver paid to Judas for betraying Jesus. We are certain all the coins are from the same hoard. We are not certain the hoard is complete but no other groups of the type and few individual shekels or half shekels (no more than usual and none with the same toning) appeared on the market around the time the group was acquired in 2008. To see all the coins, also click the link to the sold coins at the bottom of the page.

Click here to read an analysis of the |Temple Tax Hoard|.


The Temple Tax Coin, Tyre KP Type Half Shekel, Jerusalem or Tyre Mint, 33 - 34 A.D.

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POSSIBLE CRUCIFIXION YEAR COIN. The Bible does not tell the date of the Crucifixion, but based on Biblical clues, the Jewish calendar and astronomical evidence many scholars believe it was Friday, April 3, 33 A.D. John the Baptist began his ministry in 28 or 29 A.D. and the Gospel of John points to three separate Passovers during Jesus' ministry. Jesus was executed on the orders of Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect of Judaea from 26 to 36 A.D. This limits the years to between 30 and 36 A.D. John P. Meier's, A Marginal Jew, cites 7 April 30 A.D., 3 April 33 A.D., and 30 March 36 A.D. as astronomically possible Friday Nisan 14 dates during this period. Isaac Newton, using the crescent of the moon, determined the year was 34 A.D. but John Pratt argued that Newton made a minor computation error and 33 A.D. was the accurate answer using Newton's method. Using similar computations, in 1990 astronomer Bradley Schaefer arrived at Friday, April 3, 33 A.D. A third method, using a completely different astronomical approach (consistent with Apostle Peter's reference to a "moon of blood" in Acts 2:20) based on a lunar Crucifixion darkness and eclipse model arrives at the same date, Friday, April 3, 33 A.D.
JD40425. Silver half shekel, RPC I 4693, Prieur 1463, BMC Phoenicia -; only one coin from this year in the hoard, aF, weight 6.249 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre or Jerusalem mint, 33 - 34 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle standing left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, PNΘ (year 159) over club left, KP over BA? right, Aramaic aleph between legs; very rare year; SOLD


Jerusalem or Tyre, 18 - 19 A.D., Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver

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Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver
"Then one of the 12, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, 'What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?' And they covenanted with him for 30 pieces of silver." Matthew 26:14-15. Shekels of Tyre were the only currency accepted at the Jerusalem Temple and are the most likely coinage with which Judas was paid for the betrayal of Christ.

The Temple Tax Coin
"..go to the sea and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou has opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them [the temple tax collectors] for me and thee." Since the tax was one half shekel per man the coin would have to be a shekel to pay the tax for both Jesus and Peter. Matthew 17:24-27
SH79731. Silver shekel, RPC I 4657; BMC Phoenicia p. 248, 199 var. (controls); Cohen DCA 922; HGC 10 357, VF, toned, marks and scratches, die damage or flan defect obverse top right, weight 13.647 g, maximum diameter 24.2 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem or Tyre mint, 18 - 19 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, Phoenician letter aleph between legs, PM∆ (year 144) and club left, KP over monogram right; SOLD


The Temple Tax Coin, Tyre KP Type Shekel, Jerusalem or Tyre Mint, 34 - 35 A.D.

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Full Shekel - Tax for Two. At the Great Temple in Jerusalem the annual tax levied was 1/2 shekel per male. The 1/2 shekel and shekel were the only coins accepted by the temple. Some experts believe that after the coinage of Tyre was debased under Roman control, Herod the Great began to strike "Tyre" shekels in Jerusalem. These coins were of cruder fabric and style, but maintained the silver purity required to pay the temple tax. The "Jerusalem" shekels have the letters KP or KAP to the right of the eagle and dates range from PH (18/17 B.C.) to PKE (69/70 A.D.). The Greek letters KP or KAP are probably an abbreviation for KAICAP, Greek for Caesar.

JD35417. Silver shekel, RPC I 4664, Prieur 1424, Hendin 919, BMC Phoenicia -, VF, toned, weight 12.825 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre or Jerusalem mint, 34 - 35 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, PΞ (year 160) and club left, KP over XE monogram right, Aramaic beth between legs; high relief obverse; SOLD


The Temple Tax Coin, Tyre KP Type Half Shekel, Jerusalem or Tyre Mint, 26 - 25 B.C.

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We initially attributed this coin with the date PA (Tyrian year 101, 26 - 25 B.C.). That date does not, however, fit the rest of the hoard and prompted a second look. The date does indeed appear to be PA but it simply cannot be PA because the coin has KP in the right field. KP was not added to the type until year 113. The date must be PΛ, year 130, which is unpublished in the primary references.
JD40409. Silver half shekel, Year unlisted in primary references; BMC Phoenicia -, Prieur -, RPC I -, F, overstruck or flipstrike?, weight 5.845 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre or Jerusalem mint, Reign of Herod, 26 - 25 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle standing left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, PA (year 101) over club left, KP over ΛN? monogram right, Aramaic letter between legs; may have remnants of a legend from undertype or flip strike on the obverse; toned; extremely rare; SOLD


The Temple Tax Coin, Tyre KP Type Half Shekel, Jerusalem or Tyre Mint, 40 - 41 A.D.

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At the Great Temple in Jerusalem the annual tax levied was 1/2 shekel per male. The 1/2 shekel and shekel were the only coins accepted by the temple. Some experts believe that after the coinage of Tyre was debased under Roman control, Herod the Great began to strike "Tyre" shekels in Jerusalem. These coins were of cruder fabric and style, but maintained the silver purity required to pay the temple tax. The "Jerusalem" shekels have the letters KP or KAP to the right of the eagle and dates range from PH (18/17 B.C.) to PKE (69/70 A.D.). The Greek letters KP or KAP are probably an abbreviation for KAICAP, Greek for Caesar.

JD40463. Silver half shekel, RPC I 4698, Prieur 1468, BMC Phoenicia -, aVF, some corrosion, weight 6.398 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre or Jerusalem mint, 40 - 41 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle standing left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, PΞς (year 166) over club left, KP right, Aramaic beth between legs; dark toning; SOLD


The Temple Tax Coin, Tyre KP Type Half Shekel, Jerusalem or Tyre Mint, 18 B.C. - 69 A.D.

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After the coinage of Tyre was debased under Roman control, some experts believe Herod the Great began to strike "Tyre" shekels in Jerusalem. These coins were of cruder fabric and style, but maintained the silver purity required to pay the temple tax. The Jerusalem shekels have the letters KP or KAP to the right of the eagle and dates range from PH (18/17 B.C.) to PKE (69/70 A.D.). The Greek letters KP or KAP are probably an abbreviation for KAICAP, Greek for Caesar.
JD33352. Silver half shekel, Hendin 920, SGICV 5209, aVF, weight 6.265 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre or Jerusalem mint, 18 B.C. - 69 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY, eagle standing left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, uncertain date & club left, KP and monogram right, Aramaic letter between legs; barbaric style with blundered legends and date, typical of the later coins attributed by some experts to Jerusalem; SOLD


The Temple Tax Coin, Tyre KP Type Half Shekel, Jerusalem or Tyre Mint, 36 - 37 A.D.

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JD35412. Silver half shekel, RPC I 4695, Prieur 1465, Hendin 920, SGICV 5209, F, weight 6.493 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre or Jerusalem mint, 36 - 37 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY, eagle standing left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, PΞB (year 162) left, KP and monogram right, Aramaic letter between legs; SOLD


The Temple Tax Coin, Tyre KP Type Half Shekel, Jerusalem or Tyre Mint, 41 - 42 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
At the Great Temple in Jerusalem the annual tax levied was 1/2 shekel per male. The 1/2 shekel and shekel were the only coins accepted by the temple. Some experts believe that after the coinage of Tyre was debased under Roman control, Herod the Great began to strike "Tyre" shekels in Jerusalem. These coins were of cruder fabric and style, but maintained the silver purity required to pay the temple tax. The "Jerusalem" shekels have the letters KP or KAP to the right of the eagle and dates range from PH (18/17 B.C.) to PKE (69/70 A.D.). The Greek letters KP or KAP are probably an abbreviation for KAICAP, Greek for Caesar.

JD40446. Silver half shekel, BMC Phoenicia p. 253, 241; RPC I 4699; Prieur 1469, VF, corrosion, dark toning, weight 5.940 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre or Jerusalem mint, 41 - 42 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle standing left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, PΞZ (year 167) over club left, KP over Φ right, Aramaic aleph between legs; SOLD


The Temple Tax Coin, Tyre KP Type Half Shekel, Jerusalem or Tyre Mint, 36 - 37 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
At the Great Temple in Jerusalem the annual tax levied was 1/2 shekel per male. The 1/2 shekel and shekel were the only coins accepted by the temple. Some experts believe that after the coinage of Tyre was debased under Roman control, Herod the Great began to strike "Tyre" shekels in Jerusalem. These coins were of cruder fabric and style, but maintained the silver purity required to pay the temple tax. The "Jerusalem" shekels have the letters KP or KAP to the right of the eagle and dates range from PH (18/17 B.C.) to PKE (69/70 A.D.). The Greek letters KP or KAP are probably an abbreviation for KAICAP, Greek for Caesar.

JD40408. Silver half shekel, RPC I 4695, Prieur 1465, BMC Phoenicia -, aVF, toned, weight 6.243 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre or Jerusalem mint, 36 - 37 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle standing left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, PΞB (year 162) over club left, KP over monogram right, Aramaic letter between legs; SOLD


The Temple Tax Coin, Tyre KP Type Half Shekel, Jerusalem or Tyre Mint, 38 - 39 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
At the Great Temple in Jerusalem the annual tax levied was 1/2 shekel per male. The 1/2 shekel and shekel were the only coins accepted by the temple. Some experts believe that after the coinage of Tyre was debased under Roman control, Herod the Great began to strike "Tyre" shekels in Jerusalem. These coins were of cruder fabric and style, but maintained the silver purity required to pay the temple tax. The "Jerusalem" shekels have the letters KP or KAP to the right of the eagle and dates range from PH (18/17 B.C.) to PKE (69/70 A.D.). The Greek letters KP or KAP are probably an abbreviation for KAICAP, Greek for Caesar.

JD40415. Silver half shekel, BMC Phoenicia p. 252, 236 var. (BA monogram, aleph between legs); Prieur 1466; RPC I 4696, aVF, weight 6.164 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre or Jerusalem mint, 38 - 39 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle standing left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, PΞ∆ (year 164) over club left, KP over B∆Γ? monogram right, Aramaic beth between legs; SOLD




  




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Temple Tax Hoard