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Money Changers


Adult pilgrims offered half-shekel for the service of the Temple. “Everyone subject to the census, that is to say, of twenty years and over, must pay the sum set aside for the LORD. Neither the rich man is not to give more, nor do the poor man less, than half a shekel in their contribution to the LORD to pay the forfeit for their lives” (Ex 30:14-15). Coins with images were unacceptable for offering in the Temple. Pilgrims were coming from different countries with Roman, Syrian, Egyptian, or Greek coins. Such coins, stamped with the symbols or images of pagan monarchs, were unacceptable in the Temple treasury. The pilgrims had to exchange them for acceptable coins. Though a service, the money changers exploited the pilgrims by charging an unjust amount as ‘exchange fee.’ Jesus could not tolerate that corruption and so he expelled them from the Temple as part of its cleansing.


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