First Temple Period beka weight discovered; Beka was used for weighing half shekel tax. Netanyahu: The Jewish people’s deep roots in Jerusalem are revealed time after time!


A 3,000 year old weight from the First Temple Period was recently discovered in Jerusalem.

A “Beka” weight was found during an archeological sifting project at the Emek Tzurim National Park during an archeological dig.

The beka was used by Jews during the half shekel tax of the First Temple used for maintenance. It was used to calculate and weigh silver coins. Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority explained “When the half-shekel tax was brought to the Temple during the First Temple period, there were no coins, so they used silver ingots. In order to calculate the weight of these silver pieces they would put them on one side of the scales and on the other side they placed the Beka weight. The Beka was equivalent to the half-shekel, which every person from the age of twenty years and up was required to bring to the Temple.” It should be noted that the biblical shekel weighed 11.33 grams.”

The beka is mentioned in Exodus 38:26 “A beka for each man (that is, half a shekel, according to the shekel of the sanctuary), for everyone included in the numbering from twenty years old and above, for six hundred and three thousand, five hundred and fifty men.”

The Hebrew was written from left to right, Shukron explaining “the artist who engraved the inscription on the weight specialized in engraving seals – since seals were always written in mirror script so that, once stamped, the inscription would appear in regular legible script.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu praised the recent discovery, stating “The Jewish people’s deep roots in Jerusalem are revealed time after time!”

In early October, a stone column with the earliest known inscription of “Jerusalem” was discovered in Jerusalem. The column was part of a Roman structure and reads in Aramaic “Hananiah son of Dodalos of Jerusalem”. The 2,100 year-old artifact is from the Second Temple Period, likely from the period of Herod the Great.

Archeologists researching the artifact, Dr. Yuval Baruch and Prof. Ronny Reich, explained the significance of the discovery, “This is the only stone inscription of the Second Temple period known where the full spelling appears.”

Jerusalem’s name was always abbreviated in prior discoveries.



Photo: Chr Offenberg/