- The Temple tax of a half-shekel was paid by adult males in the silver didrachmas of Tyre and was collected annually in the month preceding Passover.The money-changers performed an important public service for worshippers by exchanging the local Roman currency into that accepted by the Temple authorities. The advantage to the priests was that Tyrian currency was not prone to the kind of inflation experienced by other states in the area, but it is surprising that they welcomed coins which bore pagan representations: for of those found from the year 26–27 CE the god Melkart-Heracles is represented on the obverse side, and an eagle with a palm branch over its right shoulder is on the reverse.
Dictionary of the Bible.
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