Парите в Стария завет

Алмалех, Мони (2012) Парите в Стария завет. Пари и култура = Money and Culture, 2 (2). pp. 7-21.

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Almalech - Parite v Staria zavet.pdf



Mony Almalech uses reliable resources to reveal details on the money in the Old Testament – Jewish Encyclopedia (JE), The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE), BibleWorks4, Электронная Еврейская Энциклопедия, and of course – the Bible itself. Some of these details are:
- There is no special word for money in Hebrew. Most frequently the word for silver [kèsef] is used to denote a money transaction.
- For money, as for weight, the shekel [shèkel] was the standard unit, the pieces of metal (gold or silver) being either fractions or multiples of the shekel. Very often the term shekel of silver [shèkel kèsef] is used. There was a Temple-tax, called shekel of the sanctuary [shèkel ha-kòdesh], which had different divisions in the different periods, according to the dominant system – half silver shekel (Exodus, 30:13), third silver shekel (Nehemiah, 10:33). The “half silver shekel of the sanctuary” consists of twenty gerahs [gerà] (Exodus, 30:13). The gerah is supposed to be some kind of seed, perhaps a bean or some such plant.
- Before the Babilonian Exile (VI-th century B.C.) there is no data on coins used by Israelites. At that period the metals were weight but not coinaged. To disprove the opinion that during the whole period before the Exile coined money was unknown the passage in I Samuel, 9:8 is cited. Here it is related that Saul's slave gave him the fourth part of a shekel of silver, which he had with him. The conclusion, however, that this is a reference to coined money is too hasty. Even after the Babilonian Exile the coins are rarely mentioned in the text of Old Testament. Such coin is the Persian darics, denarii or Persian drahma [darkmonìm] (Ezra 8:27).
- Mina [minà] is a unit consisting of shekels. In Bulgarian it is translated as фунт (funt) and in English as pound or mina. When the decimal system made its way into use, the gold mina as well as the silver mina was reckoned at 50 such shekels. Consequently there was (1) the Babylonian silver mina, equivalent to 50/45 = 10/9 of a mina of weight; (2) the Phenician silver mina, equivalent to 100/135 = 20/27 of a mina of weight. There was also Alexandrian mina.
- Talent [kikàr]. The term kikar, generally rendered talent. It signifies something round or circular, suggesting a ring of this weight to be used as money. The bundles of money carried by the sons of Jacob to Egypt for the purchase of grain (Genesis, 42:35) were probably silver rings tied together in bundles. It is evident from the Talmud (Bek. 5a) that a kikar contained sixty mina. But there are different mina – Hebrew, Babylon, Egypt, Attic.
- Ephah [ephà]. Very often [ephà] is used in exchange transactions despite that it is a measure of capacity but not of weight. It is a dry measure. According to BibleWorks98 the ephah is about 60 kilograms.
- There were three different systems for weights and money – Egyptian, Babylonian and Phoenician. In different periods the Jews used different one. One of the differences between Babylonian and Egyptian systems was the Decimal and sexagesimal division of an unite.
- Everyone of these three systems had heavy (“royal”) and a light (“common”) talent, mina, shekels, gera et ctr.
- Almalech shows in linguistic analysis of the Hebrew words, and the Hebrew and Bulgarian text of the Bible. For example the word [shèkel] means ‘be weight’; from the same root is the noun balance, scales [mishkàl], the verb to measure, to weigh [shakàl].
- Archeological finds are cited – the weights (shekels) were made as little sculptures – in the form of spindle or barrel, each have 12 faces, some of them has a lion stamped on each face save one, reminding of the lion-weights discovered in Assyria and Babylonia. Some weights are of black stone, the others of bronze.
- The hypothesis of Sir Charles Warren is taken for basis of speculation because it represents a system of synonymy measures for the elements and the dimensions of the world. Egyptians and Babylonians built different systems on the following relations: cubes of the measures of length and ascertained how many grains of barley corresponded to the quantity of water these cubes would contain; the weight of a cubic inch of rain water – grains; a talent weight of a cubit cubed, equal to the weight of grains; deriving from this the minah (1/60 of the talent) of 9,600 grains, and a shekel (1/50 of the minah) 192 grains.
- Almalech recalls the “toys of Zagrei” or “the sacral objects”. Zagrei is a chthonic-solar hypostasis of Thracian Dionis. They are bowl, sphere, strobile, rhomb, miror, and apple. The “toys of Zagrei” are magical objects referring to the doctrinal grading of the structure of the Cosmos. They were used also for mythological designation of the initiation into the Orphic cult in the Ancient Thracian and Greek world. Comparing the “toys of Zagrei’ to the sculpture and geometrical forms of weights, Almalech represents the hypothesis that the spring of the money is hidden into the religious secret knowledge of ancient initiated people. They presented their knowledge on the structure of the Universe in the geometrical and sculpture forms of the ancient weights. Afterwards a different cultural and social process took place – the coinage of money.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Language. Linguistics. Literature > Ancient languages
Language. Linguistics. Literature > Comparative linguistics
History.Archaeology > History of Middle East. Oriental studies
Language. Linguistics. Literature > Applied linguistics
Logic.Ethics (Moral philosophy).Esthetics. > Theory of knowledge. Epistemology. Semiotic
Philosophy > Culture. Cultural studies. Philosophy of culture
Philosophy > Philosophy of Nature. Cosmology
Religion > Judaism
ID Code:1206
Deposited By: Professor Mony Almalech
Deposited On:01 Jun 2012 07:42
Last Modified:01 Jun 2012 07:42

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