Persons whose profession was to sell or exchange Roman or other moneys for Jewish money acceptable in the temple worship. In NT times regions and cities issued their own money. This caused Jews of the Dispersion, those who lived outside of Judea, to bring many kinds of money to Jerusalem. To help visitors change money into that acceptable in Jerusalem, money changers set up tables in the temple court of the Gentiles. Syrian silver coins were the money of Jerusalem then, and worshipers used them to pay their temple tax of a half shekel and to buy sacrifices for the altar.
In times of trouble, Israel had a habit of turning to foreign nations for help and protection. Instead of relying on God, the nation would form alliances with world powers like Assyria or Egypt. The point of a “half-baked cake” was to
After this short visit to Capernaum, Jesus apparently traveled to Jerusalem to observe the Passover festival. Here He found the outer courts of the temple cluttered with merchants who were selling sacrificial animals to pilgrims who had come to the Holy City for the annual Jewish holiday. Other agents were busy exchanging foreign currency for the Jewish coins needed to pay the annual temple tax (John 2:13-25).
OLD TESTAMENT – Slavery laws appear in Exod 21:1-11; Lev 25:39-55; and Deut 15:12-18. Most of these concern humane treatment and manumission. A Hebrew sold to another Hebrew or a resident alien because of insolvency was to be released after six years of service and given provisions to start over. If he had come with a wife, she and any children were also released. If the master had given him a wife, she and the children were to remain. If, however, the slave wanted to stay with his wife and children rather than be free, he could enroll himself as a slave for life. A Hebrew who sold himself to another Hebrew or resident alien was to be released during the Jubilee Year. A slave could be redeemed at any time by a relative. A Hebrew girl sold by her father to another Hebrew to become his wife was to be released if that man or his son did not marry her.
Israel’s greatest problem throughout its history was syncretism-the mixing of pagan religion with worship of the true God. God judged Israel severely for failing to keep worship clean and pure. And one of the easiest inroads to Israel’s heart was through intermarriage with pagan people’s Ezra knew this well, thus his vehement and emotional opposition to taking foreign spouses. Continue reading WHY WAS EZRA SO UPSET ABOUT MIXED MARRIAGES?→
Although King Solomon was noted for his wisdom, he made some very foolish decisions. Some of his lapses in judgment would even have to be categorized as dumb mistakes and fatal sins. Continue reading SOLOMON’S SHORTCOMINGS→