News & Updates
The Shekel Of The Sanctuary

The Shekel Of The Sanctuary Saturday, December 16, 2017




By James L. Thornton

In this study we will look at a little known law which was enacted on the children of Israel by the Lord in which they paid a tax for their redemption, and how this law can be used as a guide for our own redemption.

Exodus 30:11. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 

12. When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them.

13. This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD. 

14. Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD.
15. The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.
16. And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls. 

Ancient money, being uncoined, was weighed instead of being counted.

Even to this day oriental merchants weigh the silver and gold which is the medium of trade; not only the bullion, but the coined pieces also, lest some dishonest trader might pass upon them a coin of light weight.

The word shekel (from ‘shaqal,’ to weigh, strongs #08254) indicates the original mode of reckoning money by weight rather than by count.

Thus we find in the Bible a shekel of weight and a shekel of money. There was an understood standard of value, as to its weight and purity.

The exact weight of the shekel is not known. It was next to the smallest weight, a gerah being the smallest weight.

The shekel is estimated to have been between nine and ten pennyweights, and is supposed to have been worth nearly sixty cents in today’s money.

"The shekel of the sanctuary," is a shekel that was laid up in the sanctuary and was the standard to which all shekels must conform if of full weight and value.

This lesson is concerning the law of the ransom money as it affected the census of Israel.

Moses was instructed by God to take a census and to collect a tax on it of one-half shekel for every male twenty years old and over.

This is the only instance in Jewish law where an offering of this type is commanded.

This was to be an offering of ransom and redemption,

"For I have redeemed you and ransomed you,"
"And to remind you, you shall pay a tax of one-half shekel."

"The rich shall not pay more, the poor shall not pay less,.."

This is ransom money, and all are equally guilty before God.

Romans 3:23. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 

One-half shekel... A little more that twenty-five cents, one quarter, and it must be weighed against the shekel of the sanctuary.

The shekel of the sanctuary is the standard to which all shekels must conform, and, against which, the shekel you bring will be measured for validity, and standard of measurement.

When God says to do business with me,

"Don’t just pick up a shekel out of commerce..." 

Sometimes these would be debased in quality. 

Short weigh, nicks, scratches, or mixed with inferior metals.

When you pay this holy tax, (this is a ransom for you soul

don’t risk a counterfeit, or a short weight.

Go back to the priest and check for validity.
"Lest a plague come upon you."

Eleven times we know that the census was taken. 

All males twenty years old and over had to pay one-half shekel.

Why be so meticulous over the next to the smallest Hebrew coin?

Why did every twenty years this have to be done?

In twenty years counterfeit money could slip in, so this helped to insure the purity of the money system.

Every twenty years they had to go back to make sure the money their generation was using was after the shekel of the sanctuary.

Anything that wasn’t was culled out,
the priest said,
"You can’t use this."

The payment was two-fold... For redemption and preservation. 

"To make an atonement for your souls..."
"That there be no plague among you..."

We want to make sure we have the original standard we started with.


The church must have a "standard" to go back to.

Thank God for Acts 2:38. “Then Peter said unto them, repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the holy ghost.”

That’s the old fashion standard shekel of the sanctuary, the shekel of redemption.

But not only do we need the shekel of redemption, 

we also need the shekel of preservation.

We must go back and check the shekel we are using 

in every generation in order to preserve the original standard.

Every generation must do so, we must go back.

Every generation must know what the Bible says for them to do to have redemption, and to be kept back from the plagues which are coming on the earth.

We must not veer; 

We must go back and check with the shekel of the sanctuary.

There are counterfeiters out there;
They will try to change the plan of redemption.
They will offer a substitute shekel.

There are some that will short change you, they will say that "it is not necessary to repent and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins."

They will say that it is not necessary to speak in tongues to receive the Holy Ghost.

 If we don’t check we can lose in one generation what has been preserved for two-thousand years.

God wants to keep us from the plague, so let’s go back and see if what we are using is just like the original. If not, it’s no good.

We need leaders that love the old fashion standards of the sanctuary.

It’s so small, but to God it meant so much.

A gun off the target a hair when it leaves the barrel can be off a yard when it reaches the target.

A one-hundred million dollar satellite was destroyed because a computer missed one hyphen. Hiroshima was bombed over a misunderstanding.

The Japanese word mat-ku-sika. 

It can mean either delay or deny... Depending upon how it is used...

America warned Japan the second bomb would be dropped.. 

The return message contained this word... "mat-ku-sika"

"We delay to answer you."
Misinterpreted to mean, "We deny to answer you."
Two-hundred-thousand Japanese died over one word.

We are living in days when nothing must go unchecked. 

We must check our lives by the shekel of the sanctuary.

Some say, "we got the holy ghost." "we talk in tongues."

Isaiah 28:11. For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 

But he also says,

Isaiah 28:10. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 

All the tongue talkers need to go back and check with the shekel of the sanctuary. Obey completely Acts 2:38.

The shekel of the old testament was a piece of money which was a standard of measurement for all money.

What is the shekel of the New Testament?

1 Peter 1:18. Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19. But with the precious blood of christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 

Not with the old shekel of the Old Testament. 

But, "the precious blood !" "the precious blood !"

The shekel of the New Testament is none other than The Lord Jesus Christ. He is "the shekel of the sanctuary."

Jesus, the summit of the highest hopes.                                                                                                               

Jesus, the abbas of the worlds deepest sorrow. 

Jesus, son of man, and son of god.
Jesus, beaten with many stripes.
Jesus, whose beard was plucked.
Jesus, whose side was driven.
Jesus, who was nailed to the cross.
Jesus, who shed his precious blood.
Jesus, who was buried in the tomb.
Jesus, who arose from the grave on the third day.

If you want to know if your life is measuring up, 

Don’t go to a code of ethics,
Don’t go to a law book.

Go to the sanctuary of the universe.
Where God was suspended between heaven and earth.

Go to Calvary, and, "Behold the Lamb of God."
And measure your life by him,
He is
"the shekel of the sanctuary."

We call him Savior and we call him Lord.

He is called Savior thirty three times.
He is called Lord (master) over four hundred times.

It is so easy to know him as Savior,
But not to know him as Lord.

There is a great old hymn, "to be like Jesus."

We have got to become like him.

John 6:53. Then Jesus said unto them, verily, verily, i say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 

Ask ourselves, "What would Jesus do." 

We must become like him.

Salvation is the work of a moment, 

But character building is gradual.
Salvation is the miracle of a moment,

But the manufacturing of a Saint is the task of a lifetime.

We must always, continually, go back to Calvary to measure our lives by "the shekel of the sanctuary."

Hope you enjoyed reading the Shekel of the Sanctuary, and invite you to read the other studies on this web site.


Write To Us

James l. Thornton


Copyright (c)2010 GODSGRAZINGFIELD &