Each man must give a half shekel annually

The Literal Commandment

This is what everyone who is numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), half a shekel as a contribution to the LORD. (Exodus 30:13)

 

The literal commandment is for those who take part in the census of Israel to give half a shekel.

 

Messiah Says

Messiah implicitly affirmed this commandment when He spoke about the Law:

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)

 

Pictures of Messiah

This commandment to give a half-shekel was to provide for "the service of the tent of meeting" (Exodus 30:16). This pictures Messiah's work of giving of Himself to provide for His bride (Ephesians 5:25).

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

Although no specific reference is given in Scripture, we know Messiah obeyed the commandments completely and was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Messiah fulfilled this commandment by giving a half shekel.

It is possible that this tax is referenced in Matthew 17:24-27 as the "two-drachma tax".

 

Traditional Observance

The traditional observance of this commandment involves giving a half shekel annually to provide for "the service of the tent of meeting" (Exodus 30:16). Everyone over 20 years of age gave this annual half-shekel donation.

 

Other Notes

We are not able to fulfill this commandment today absent a Temple.

 

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Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 119
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 3
  • Mishneh Torah Book Times
  • Mishneh Torah Category 17- Sheqels
  • Reference Exodus 30:13
  • Scripture Book Exodus
  • Chapter 30
  • Verse 13
  • English This is what everyone who is numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), half a shekel as a contribution to the LORD.
  • Hebrew יג זֶה יִתְּנוּ, כָּל-הָעֹבֵר עַל-הַפְּקֻדִים--מַחֲצִית הַשֶּׁקֶל, בְּשֶׁקֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ: עֶשְׂרִים גֵּרָה, הַשֶּׁקֶל--מַחֲצִית הַשֶּׁקֶל, תְּרוּמָה לַיהוָה.
  • Greek 13 καὶ τοῦτό ἐστιν ὃ δώσουσιν ὅσοι ἂν παραπορεύωνται τὴν ἐπίσκεψιν· τὸ ἥμισυ τοῦ διδράχμου, ὅ ἐστιν κατὰ τὸ δίδραχμον τὸ ἅγιον· εἴκοσι ὀβολοὶ τὸ δίδραχμον, τὸ δὲ ἥμισυ τοῦ διδράχμου εἰσφορὰ κυρίῳ.
  • Parashah 21- Ki Tisa
  • Positive/Negative Positive
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 105
  • Sef. Hach. Command The precept of giving half a shekel each year
  • Category Appointed Times
  • We can fullfill today No

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