Archaeologists from the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) have recently made two major discoveries from Biblical times.
They unearthed a 2,000-year-old half-shekel silver coin near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
It’s the third extremely rare silver coin to be found that supports the Biblical account in Exodus that Jewish men paid an annual tribute of half a shekel to the Temple.
Most coins minted during that era were made from bronze.
The coin dates back to the Great Jewish Revolt against the Romans which saw the Temple destroyed in 70 AD.
The silver coins from the Great Revolt were the first and the last in ancient times to bear the title ‘shekel.’
The next time this name was used was in 1980 on Israeli shekel coins produced by the Bank of Israel.
Another discovery in the Judean desert revealed a wooden box containing 15 silver coins.
They’re from around 200 BC when the Jews reclaimed the Temple in the Maccabean Revolt.
Worthy News reports it’s believed the coins’ owner died in that battle.
An IAA expert who studied the coins said the discovery is evidence that the Judean Desert caves played an active role in the early Maccabean Revolt and the events that led up to it.
He believes Jews at that time would have been compelled to hide their possessions in the desert, hoping for the danger to pass.
The uprising inspired the festival of Hanukkah which celebrates God’s miraculous provision of oil to keep the Temple’s menorah burning.