Money contributions (Neh 7:70-7:72)

“Now some of the heads of the ancestral houses contributed to the work. The governor gave to the treasury one thousand darics of gold, fifty basins, and five hundred thirty priests’ robes. Some of the heads of the ancestral houses gave into the building fund twenty thousand darics of gold and two thousand two hundred minas of silver. What the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand darics of gold, two thousand minas of silver, and sixty-seven priests’ robes.”

In the story in Ezra, chapter 2, this happened when they arrived in Jerusalem. There in Ezra was no mention of any gifts or money from the governor, who seems very generous here. This unnamed governor gave 1,000 gold darics and 530 priestly robes. Where did he get them? However, both books agree that the ancestral heads of families got together a free will offering to start a building fund for the Temple. There is no mention of the site here in Nehemiah as there was in Ezra, chapter 2. This was a substantial collection. The contributions amounts are different from Ezra. However, they only had the Persia daric gold coins and Babylonian silver minas to contribute. The gold coins were named after the Persian King Darius I. They were used for a couple of hundred years until the Greek King Alexander abolished them around 330 BCE. Here they got 40,000 darics of gold and 4,200 minas of silver. This was probably worth about a half a million USA dollars. In Ezra, they received 61,000 gold darics and 5,000 silver minas. Here they received over 530 priest robes as opposed to a mere 100 in Ezra. Apparently someone had taken these priestly robes into captivity with them, but where were they kept for 60 years?.

 

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