Judas and His 30 Pieces of Silver

Question from a Site Viewer
What was the value of the 30 pieces of silver that Judas received for betraying Jesus?

Tim’s Answer
The Bible does not say what the silver pieces were.

But in the writer’s second mention of the sum, the writer puts the thirty pieces into a context, that of fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy (See Matthew 27:8-10). Matthew actually quotes two prophets, Jeremiah and Zechariah. Although Matthew only mentions Jeremiah by name, he may have done so because Jeremiah’s pre-enacted prophecy of the purchasing of the field (Jeremiah 32:6-9) was the more prominent point Matthew wanted to make. The purchase of the field seems to be the major point that Matthew is making. However, Matthew also quotes Zechariah 11:12 which gives us the value for the field. In Zechariah’s day, the reference to silver would undoubtedly have been to the shekel which was the standard weight for paying a price. The shekel has a long use in purchasing property, going back to Abraham’s time (Genesis 23:16). In New Testament times, the shekel was the value of about four drachmas (a Greek coin) or four denarii (a Roman coin). It would be in weight a little less than half an ounce of silver. It’s value as currency would be the common wages for a laboring man for four days, or in today’s value perhaps around $400 to $500.

The 30 pieces of silver, then, would be worth around $12,000 to $15,000 in today’s sum.

I hope this helps.

May the Lord Jesus guide you in all that you think and do.


Related Content:
The Death of Judas
The Value of a Shekel

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