The beka was used as a counterweight for the silver half-shekel coin, ensuring the coins’ authenticity.
When the Temple stood atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, every Jew was obligated to contribute annually a silver half shekel coin for its upkeep. Upon the beka was engraved, in ancient Hebrew script, the word “beka.” In the Bible, the beka is mentioned in the context of collecting the half-shekel contribution given by the Israelites, which was also used as a means of conducting a national census.
“A beka a head (that is, half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary), for each one who passed over to those who were numbered, from twenty years old and upward, for 603,550 men.” (Exodus 38:26)
City of David: Bringing the Bible to Life is a series of short videos highlighting archeological discoveries relating to the City of David - the place where Jerusalem began - affirming Jerusalem's Biblical heritage.
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