Render Unto Caesar? Pilate’s Acquisition of Temple Funds

Eras Journal – Sorek, S: Render Unto Caesar? Pilate’s Acquisition of Temple Funds

Render Unto Caesar? Pilate’s Acquisition of Temple Funds
Susan Sorek
(University of Wales)


The name Pontius Pilate is readily recognised by those studying ancient history and by those who know little or nothing about the Roman province of Judaea in the first century CE. The actions of Pilate, the fifth Roman prefect of the province, earned him immortalisation in the New Testament accounts of his association with Jesus. What evidence we do have about him is scant. The Jewish writers Philo and Josephus present him as a harsh man who rode roughshod over the religious susceptibilities of the Jews.[1] On the other hand, gospel accounts present a governor sympathetic to the innocence of Jesus, and whose greatest failings, it appears, were weakness and indecision.[2] So, which portrayal is correct? It would seem that the presentations of him in Philo and Josephus have had the greater impact on the way historians have researched this period. According to Bond, many authoritative works on Pilate over the last century have, consciously or not, been biased by the social, political or even religious environment of their authors.[3]

This article focuses on one incident of Pilate’s governorship where I believe reliance upon the bias of ancient authors has been coupled with a lack of investigation of the complexities of pre-Rabbinic Judaism. This has resulted in the condemnation of Pontius Pilate for a crime he may very well not have committed.

Pontius Pilate’s most serious crime against the Jews, according to the interpretation of the ancient accounts of Josephus, was his theft of sacred money from the Temple in Jerusalem. Most modern scholarly works appear to agree with the statement made by Smallwood that, in order to finance his scheme for the building of an aqueduct, Pilate

appropriated money from the Temple treasury, an act of sacrilege even from the Roman point of view, since the Temple tax had been made sacrosanct by law (how he got the money whether by violence or intimidation is not clear). However, Jewish reaction implied that a serious offence had been committed.[4]

Both Schurer[5] and Goodman[6] follow the same line of thought. According to them, too, this was a serious crime committed against the Temple treasury – they never question the sanctity of the money. There are two passages in the works of Josephus[7] that appear to confirm Smallwood’s statement that it was not the aqueduct that was problematic but something connected with it. Bond[8] has recognised that these passages in Josephus do not correspond with each other, and that neither account seems to reflect an accurate picture of what happened; even so, she still regards the money as ‘sacred’. It would appear that no one has looked for any other reason for the disaffection caused by Pilate’s building project. Indeed, had he actually taken the sacred money there would be no need to look any further; but the popular reaction, at least as it is described, does not fit the crime. There is a possibility that there may be another reason for the (limited) outcry against Pilate, another violation against Jewish religious susceptibilities that has, up to now, been overlooked.

The Temple Treasury

First, it is necessary to examine the evidence more fully in an attempt to determine which money Pilate allegedly appropriated. This requires an examination of the composition of the Temple treasury, evidence for which comes from the Talmud and the Mishnah .[9]However, the use of these works is a point of some controversy. Ancient historians as well as New Testament scholars are convinced that it is not possible to gain accurate historical insight into the first century from documents comprising mainly traditional sayings that are dated late (third-sixth centuries CE).

The Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, however, belongs to another trend, which is confident that Jewish literature must be used if we are to gain insight into the world of first century Palestine. Safrai says that ‘[t]he failure to exploit the wealth of Talmudic sources has resulted in casting Jewish and early Christian reality in an increasingly Hellenistic mould’. [10] In his article he summarises what he believes to be the correct way to deal with Talmudic literature. He notes the work done by some scholars to use the literature and reality of the Classical and early Christian world to arrive at a responsible philological and historical explanation of the Talmudic tradition. It becomes clear from the work done by these scholars that, with cautious analysis, it is possible to clarify to some extent when one tradition may be accepted and another not. Often it is possible to determine what part is historical and what part is the historical interpretation of later generations. And parallel passages can be studied and evaluated for further differentiation and clarification. There is, though, one additional criterion that Safrai says should be particularly noted:

Often the words preserved in the sources are only the tip of the iceberg, which contains a vast world of thought and practice. Often a study of these sources from a philosophical point of view or from an historical point of view should reveal, by use of fragmentary sources, the intellectual and real world that exists in the background and is reflected in a particular saying or aggadic description.[11]

To a non-Jew the workings of the Temple treasury would have been difficult to comprehend, particularly given the complex distinctions made between the different categories of monies deposited there. Every year the High Court (bet din ha-gadol) in Jerusalem would send out messengers to the provincial areas in Judaea. They would announce publicly the obligation to bring in the half shekel tax in time for its delivery to the Temple chamber by the first ofNissan (March/April), which denoted the start of the religious year.

Both in the Temple and in the rest of the country shofarot (large containers) were set up for the collection of the tax, and pledges were taken from those unable to pay at the time. In Jerusalem the Temple had thirteen shofarot[12]inscribed with objects for which the money collected was to be spent. Presumably, the money was handed over to the Temple administrators, and they would then place it in its allocated containers, although the mechanism for how this worked is not elaborated upon. While the tax was primarily used for the purpose of sacrificial offerings the amount of money collected far outweighed the sacrificial needs and there was always a surplus of funds.

Temple administrators would divide the money into two parts, one for the altar (sacrifice) and one for other purposes. The second amount was split into three large baskets (kuppot) and designated as contributions to the Temple treasury, known as the terumat ha lishkah . This fund was used to pay the wages of the Temple staff, who consisted of the inspectors of animal blemishes, the experts who taught the priests the laws of ritual slaughtering, examiners of the scrolls, and even the women who wove the curtains for the gates of the Temple.

There was another special container of unknown size set aside – the sheyarei ha lishkah (surplus funds) container. Money from this fund was used mainly to cover Temple repairs and extra expenses connected with the altar of burnt offerings, sanctuary and court.[13] What is interesting for the purposes of this article is that the Talmud records that it was used to defray the expenses of a special bridge across the Kidron valley. The fund was also utilised for the needs of the city of Jerusalem, especially the maintenance of the water supply and repairs to the towers. The paving of Jerusalem after the completion of the building of Herod’s Temple could have been the kind of project that this fund would have accommodated.[14]Further additions to this fund were made three times a year from shekels in the treasury chamber.[15]

Other Temple Income

The Jerusalem Temple received a considerable amount of income from other sources. In the Second Temple period a person could consecrate property for the needs of the Temple and sacrificial service: the term applied to this act was hekdesh . The gift or donation was in essence given to God and it was on His behalf that the Temple administrators redistributed the donation as they saw fit.

A person could consecrate property to two different sections: either to the altar (hekdesh Mizbe’ah), or to the maintenance/repair of the Temple buildings (hekdesh bedek ha Bayit). If a person did not specify which of the two categories the donation was for, and if the property in question included animals fit for sacrifice, then the animals would be sold for private sacrifice and the money from the sale would be allocated to the Temple treasury. This was known as ‘simple consecration to the Temple treasury’.[16]

Property could be consecrated with different degrees of sanctity. Objects with intrinsic sanctity included all those consecrated to the altar and fit for sacrificial purposes, such as doves, oil, flour and wine. There was also monetary sanctity, which was vested in all objects consecrated to the Temple treasury. Monetary sanctity also applied to objects which had been dedicated to the altar, but which were found unfit for sacrificial purposes and therefore could be sold. Money from such sales was regarded as consecrated, too. Items with intrinsic sanctity could not be redeemed (purchased from the treasury), whereas items of monetary sanctity could. The redemption money applied to the category for which the original consecration had been made. Redeemed property ceased to be sacred and was restored to its former secular status; but objects fit for the altar could be redeemed solely for the purpose of sacrifice.[17]

This surplus section of the treasury was represented in law by the gizbar (treasurer of the Temple),[18]who was responsible for collecting, supervising, buying and selling according to the needs of the funds. Every thirty days the treasurers would open the chamber and anything that was not fit for the altar would be sold and the money given to the fund originally specified. So, if a person had consecrated an item with monetary sanctity to hekdesh , someone else could purchase that item without any formalities.Hekdesh property could only be purchased with money: no exchange or bartering was allowed and the price was fixed at the local market value of the property on its consecration. Therefore, if the price had increased, the buyer still only had to pay the original price, as making a profit was forbidden.(If, however, the price had dropped, the buyer still had to pay the original consecration price). So, the Temple could acquire goods from the common man through the hekdesh fund; and, in turn, the common man could often acquire goods at a price below the current market value. It is interesting to speculate on whether much of the Temple’s land ownership came about through this formula.[19]

The main vehicle of consecration was a vow which rendered the offering korban (taboo, dedicated to God). There are few references to this word to be found in the writings of antiquity. In the Bible[20] this term is used to denote a cultic offering given as a freewill gesture. The same interpretation is given in the Mishnah. There is one occurrence of the word to be found in the New Testament in the gospel of Mark, where the system of korban is apparently giving cause for concern.[21]

The only source outside the Bible to mention korban is Josephus, who mentions it three times. [22] The most important reference occurs in Jewish War,[23] a point to which I shall return.

Raiders of the Temple Treasury

The administration of the treasury lay in the hands of the priests. However, under Roman rule there was a certain amount of political supervision by the governor. It has already been noted that the treasury contained a surplus fund that was used for the needs of the city, and particularly for the maintenance of the water supply system. Presumably Pilate would have been permitted to use this fund for the construction of an aqueduct, beneficial to the city as a whole and to the Temple within it. It seems reasonable to suppose that this construction could have, initially, been a joint venture with Jewish and Roman authorities working together for the benefit of the people of Jerusalem. So, how could Pilate’s acquisition of this money be seen as a violation? Was this surplus fund actually considered to be as sacred as the fund for the servicing of the communal sacrifices? Josephus makes a distinction between the various categories of money held in the treasury. In the account in Antiquities [24] he speaks about Temple money (sacred money). Here he says that Pilate spent money from the treasury. However, in the War account[25] he says Pilate used up the money – the Greek verb exanaliskone carries the meaning that he utterly drained it – from what Josephus now refers to as the korbanus. The implication is that Pilate spent all the money held in the sacred treasury, that is, sacrificial money as well as surplus money.

Could this indicate that there were two different categories of money, or is Josephus merely elaborating, informing the reader that the whole of the sacred treasury was called korbanus? There is a very interesting passage in the Apocryphal second book of Maccabees, which lends weight to the idea that there may have been a separate category of money.[26] The passage recounts the story about the plans made by Heliodorus, on the orders of King Seleucus, to rob the Temple in Jerusalem. A certain Simon of the tribe of Benjamin told Apollonius, the governor of Phoenicia, about the vast sums of money in the Temple treasury – referred to as the gazofulakia. He said that ‘they do not belong to the account of the sacrifices’ and that it was therefore possible for them to fall under the control of the King. We also learn from this passage that Simon had been a Temple guard, whose duties had involved the guarding of this section of the treasury. He would have had first hand knowledge of the composition of the Temple treasury.

This separate categorisation of funds is further emphasised in the fourth book of Maccabees , where reference is made to another attempt to rob the treasury: ‘He said he came with the King’s authority to seize the private funds in the treasury’.[27] Once again the word used for treasury is gazofulakia. The Talmud tells us that in this chamber the wealthiest members of Jewish society placed their money for safekeeping,[28] with the Temple acting rather like a bank. Josephus confirms this and tells us that this section of the treasury was so vast that it contained the general repository of all Jewish wealth.[29] Unlike the treasury chambers holding the sacred money, this section was kept under guard both day and night. Clearly the Temple authorities believed that the sacred money was protected; given the nature of Augustan[30] legislation, any act of violation would have resulted in the death penalty for the miscreant.

So, there can be a case made for two separate categories of Temple funds, one sacred and kept for sacrificial purposes, and the other secular, placed there under Divine protection but not in itself sacred. These latter funds were the most likely target for robbery – or misappropriation. Is this what Josephus is saying? That Pilate took money from the sacred account in one version and secular money in another version?

Schurer[31] has suggested that the account in Antiquities should be considered the more reliable version. He believes that the War account contains later insertions that Josephus took from an unidentified Roman source, arguing that the whole of this section of the War account is uneven in its composition. He believes that the accounts of the riots may be connected not with Pilate, but with earlier events – reflecting an inaccurate chronology.

Pilate’s Crime: The Building Project

With any building project the risk of overspending is always an inherent danger, and Pilate could well have found himself requiring more money than he had initially been allocated from the sheyarei ha lishkah . He may have called for additional money prior to the settled time for its drawing from the treasury fund. With such a vast repository at his disposal, Pilate could well have turned his attention to the money from the hekdesh redemption money fund to make up any deficit, rather than to the money set aside for sacrificial purposes or to the sheyarei ha lishkah. Although this money would already have been allocated to one of the specific categories, taking it would have been less likely to cause offence than taking money allocated directly to the sacrificial fund.

However, we can see that there was another possibility. Pilate could have decided to take money from the non-sacred treasury deposits. He may well have supposed that it was no great crime to appropriate money from this section of the treasury, given that this would mean the more wealthy Jerusalemites were contributing to a much-needed project. It is also possible that these wealthy members of society may have been consulted over the matter, but had refused or been divided over it. Pilate, frustrated by the subsequent delay, may simply have taken what he needed for the project’s completion.

There is a parallel to be found in Josephus. [32] During the reign of Agrippa the Second, some twenty-five years after Pilate’s governorship, some of the wealthy Jerusalemites approached the King with plans for some building projects in and around the Temple precincts. These projects were to be funded from money of their own that was being held on deposit. Why were such proposals made? According to Josephus, after the completion of the Temple buildings there were many unemployed roaming the streets of Jerusalem; the wealthy wished simply to provide them with some sort of income. However, earlier in the passage Josephus says ‘it was because of their fear of the Romans that they did not wish to have any money held on deposit there’[33] (that is, in the Temple).

The altruistic nature of these wealthy citizens’ act appears to be somewhat overshadowed by their fear of Roman intervention – but intervention in what? Certainly, unemployed mobs could lead to disorder – something that would indeed attract Roman intervention. But why should intervention in the doings of the popular masses concern the wealthy Jerusalemites? Why should this make them feel that their deposits in the Temple were suddenly at risk? Instead, could we be seeing an echo of what happened to such money during Pilate’s governorship? Was the real threat posed by the attention that the Roman governor may have been giving to these funds? According to Josephus it was about this time that the then governor Albinus heard that he was to be replaced. Also according to Josephus,Albinus sought to gain a name for himself as one who had done some service to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.[34] Is it possible that he may have looked, as his predecessor had done, at the private deposit chamber? Did he wish to initiate some building project worthy of future association with his name?

The section of the treasury that contained private deposits seems to have been the most obvious target for anyone who wished to appropriate the Temple’s treasure without violating any sacred boundaries. Therefore, it is reasonable to suppose that Pilate may have turned his attention here when he became short of funds. However, I propose that he did not appropriate any money from any of these sources. The main reason for this argument lies with the evidence for the Jewish response to this supposed heinous crime.

The Jewish Response

According to Josephus,[35] when the Roman governor Florus appropriated seventeen talents from the Temple treasury there were mass demonstrations which led to rioting and violence. We are told that, fired by this outrage, the people rushed in a body to the Temple to make their feelings known. All this over just seventeen talents!

When Heliodorus planned to rob the less sacred deposits in the treasury we are also informed that:

the priests prostrated themselves before the altar and called toward heaven. People hurried out of their houses in crowds to make a general supplication because the holy place was about to be brought into dishonour. Women girded themselves with sackcloth and thronged into the streets. Even younger women who were kept indoors ran together to the gates and some to the walls, while others peered out of the windows. And all holding up their hands to heaven they made supplication there was something pitiable in the prostration of the whole populace and the anxiety of the High Priest in great anguish.[36]

We can compare this with the reaction of the Jews to the supposed act of violation against the Temple funds by Pilate.[37] In doing so, we see that, unlike the earlier incident involving Roman standards[38] (when religious susceptibilities had been flouted), objection to Pilate’s behaviour was not immediate. The people waited until he was on a visit to Jerusalem before airing their grievances, and according to Bond[39] it appears that the aqueduct was well underway, if not completed, when the supposed riot broke out. Certainly resentment seems to have taken some time to build up. In fact, there could have been many who saw this visit as an opportunity to engage in some general anti-Roman demonstrations without specific grievances or reasons. If, as we are led to believe by Josephus, they objected to the project, then why was there no mass protest at the time? Why wait until the project was underway or even completed?

The War account gives the impression that hostility to Pilate was widespread and that a great number of people surrounded him to voice their complaints.[40] But if we follow Schurer’s premise that this is merely a later insertion by Josephus, then we can perhaps dismiss this account as the less reliable version. On the other hand, the account inAntiquities suggests that not everyone was involved in the ‘riot’. Apparently only some of the crowd hurled insults and abuse and Josephus goes so far as to mention those who were not rioting.[41] However, as Bond rightly states, we must be aware that both of these accounts may be influenced by the apologetic nature of Josephus’ writings, withWar emphasising the disastrous effects of mass riot and Antiquities exonerating the Jewish people by declaring that not everyone was involved.[42] Bond also states that there are two points in the Antiquities version which may suggest that this is the more reliable account. First, it emphasises the divide in opinions regarding the extent of the violation of Jewish religious principles.[43] This makes sense: surely only the more pious element of the Jewish people would be concerned with the aspect of Pilate’s behaviour in question. And, following on from this, Pilate’s method of dealing with the situation seems ‘realistic’: he is said to have dispersed among the crowd a troop of his soldiers dressed as civilians, having given them orders not to use their swords but to beat any troublemakers with their cudgels.[44] Surely if Pilate had been faced with a large-scale riot the last thing he would do would be to send in undercover ‘policemen’ to deal with situation. It certainly seems more likely that he was dealing with a large crowd, and that only an extreme element of this crowd was causing a problem. However, this in turn raises a question. Did Pilate realise he had caused offence and thus he expected trouble? Obviously he did; but he did not anticipate the kind of trouble that required the large-scale deployment of troops. Josephus’ account does not, to my mind, reflect the kind of response amongst the Jewish people that Pilate would have expected, and that would indeed have occurred, had Pilate misappropriated sacred money. As we have already noted, there was a far greater outcry over Florus’ seventeen talent misdemeanour.

Yet we cannot deny Josephus’ statement that he took money from the treasury. This raises yet another question: why was there no deputation to Rome? After all, the theft of sacred money carried the death penalty – a penalty instigated by Roman powers. Surely the threat of such a penalty was ideal for use against such a brutish governor? And are we to believe that Pilate was foolhardy enough to act in a fashion so frowned upon in Rome when he was probably intent upon impressing his Roman superiors?

Conclusion: Pilate Exonerated?

According to Josephus, Pilate took money from the Temple treasury. Hints as to which section of the treasury are ambiguous, and perhaps ambiguity was Josephus’ intended effect. The most likely section would have been the private deposit chamber. But we have seen that the Jewish people’s response to this supposed action was not consistent with attempted robbery of the treasury – not even the robbing of wealthy Jerusalemites.

Pilate may well have used up the money from the special fund that was specifically channelled towards such building projects. It seems quite possible that he may only have been allocated a certain amount and that, when he needed more, he met with some opposition and so was forced to use his own special means of ‘persuasion’. Naturally this would have caused resentment, but would this have led to a riot after the project was completed?

Another possibility is that, with Pilate having appropriated money from the private section of the Temple treasury, those who had money deposited there may have employed others to cause a disturbance during Pilate’s visit. The riots that might ensue might, in turn, force him to reimburse the aggrieved citizens.

There is, however, another equally plausible explanation. The Jewish world did not subscribe to the type of euergetistic practices common in the Graeco/Roman world. Josephus says when speaking of Herod the Great’s benefactions that:

the very same attentions that he showed to his superiors he expected to have shown to himself by his subjects, and what he believed to be the most excellent gifts he could give another he showed a desire to obtain for himself. But as it happens the Jewish nation is by Law opposed to all such things and is accustomed to admire righteousness rather than glory.[45]

Wealthy Jewish individuals were not seen to adorn the city with grand edifices for which they were honoured with public offices and inscriptions. The building of an aqueduct to service the needs of the city and Temple would, in the Graeco/Roman world, have been a competition between members of the wealthy elite to see who could gain the most prestige from the venture. To the Jews, however, this would not be the case: there was only one benefactor and patron and that was God. In return for God’s favours the individual was required to carry out certain obligations, not all for personal gain. Some obligations were performed on behalf of God, to whom the people owed their well being. The most obvious one was the contribution to the Temple funds in the form of the tax, which was paid to facilitate the daily sacrifice. Other income that the treasury received came from acts of dedication: the property or money was given to God and it was on God’s behalf that it was distributed.

As far as the evidence demonstrates, no wealthy member of the Jewish elite offered to carry out the funding for the aqueduct, beneficial though it was to the city as a whole. If we look at the previous evidence we can see a reason for this. There was already a fund to take care of such projects, a fund to which all the Jewish people had contributed. It belonged to God and was distributed on His behalf to His people. It was not considered pious to display one’s wealth for personal glorification, so private contributions would have been frowned upon; by using these special funds, contributors could preserve their anonymity and the ensuing good works could be seen as emanating from God.

In this instance, Pilate decided how the Temple funds should be spent. In all likelihood he also wanted his name associated with the spending of that money – that is, with the aqueduct. (Some evidence for this is found in the inscription from his other building project, the Tiberium at Caesara, which gives his name and his dedication to the Emperor). In these things, I propose that he was seen to be usurping God’s role as benefactor . This may account for the rather ‘exclusive’ response from the pious amongst the Jewish population. In neither of his two accounts does Josephus provide us with a clear reason for the scale of the outcry against Pilate. Rather than elaborate on Pilate’s presumption – a type of presumption which only the most pious Jews would readily recognise – might it not have been easier for Josephus to allow his readers to believe Pilate stole sacred money? Especially if he had an agenda to discredit Roman intervention in Jewish affairs?

In the event, Josephus never actually accuses Pilate of stealing the money but of spending it upon a building project in rather high-handed fashion. And it is this which seems consistent with the idea of Pilate usurping God’s role as benefactor. The majority of Josephus’ readers would be non-Jews. How difficult would it have been for them to appreciate the Jewish notion of ‘righteousness before glory’? Would they have found fault in Pilate’s usage of money that was designed for the very purpose to which he put it? Would they not have found it perplexing that an outcry should occur because of an act of euergetism? If the Jewish mentality was incomprehensible to Pilate – and apparently it was – then it must have been incomprehensible to a great many other Romans.

The episode of Pilate and the aqueduct raises far more questions than this article can hope to address. However, it is an incident that demonstrates how ancient historical sources can be combined with ancient Jewish sources – sources that have traditionally been rejected by historians – to find fresh insight into this particular period of Roman history.

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[1] Josephus, Bellum Judaicum,Antiquities Judaica & Contra Apionium (hereafter BJ,AJ & CA respectively). Philo,Embassy to Gaius. Trans. Thackery. Loeb editions, Harvard University Press, London, 1965. Back

[2] The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John . Also in the Acts of the ApostlesBack

[3] H.K. Bond, Pontius Pilate in History and Interpretation , Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998, ch. 1. Back

[4] E.M. Smallwood, The Jews Under Roman Rule, Brill, Lieden, 1981, p.162. Back

[5] E. Schurer, History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ, Vol.1, Rev. Ed., T & T Clark, Edinburgh, 1979, p.149. Back

[6] M. Goodman, The Ruling Class of Judaea, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,1989, p.149. Back

[7] Josephus, BJ.2:171-6 &AJ .18:60-62. Back

[8] Bond, Pontius Pilate, ch. 1.Back

[9] Babylonian Talmud (b), Jerusalem Talmud (y) and Mishnah (m) books of Shekalim,KiddushinKettubahBack

[10] S. Safrai, ‘Talmudic Literature as an Historical Source for the Second Temple Period’, in D. Mishkmaw (ed.),Jerusalem School for Synoptic Research, Vol. 17, No. 18, 1992, pp.121-137. Back

[11] Safrai, ‘Talmudic Literature’, p.128. Back

[12] m.Shekalim.6:1-5. Back

[13] m.Shekalim.4:2. According to the Babylonian Talmud b.Kettubah.106b, these expenses were covered by funds donated for the maintenance of the Temple. This was presumably from the hekdesh fund. Back

[14] AJ .20:219-22. Also the great construction works undertaken in both the Temple and the city at the instigation of the High Priest Simon (after 200 BCE : Ecclesiasticus 50:1-4) appear to have been financed by this fund. They were utilised again by King Demetrius (152 BCE. in 1 Macc.10:41) for construction work within the Temple. Back

[15] m.Shekalim.4:1. Fifteen days before Passover and Shauvot and on the twenty-ninth of Elul.Back

[16] m.Shekalim .4:7. Back

[17] b.Kiddushin .55a, b;b.Kiddushin.61a; b.Kiddushin .28b. Back

[18] y.Shekalim .2:15. Back

[19] The Tosefta (Shekalim.2:25) and the Mishnah (Ar .8) both state that many people devoted houses and land to the Temple, but since the Temple did not keep landed property it was sold and the proceeds deposited in the treasury.Back

[20] There are twenty-nine references to the word in the Bible. Back

[21] Mark 7:11-13. Back

[22] AJ.4:43; CA.1:167;BJ .2:171-6. Back

[23] BJ.2:176 Back

[24] AJ.18:60. Back

[25] BJ.2:175. Back

[26] 2 Macc.3:4-22. Back

[27] 4 Macc.4:6. Back

[28] Not only the wealthy placed their money here. 2 Macc .34 tells us that the deposits of widows and orphans were also held. (While these widows and orphans may, of course, have been wealthy themselves, still this might indicate that anyone, wealthy or otherwise, could have deposited their personal treasures for safekeeping) .Back

[29] BJ .6:282. Back

[30] Augustus had included the Temple tax in the category of sacred money: anyone stealing it would be subject to the death penalty. AJ.14:215. Back

[31] Schurer, History, Vol. 2, pp.283-4. Back

[32] AJ.20:219-23. Back

[33] AJ.20:220. Back

[34] AJ.20:215. Back

[35] BJ.2:293. Back

[36] 2 Macc.3:4-22. Back

[37] BJ.2:171-5;AJ.18:62-3. Back

[38] BJ .2:169. Back

[39] Bond, Pontius Pilate, p.87. Back

[40] BJ.2:176. Back

[41] AJ.18:61. Back

[42] AJ.18:61. Back

[43] The same division of opinion occurred later in the episode concerning the shields. Philo, Embassy to Gaius, 299-305. Back

[44] BJ .2:175. Back

[45] AJ .16:157-8. Back