View Full Version : The 2-drachmus tax

Apr 5th 2009, 04:47 PM
I know this is an odd question - but I want to find out more about the 2-drachmus tax that Jesus talks about in Matthew 17. It's the end of the chapter and he tells Simon Peter to go fish and in the mouth of the fish he will find a 4-drachmus coin for the 2-drachmus tax which will cover the both of them.

I'm trying to find historical information on what types of coins existed during that period, if there were really coins as I know them, and what area this message was thought to be given. Was it a 4-drachmus coin or two coins or what.

sorry I know it's an odd question but I don't know where else to look. I've had no luck so far =P


Apr 5th 2009, 06:13 PM
Some info here, depending on how much you trust Wikipedia.


Apr 5th 2009, 07:00 PM
The Greeks actually combined the currency from both Persia and Babylon into the Greek coinage. A drachma is equivilent to the Roman denarius, which was a days wage.

So apparently drachmas came in several different values, such as the four drachma coin in the fishes mouth. The two drachma temple tax was a dididrachma or a half shekel.

This is part of the information contained in the "NIV Dictionary of the Bible", by J.D. Douglas & Merrill C. Tunney

Apr 5th 2009, 07:47 PM
awesome! thanks

I noticed the wiki article about it, but couldn't find something more relevant to when Jesus was preaching.

NotMyOwn - I'll have to check out that dictionary =) Thanks.

Any ideas on where Jesus was while giving this message? Nearby towns/cities?

Apr 5th 2009, 10:18 PM
I'm an idiot... they were in Capernaum

Apr 6th 2009, 12:52 AM
Welcome to the board and thanks for being so honest! :lol:

Great you could find the help you were looking for.

Capernaum was a town on the sea as well so not too far to go and catch the fish. ;)


Apr 6th 2009, 11:16 AM
haha, thanks. Once I knew the name I looked up a map and noticed how close is was to the Sea of Galilee, being where I previously thought they were located; somewhere in Galilee, which caused the confusion.

Thanks again for the welcome!