(1Ch 29:7; Ezr 2:69; Ezr 8:27; Ne 7:70-71), or Drachm (Tobit 5:14; 2 Macc. 4:19; 12:43). The term rendered thus in our version (Sept. δραχμή and χρυσοῦς, Vulg. drachma and solidus; דִּרכּמוֹנַים, darkemonim', Ezr 2:69; Ne 6:19; or with a letter prefixed אֲדִרכֹנַים, adarkonim', 1Ch 29:7; Ezr 8:27) is usually thought to denote the DARIC (δαρεικός) of the Persians (from the Persic dara, a king, whence perhaps the title Darius), and seems to be etymologically connected with the Greek DRACHMA (δραχμή). The daric is of interest not only as the most ancient gold coin of which any specimens have been preserved to the present day, but as the earliest coined money which, we can be sure, was known to and used by the Jews; for, independently of the above passages, it must have been in circulation among the Jews during their subjection to the Persians. It even circulated extensively in Greece. The distinguishing mark of the coin was a crowned archer, kneeling on one knee, stamped on one side, and on the other a deep irregular cleft. Harpocration says that, according to some persons, the daric was worth twenty silver drachmae, which agrees with the statement of Xenophon (Anab. 1:7, 18), who informs us that 3000 darics were equal to ten talents, which would consequently make the daric equal to twenty drachmae. The value of the daric in our money, computed thus from the drachma, is 16s. 3d. sterling, or $3.93; but, if reckoned by comparison with our gold money, it is much more. The darics in the British Museum weigh 128.4 grains and 1286 grains respectively. Hussey (Anc. Weights, 7:3) calculates the daric as containing on an average about 123.7 grains of pure gold, and therefore equal to £1 ls. 10d. 1 76 gr., or $5.29. There are also silver coins which go by the name of darics, on account of their bearing the figure of an archer; but they were never called by this name in ancient times. SEE DARIC.

The drachma (δραχμή, "piece of silver," Lu 15:8-9) was a coin of silver, the most common among the Greeks, and which, after the Exile, became also current among the Jews (2 Macc. 4:19; 10:20; 12:43). The earlier Attic drachmae were of the average weight of 66-5 grains, and in a comparison with the shilling would be equal to 9.72d., or about 19 cents. After Alexander's time there was a slight decrease in the weight of the drachma, till, in course of time, it weighed only 63 grains, and specimens of the later times are in some cases even of less weight than this. In this state the drachma was counted equal to the denarius, which was at first worth 8½d., and afterwards only 7½d., or about 15 cents; which may therefore be considered as the value of the drachma in the New Testament — that is, the nominal value, for the real value of money was far greater in the time of Christ than at present. That the drachma of Alexandria was equal to two of Greece is inferred from the fact that the Sept. makes the Jewish shekel equivalent to two drachmae, SEE DIDRACHMA; and, in fact, an Alexandrian drachma weighing 126 grains has been found. There was also the tetradrachm, or four-drachmae piece, in later times called the stater (q.v.). (See Smith's Dict. of Class. Antiq. s.v. Drachma.) SEE DRACHMA.

Bible concordance for DRAM.

Definition of dram

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.