Money-Changer (κολλυβιστής Mt 21:12; Mr 11:15; Joh 2:15). According to Ex 30:13-15, every Israelite, whether rich or poor, who had reached or passed the age of twenty, must pay into the sacred treasury, whenever the nation was numbered, a half-shekel as an offering to Jehovah. Maimonides (Sheeial. cap. 1) says that this was to be paid annually, and that even paupers were not exempt. The Talmud exempts priests and women. The tribute must in every case be paid in coin of the exact Hebrew halfshekel, about 151d. sterling of English money. The. premium for obtaining by exchange of other money the half-shekel of Hebrew coin, according to the Talmud, was a κόλλυβος (collybuis), and hence the money-broker who made the exchange was called κολλυβιστής. The collybus, according to the same authority, was equal in value to a silver obolus, which has a weight of 12 grains, and its money value is about 11d. sterling. The moneychangers (κολλυβισταί) whom Christ, for their impiety, avarice, and fraudulent dealing, expelled from the Temple, were the dealers who supplied half-shekels, for such a premium as they might be able to exact, to the Jews: from all parts of the world, who assembled at Jerusalem during the great festivals, and were required to pay their tribute or ransom money in the Hebrew coin; and also for other purposes of exchange, such as would be necessary in so great a resort of foreign residents to the ecclesiastical metropolis. The word τραπεζίτης (trapezites),which we find in Mt 25:29, is a general term for banker or broker, so called from the table (τραπέζης) at which they were seated (like the modern "bank," i.e., bench). SEE EXCHANGER. Of this branch of business we find traces very early both in the Oriental and classical literature (comp. Mt 17:24-27: see Lightfoot, Hor. Heb. on Mt 21:12; Buxtorf, Lex. Rabbin. col. 2032). — Smith. It is mentioned by Volney that in Syria, Egypt, and Turkey, when any considerable payments are to be made, an agent of exchange is sent for, who counts paras by thousands, rejects pieces of false money, and weighs all the sequins either separately or together. It has hence been suggested that the "current money with the merchant" mentioned in Scripture (Ge 23:16), might have been such as was approved of by competent judges, whose business it was to detect fraudulent money if offered' in payment. The Hebrew word סוֹחֵר, socher', signifies one who goes about from place to place, and is supposed to answer to the native exchange-agent or money-broker of the East, now called shroff. SEE MERCHANT. It appears that there were bankers or money-changers in Judaea, who made a trade of receiving money in deposit and paying interest for it (Mt 25:27). In the Life of Aratus, by Plutarch, there is mention of a banker of Sicyon, a city of Peloponnesus, who lived 240 years before Christ, and whose whole business consisted in exchanging one species of money for another. SEE CHANGER OF MONEY.

Bible concordance for MONEY CHANGERS.

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