Silver Shekel - ''30 Pieces of Silver'' - Ancient Phoenicia, Tyre - c. 17-18 AD.
Obv: Bust of Melgart (Hercules), right.
Rev: Eagle standing left on prow with Palm.
Exceptional Coin for Issue!
RPC 4656.(27mm, 14.27gm)
Thirty pieces of silver was the price for which Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus, according to an account in the Gospel of Matthew 26:15 in the New Testament. According to the gospel accounts, Judas Iscariot was a disciple of Jesus. Before the Last Supper, Judas went to the chief priests and agreed to hand over Jesus in exchange for 30 silver coins. Jesus is then arrested in Gethsemane, where Judas reveals Jesus' identity to the soldiers by giving him a kiss.
The silver shekel of Tyre is considered by most biblical scholars to be the coins given to Judas, as they were the most commonly used and accepted large silver coins in the Holy Land at that time. The annual tribute tax paid to the Jerusalem Temple was acceptable only in the shekel and half shekel coins of Tyre. Thus the money changers set up around the Temple court, shouting out their rates to exchange the pilgrims’ own currency for the Tyrian coinage - an activity that Jesus found offensive.
(Reference: Hendin, Guide to Biblical Coins, pg 420-428 for a detailed account of this historical coinage).