shek’-’-l, shek’-el, she’-kel, she’-kul (sheqel): A weight and a coin. The Hebrew shekel was the 50th part of a mina, and as a weight about 224 grains, and as money (silver) was worth about 2 shillings 9d., or 66 cents (in 1915). No gold shekel has been found, and hence, it is inferred that such a coin was not used; but as a certain amount of gold, by weight, it is mentioned in 2Ch 3:9 and is probably intended to be supplied in 2Ki 5:5. The gold shekel was 1/60 of the heavy Babylonian mina and weighed about 252 grains. In value it was about equal to 2 British pounds and 1 shilling, or about $10.00 (in 1915). See Money; Weights and Measures. In the Revised Version (British and American) of Mt 17:27 "shekel" replaces "piece of money" of the King James Version, the translation of stater.

See Stater.

See also

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    (’ebhen ha-melekh, "stone (i.e. weight) of the king"): The shekel by which Absalom’s hair was weighed (2Sa 14:26), probably the light shekel of 130 grains.