Treasury

trezh’-ur, trezh’-ur-er, trezh’-ur-i (otsar, genaz, genez, ganzakh, chocen matmon, mickenah, mikhman, `athudh, saphan; gaza, thesauros):

I. In the Old Testament.

1. Treasure

The English word "treasure" has in the Old Testament at least five somewhat distinct meanings as expressed in the words: "treasure," genaz (Aramaic) or genez (Hebrew), usually meaning "the thing stored"; translated "treasures" in Ezr 6:1, but in 5:17 and 7:20 translated "treasure-house": "search made in the king’s treasure-house." In Es 3:9; 4:7 the Hebrew form is translated "treasury," as is ganzakh in 1Ch 28:11.

2. Storehouse:


3. Hidden Riches:

"Treasure" or something concealed. There are 3 Hebrew words with this meaning and all in the King James Version translated "treasure." (1) Matmon, which literally means "a secret storehouse" and so a secreted valuable, usually money buried, and so hidden riches of any kind, hid treasures: "treasure in your sacks" (Ge 43:23); "dig for it more than for hid treasures" (Job 3:21); "search for her as for hid treasures" (Pr 2:4); "We have stores hidden in the field, of wheat," etc. (Jer 41:8). (2) Mikhman, treasure as hidden, used only in Da 11:43: "have power over the treasures of gold and silver." (3) Saphan, meaning hidden treasure or valuables concealed: "hidden treasures of the sand" (De 33:19).

4. Strength:

Perhaps the strength of riches and so treasure, the Hebrew word being chocen, from a root meaning to hoard or lay up: "In the house of the righteous is much treasure" (Pr 15:6); "They take treasure and precious things" (Eze 22:25).

5. Something Prepared:

"Something prepared," made ready, the Hebrew word being `athudh, meaning "prepared," "ready," therefore something of value and so treasure: "have robbed their treasures," fortifications or other things "made ready" (Isa 10:13).



II. In the New Testament.

1. Gaza:

There are two words translated "treasure": Gaza is of Persian origin, meaning "treasure." Found only once in Ac 8:27 concerning the Ethiopian "who was over all her (Queen Candace’s) treasure." In the compound gazophulakion, "guarding of gaza," the same word appears and the compound is translated "treasury" in Mr 12:41,43 parallel Lu 21:1; Joh 8:20.

See Temple; Treasury (OF TEMPLE).

2. Thesauros:

The word thesauros means literally, a "deposit," so wealth and treasure. Evidently throughout the New Testament it has a twofold usage as describing

(1) material treasure, either money or other valuable material possession, and

(2) spiritual treasure, e.g. "like unto treasure hid in a field" (Mt 13:44); "good treasure of the heart" (Mt 12:35).


In Mt 27:6 the word for "treasury" is korbanas; compare the Revised Version margin.

See Corban.


(’otsar, usually; ganzakh, 1Ch 28:11; gazophulakion, korbanas):

1. Origin of the Treasury:

The need of a "treasury" in connection with the house of Yahweh would early be felt for the reception of the offerings of the people, of tithes, and of the spoils of war dedicated to Yahweh. Already in Jos 6:19,24, therefore, we read of a "treasury of the house of Yahweh," into which "the silver and gold, and vessels of brass and iron," taken at Jericho, were brought. In the reign of David, and in his plans for the future temple, great prominence is given to the "treasuries." In 1Ch 26:20 ff are given the names of those who were over "the treasures of the house of God," and over "the treasures of the dedicated things" ("the spoil won in battles," 26:27), the latter being applied "to repair the house of Yahweh."

2. The Solomonic Temple:


3. The Second Temple:

The Book of Ne introduces us to treasury-chambers in the second temple--now used for the voluntary offerings (tithes) of the people--grain, and wine, and oil (Ne 13:4 ff; compare Mal 3:10). A certain Meshullam had repaired the city wall "over against his chamber" (Ne 3:30), and he, with other Levites, kept "the watch at the storehouses of the gates" (Ne 12:25). These gates were probably gates of exit on the southern side, as in the Herodian temple.

4. Herod’s Temple in the nodetitle:

In Herod’s temple the name "treasury" was specially given to the "court of the women" (see TEMPLE, HEROD’s), where were 13 trumpet-shaped boxes for the reception of the offerings of the worshippers. It was here that Jesus saw the poor widow cast in her two mites (Mr 12:41; Lu 21:1-4), and the court is expressly named the "treasury" in Joh 8:20: "These words spake he in the treasury, as he taught in the temple." It is a legitimate deduction that this court was the ordinary scene of the Lord’s ministry when teaching in the temple.

See also TREASURE, TREASURER, TREASURY.

W. Shaw Caldecott