Piece of Silver
Two words are thus rendered in the Old Testament (ratstse-khaceph, and qesiTah) and two in the New Testament argurion, and drachme). The first expression means pieces of silver broken off from bars or larger pieces (Ps 68:30). The second is used for money in Jos 24:32, and is so rendered in the Revised Version (British and American). The pieces were not coins, but perhaps bore a stamp. See MONEY. In other passages of the Old Testament where pieces of silver are mentioned, the Hebrew has simply a numeral joined with keTeph, "silver," as in the account of the selling of Joseph (Ge 37:28). In Isa 7:23 the word silverlings means small pieces of silver, and they were no doubt shekels. In the New Testament the Greek arguria (Mt 26:15; 27:3-9), is translated as pieces of silver, but probably means shekels. In Ac 19:19 the same word occurs, but in this case the reference is probably to the denarius or drachma (compare Lu 15:8 f). Thus, the 30 pieces of Matthew would be equal to about 4 British pounds or $20 (in 1915), and the 50,000 of Acts to about 2,000 British pounds or $10,000 (in 1915).