Other parts of the New Testament (such as Matthew 20) use the ‘ silver piece’ as the typical (pre-tax!) wage for a day’s labour. So 30 pieces are about 5 weeks money (based on a 6 day working week.) In terms of purchasing power, each silver piece was probably worth about $20.
Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What will you give me if I betray him to you?’ They paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him .
The phrase “ 30 pieces of silver ” is a proverb in many modern languages. It refers to someone who has sold out and taken money, high office or personal gain in exchange for betraying a person or an important cause.
The denomination of the silver coins was called shekels. Coins containing that amount of silver (about the size of an American silver dollar) would be worth about $10 today. Thus the 20 pieces would be worth about $200 today, as bullion silver .
There are 31.1035 grams per troy ounce. At spot valuation of $17.06 /oz (the closing price on Monday, December 12, 2016), 30 “pieces of silver” would be worth between $185 and $216 in present-day value (USD).
Silver is a general symbol of Truth but perhaps more specifically, that TRUTH which centers and deals with the RANSOM — the redemption accomplished in Christ Jesus (Tabernacle Shadows, page 114). As these hooks were small in size they represent the small amount of Truth necessary to justify one.
The Gospel of John states that Jesus confronted Judas at the last supper, telling him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” The Gospels of Luke and John both say that Satan “entered” Judas at certain times and may have influenced his decision to betray Jesus .
John mentions four individually, including Jesus ‘ mother Mary , who is not mentioned by the other gospels. Mary Magdalene is mentioned by all the evangelists apart from Luke, who mentions no individual.
Rehabilitating Judas As told in the New Testament Gospels, Judas betrayed Jesus for “30 pieces of silver,” identifying him with a kiss in front of Roman soldiers. Later the guilt-ridden Judas returns the bribe and commits suicide, according to the Bible.
At spot valuation of $17.06/oz (the closing price on Monday, December 12, 2016), 30 ” pieces of silver ” would be worth between $185 and $216 in present-day value (USD).
Possible Motives for His Betrayal Judas then went on his own to the priests of the Temple, the religious authorities at the time, and offered to betray Jesus in exchange for money— 30 pieces of silver, as specified in the Gospel of Matthew.
The coins were most likely thirty shekels of silver , each of which weighed approximately half a troy ounce (fifteen grams). To put this into perspective, the current price for fifteen grams of silver is around R110. The total value today of thirty shekels would be no more than R3300.
The word shekel means simply “weight.” In New Testament times , a shekel was a silver coin weighing, well, one shekel (about . 4 ounces or 11 grams). Three thousand shekels equaled one talent, the heaviest and largest unit of measurement for weight and value in Scripture.
These symbols are key to Christians because of their reference to the cross of Christ where our sins were forgiven through His sacrifice. “ Jesus answered, “He it is, to whom I shall give a sop , when I have dipped it.” And when he had dipped the sop , he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.”
As with many ancient units, the shekel had a variety of values depending on the era, government and region; weights between 7 and 17 grams and values of 11, 14, and 17 grams are common.