Before the Exile the Jews had no regularly stamped money. They made use of uncoined shekels or talents of silver, which they weighed out ( Genesis 23:16 ; Exodus 38:24 ; 2 Sam 18:12 ). Probably the silver ingots used in the time of Abraham may have been of a fixed weight, which was in some way indicated on them. The "pieces of silver" paid by Abimelech to Abraham ( Genesis 20:16 ), and those also for which Joseph was sold ( 37:28 ), were proably in the form of rings. The shekel was the common standard of weight and value among the Hebrews down to the time of the Captivity. Only once is a shekel of gold mentioned ( 1 Chronicles 21:25 ). The "six thousand of gold" mentioned in the transaction between Naaman and Gehazi ( 2 Kings 5:5 ) were probably so many shekels of gold. The "piece of money" mentioned in Job 42:11 ; Genesis 33:19 (marg., "lambs") was the Hebrew kesitah , probably an uncoined piece of silver of a certain weight in the form of a sheep or lamb, or perhaps having on it such an impression. The same Hebrew word is used in Joshua 24:32 , which is rendered by Wickliffe "an hundred yonge scheep."
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.
[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
Bibliography InformationEaston, Matthew George. "Entry for Coin". "Easton's Bible Dictionary".