Rev. Peter Ill, pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Millstadt, IL joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Exodus 30:11-16.
The tabernacle was not simply a beautiful tent in the middle of Israel’s camp. The tabernacle was the place God dwelled among His people for their forgiveness. It was His gift to each and every one of His people. His command for a census was the reminder to His people that He knew each and every one of them by name. Attached to this census was a mandatory offering. Everyone who was numbered, whether rich or poor, was to give half a shekel to support the work of the tabernacle. The mandatory nature of this offering taught the people that their sins had to be covered; a ransom was necessary. The census offering was a clear connection for each Israelite to the work of the tabernacle done on their behalf. No silver or gold could finally pay the ransom for sinners, however. The golden prophecy of the mandatory census offering pointed forward to Jesus Christ, the complete ransom for sinners. It was necessary that He suffer, die, and rise as the perfect payment for the sins of all people. Now His righteousness covers us in Holy Baptism. He marks us as His own and makes us true sons of God who are free from sin and its condemnation.
“The Saga of Salvation” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that takes a step-by-step walk through the book of Exodus. This premier account of salvation in the Old Testament proclaims that the LORD is the one true God, the Creator and Redeemer, who alone is worthy of our worship and faith, all the while pointing us forward to the ultimate deliverance He gives through the exodus accomplished by Christ.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
The Census Tax
11 The Lord said to Moses, 12 “When you take the census of the people of Israel, then each shall give a ransom for his life to the Lord when you number them, that there be no plague among them when you number them. 13 Each one who is numbered in the census shall give this: half a shekel[a] according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs),[b] half a shekel as an offering to the Lord. 14 Everyone who is numbered in the census, from twenty years old and upward, shall give the Lord‘s offering. 15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half shekel, when you give the Lord‘s offering to make atonement for your lives. 16 You shall take the atonement money from the people of Israel and shall give it for the service of the tent of meeting, that it may bring the people of Israel to remembrance before the Lord, so as to make atonement for your lives.”
- Exodus 30:13 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams
- Exodus 30:13 A gerah was about 1/50 ounce or 0.6 gram
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.