Sacrifice prices have been set
JERUSALEM, APRIL 4, AD 7
A rash of complaints greeted the price lists for sacrificial animals at Passover. “It takes a week’s wages to buy two doves that should sell for only a few pennies,” complained one pilgrim from Turkestan. “Once I brought a perfectly good lamb for sacrifice at Passover and had it rejected as ‘blemished.’ I was forced to buy a temple lamb at a ridiculous price.” These allegations were denied by one of the temple priests who owns a sacrificial stand selling animals. “Our animals are guaranteed acceptable, and no further fees are required. This makes our prices a bargain,” he insisted.
Fees of up to 80% are charged for coin conversion
Also, several pilgrims complained that because the one-half shekel head tax must be paid in Jewish currency, the money- changers charged exorbitant prices for the service. Thirty to forty percent is allowed by law, and this may be doubled if change is required. Jewish coin is also necessary to purchase sacrificial animals and to pay tithes. A banker explained that twenty different types of coinage needed to be changed, and the service is important and valuable. “It helps everyone. Much of the profit goes into the temple treasury.” A pilgrim from Parthia commented: “Indeed, the business is profitable. But there is rumored to be unbelievable wealth in the temple treasury. Too many people live in poverty and must pay unfair levies.” Temple authorities dismissed the charges as frivolous. Authorities would not comment on the size of the temple treasury.
(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)