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Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics Definition of Modern Hebrew Words

Shekel

By Jeff A. Benner


In Biblical Hebrew the word שקל (sheqel, Strong's #8255) was used as unit of measure for measuring the weight of gold, silver or copper. The root of this word is שקל (Sh.Q.L, Strong's #8254) and means "to weigh."

When Israel became an independent nation in 1947 they inherited the "Palestinian Pound" as their form of currency, but in 1952 they replaced the "Palestinian Pound" with a new form of currency, the "Shekel." While the word "shekel" was used as a unit of weight in ancient times, in Modern Hebrew it is strictly used as a unit of currency. In 1985 the "Shekel," which suffered from hyperinflation, was replaced with the "New Shekel."

The Hebrew text in the lower left corner reads, Bank of Israel (top line); One new Shekel (bottom line).




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