“And Jesus sat over against the treasure, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasure; and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites…and he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, verily I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they wich have cast into the treasure: for all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all she had…”
This is the coin that she cast into the treasury. It would probably be equivalent to a penny today. This bronze coin was struck in Judea early in the 1st century BC.
SHEKEL OF TYRE
In ancient Jerusalem there was a chronic lack of good silver coins. The only city nearby which produced them was Tyre. The shekel shows the head of Melquarth and the back shows an eagle standing, and it was struck in large quantities. It is the shekel that historians have identified as the coin in which Judas would have been paid (the famous 30 pieces of silver) for his betrayal of Jesus.
“Bring me a penny, that I may see it. And they brought it. And he saith unto them, whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, caesar’s. And Jesus, answering, said unto them, render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.”
The front shows the portrait of emperor Tiberius. This coin is not actually called a penny but a denarius.