Silver – Redemption
In the scriptures bible metals are associated with particular bible
subjects. The metal, silver, is associated with the subject of
redemption. It is well known that throughout history, silver and gold
have been used as mediums of exchange (money). The primary medium of
exchange in the scriptures is silver. The great majority of times that
we find silver mentioned in the scriptures it is used as money to
purchase or redeem various objects or materials.
Many times in the scriptures we
see various numbers, metals, colors, etc. associated with the basic
bible doctrines by use of types and shadows. We will look at the
following examples of how silver is typically used to show forth the
redemptive work of Jesus Christ:
1. Value of price of a servant.
2. Trespass offering.
3. Trumpets of silver.
4. Gift to Benjamin.
5. Redemptive price of children of Israel.
6. Abraham's gifts to Rebekah.
7. Foundation of the tabernacle.
Value or Price of a Servant
In the scriptures there is a close correlation between the metal,
silver, and the subject of redemption. Also, the scriptures give us the
value of a servant in terms of shekels of silver. This is given to us in
the book of Leviticus: Lev. 27:3-7 "And thy estimation shall be of the
male from twenty years old even unto sixty years old, even thy
estimation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the
sanctuary. And if it be a female, then thy estimation shall be thirty
shekels. And if it be from five years old even unto twenty years old,
then thy estimation shall be of the male twenty shekels, and for the
female ten shekels. And if it be from a month old even unto five years
old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver,
and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver. And
if it be from sixty years old and above; if it be a male, then thy
estimation shall be fifteen shekels, and for the female ten shekels."
The value of a servant depended on the age and the gender of the
servant. Generally the value of a female servant was considered less
than the value of a male servant. I suppose this is because it was
because the female would be able to do less labor than the male servant
at the same age. For instance to redeem a male servant would cost 50
shekels of silver.
An example of the above is that
Joseph was sold into Egyptian bondage for twenty shekels of silver when
he was 17 years of age. This was the value of a servant between 5 years
old and 20 years old: Gen. 37:28 "Then there passed by Midianites
merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold
Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought
Joseph into Egypt."
The Old Testament prophesied that Christ would be sold for thirty pieces
of silver: Zec. 11:12, 13 "And I said unto them, If ye think good, give
me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty
pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a
goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces
of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD." This
prophesy was fulfilled as stated in the following passages:
1. Mat. 26:15 "And said unto them,
What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they
covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver."
2. Mat. 27:3 "Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he
was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of
silver to the chief priests and elders,"
3. Mat 27:9 "Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the
prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of
him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value;"
Christ was about 33 ½ years of age
when he was crucified. The value of a male servant was set at 50 shekels
of silver in the book of Leviticus. Then why was he sold for 30 shekels
of silver? According to the prophecy in Zechariah the Lord said that the
price was a goodly price. Why was it a goodly price? The answer is that
the Lord came to redeem his bride. The value of his bride in bondage as
a servant would have been 30 shekels of silver and not 50 shekels of
silver. Jesus did not come to redeem himself as he had no need for
redemption. He came to redeem his elect people, his bride. She was the
one who was sold into the bondage of sin and required redemption. Jesus
gave his life for the redemption of his bride, the elect family of God.
There is a strong correlation in the scriptures between the use of the
metal, silver, and the subject of redemption. This correlation is
manifest in the Old Testament types and shadows of the trespass
The requirements of the trespass
offering are set forth for us in the book of Leviticus: Lev. 5:15-16 "If
a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance, in the holy things
of the LORD; then he shall bring for his trespass unto the LORD a ram
without blemish out of the flocks, with thy estimation by shekels of
silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering: And
he shall make amends for the harm that he hath done in the holy thing,
and shall add the fifth part thereto, and give it unto the priest: and
the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass
offering, and it shall be forgiven him."
Every sin is a trespass against
the commandments of the Lord. Among the requirements of the trespass
offering was that the trespasser pay a certain number of shekels of
silver based on the estimation of the High Priest. This teaches us that
there is a redemption price required for a trespass or sin against God.
Now the scriptures are clear that
we are not redeemed by money: 1 Pet. 1:18-20 "Forasmuch as ye know that
ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from
your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with
the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without
spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world,
but was manifest in these last times for you." A redemption price is
required to redeem the elect family of God unto God. This redemption
price is not money, nor can it be paid by the trespasser. The redemption
price for our redemption is that of the precious blood of Christ, as of
a lamb without blemish and without spot. The silver in the Old Testament
type of trespass offering just showed us that redemption from sin
required a redemption price.