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Fifty Shekels Paid to Ornan

Dear Rabbi, although I am a gentile and have not converted to Judaism, I do believe in the G-d and the divinity of Torah… there are those who try and argue that Torah is not divine because of factual contradictions. Although this does not concern me because I believe in the divinity of Torah, because G-d spoke to Moses and the people at Mount Sinai and for many other reasons, and also because for some un-explainable reason my heart tells me that it is in fact the Word of G-d.

How does one answer those how attack the Word of G-d?

Also did 50 shekels of silver have an eqaul value to 600 shekels of gold. And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy [it] of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the L-RD my G-d of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 2 Sam 24:24 Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the L-RD: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people. And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all. And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the L-RD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost. So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight.

I appreciate any answer you can offer.



Fifty shekel of silver are certainly not equivalent to six hundred shekels of gold.

The question is addressed by the Talmudic Sages, who offer two answers.

One suggested answer is that David collected fifty shekels from each tribe, totalling six hundred shekels. According to this explanation, the shekels of Samuel are also gold, and the word kesef means money rather then silver.

Another given answer is that when David saw that fire descended from the heavens, he bought the surrounding area, too, for the purpose of the future construction of the Temple. Therefore, the sum of money paid increased dramatically.

With best of wishes–may G-d guide you on the path of truth.

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