Generosity and inflation

Shuaib Caves in Al-Bada’a, region of Tabuk in northwestern Saudi Arabia. Picture By بندر الحويفي – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Although the Midianites were related to the Israelites they proved to be their adversaries on multiple occasions. They even hired a Prophet of Jehovah by the name of Balaam, to curse them! 

In Numbers 31 we read that Israel fought the Midianites and afterwards that the chiefs of the thousands and the chiefs of the hundreds approached Moses and wanted to donate their spoils of war.  Now the Israelite army consisted of 12.000 soldiers, so 12 heads over a thousand and 120 heads over one hundred. That’s 132 army leaders in total. They contributed a total of 16,750 shekels of gold, which is 190,950 grams of gold with a value of 11,258,412 US dollars in todays terms. 

That is a contribution of on average $85,291 per army leader. What can we learn from their generosity?

If one were to do research in the “Insight in the Scriptures” book on JW.ORG and lookup the article on “Midian” you would find this calculation: “Their riches included gold ornaments having a total weight of more than 191 kg (512 lb t, valued now at over $2,150,000).” 

Why do we find a very different price in US dollars here? Because this biblical encyclopaedia was written back in 1988, when te US$ had a much higher value. I guess there is some lesson here about inflation as well 🤔 

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