The temple in Jerusalem was both the center of ancient Israel’s religious life and an economic center for the nation. In this groundbreaking study of the economic functions of the Jerusalem temple, Marty E. Stevens, who worked for 15 years as a certified public accountant prior to getting a PhD in Old Testament, demonstrates that the temple acted as the central bank, internal revenue collector, source of loans, and even debt collector for ancient Israel. Applying a broad knowledge of temple-systems throughout the ancient Near East, Stevens sheds light on the roles played by various officials mentioned in Scripture and their tasks within the temple complex. Neither “Big Brother” nor “big business,” the temple still served government and commerce in the course of conducting its religious functions. This fascinating book opens new avenues for understanding the Jerusalem temple and its impact on Israelite society.
The Logos Bible Software edition of this volume is designed to encourage and stimulate your study and understanding of Scripture. Biblical passages link directly to your English translations and original-language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. In addition, you can perform powerful searches by topic and find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about the Word of God.
Professor Stevens has generously provided both the guild and the church a marvelously accessible study of the economic role of the temple in ancient Israel. She brings to her analysis the precision of an accountant, the judiciousness of a historian, and the passion of an educator. Her work will prove to be an indispensible reference work and an engaging textbook.
—William P. Brown, professor of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary
This study presents an entirely new way of looking at the Jerusalem temples and their personnel. Stevens brings to light the most neglected aspect of temple life in most previous scholarship, i.e., the commercial role it played in the culture of its times. She has introduced fresh ways of conceiving its function as the power behind the throne and nation.
—John M. Halligan, professor of Bible, St. John Fisher College
Marty E. Stevens holds a PhD in Old Testament from Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education. Prior to embarking on an academic career, she worked for 15 years as a CPA in the US, Canada, and Europe. She teaches biblical studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.