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By the half century before the birth of Christ, they had become the predominant coin in the Judaeo-Phoenician area.
Every year, a Jewish man, 20 years and above, paid a voluntary half shekel tax to the Temple in Jerusalem.
This tax, instituted by Moses (Ex , 16), was paid in either the Tyrian shekel (for himself and one other) or half-shekel (for only himself).
The Jewish Talmud required the tax to be paid with a coin of high purity silver and it was therefore the 94% silver Tyrian shekels that became the only accepted coin type for this tax.
The Tyrian shekel is mentioned at least twice in the New Testament.