Money And Minerals



In ancient times people did not have coins or dollar bills or checks or credit cards. Instead of using money, they would trade or barter. This means they would exchange (trade, swap) one item for another. For example, a cattleman might give a farmer a cow or bull in exchange for hay. A carpenter might build a house for a farmer in return for vegetables and grain. Even today people barter and trade. Suppose you had a stamp collection. Your friend might have a valuable stamp that you really want and you could offer to swap twenty of your stamps for that one stamp of his.

We can find examples of barter in the Bible. During the great famine in Egypt, what did the people give to Joseph in exchange for bread (Genesis 47:13,16-17)? ______________________________________ King Solomon needed lumber for his building projects and the man who had lots of lumber was Hiram, the king of Tyre. What did Solomon give to Hiram in exchange for cedar trees (1 Kings 5:10-11)? _______________________________________________

Did you know that God wants to make a trade with the believer? God has something which He is able to give the believer. What is it (Isaiah 40:29)? P_____________ In verse 31 of Isaiah chapter 40 we read, "But they that wait upon the LORD shall _______________ their strength." The word "renew" means "change" or "exchange."  God wants to exchange His strength for our weakness. It is as if God were saying, "You give Me your weakness (verse 30), and I will give you My power and strength (verse 29)." Do you think this is a good deal? Does this help you to understand the last part of 2 Corinthians 12:10? In 2 Chronicles 20:12 the Jews said to God, "for we have no M_____________ ."  But who did have power and might (2 Chronicles 20:6)? _________________________


Abraham was a very wealthy man. Why was this so? Was it because he had many hundred dollar bills in his wallet? Was it because he had lots of money in the bank?  No, Abraham was rich because of his great possessions. What did Abraham have that made him so rich (see Genesis 13:2 and 24:35)? ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________

God has said that every believer is R__________ (2 Corinthians 8:9). Why is the believer rich? When you were saved, did God give you thousands of dollars? Did God give you gold and silver? Did God put lots of money in your savings account? No, the believer is rich because of what he has and what he possesses. What are some of the things that every believer HAS?

1) John 6:47
The believer has ___________________________________________

2) Ephesians 1:7
The believer has ___________________________________________

3) Romans 5:1
The believer has ___________________________________________

4) Romans 8:9
The believer has __________________________________________

What are some other things that every believer possesses?  See our study 215 Things That are True of Me Now That I am Saved.

Making Payment

When we go to the store we usually make payment in coins or in bills (or both). In Bible times, payment was often made in goods rather than money. Read Luke 16:5-7. These men did not owe a hundred dollars, but they owed a hundred measures of ________ (this is hundreds of gallons of olive oil) and a hundred measures of ____________ (this is hundreds of bushels of wheat). Even today our country will give other countries large quantities of wheat in exchange for money or other goods.

In Old Testament times coins were not used, but often payment was made by giving the seller precious metals such as silver or gold. Abraham wanted to buy a field and a cave from a man named Ephron so that he could bury his wife Sarah. How did he pay Ephron (see Genesis 23:16)?  

a. He gave him dollar bills.
b. He gave him gold.
c. He gave him silver.
d. He gave him diamonds.
e. He gave him cattle.

Abraham paid this man 400 shekels of silver. A shekel was not a coin, but it was a weight (see Genesis 23:16–"Abraham _________________ to Ephron the silver"). One shekel weighed about the same as a half-dollar (less than an ounce). One pound of silver would be about 35 shekels.

There was also a larger unit of weight called a TALENT. One talent weighed as much as 3,000 shekels. One talent of silver would be like having a bag containing 3,000 half dollars! A talent was as much weight as an able man could carry (see 2 Kings 5:23). In 1 Kings 9:14 we learn that King Hiram sent so much gold to King Solomon that 120 strong men would be needed to carry it (six score equals 6 X 20 = 120)!  None of us will ever see as much gold as this until we get to heaven (see Revelation 21:18,21).

The Salvation Store

Suppose you went into a store without any money (and without any credit cards) at all. How much could you buy? ________________ Have you ever seen a sign on the front of a store which said in large letters: COME! BUY WHATEVER YOU WANT AND BRING NO MONEY! THERE ARE NO PRICES AND YOU NEED NO MONEY! JUST COME BECAUSE IT IS ALL FREE! Would you like to go to that store? _____ Did you know that God has a store just like that? It is called the SALVATION STORE, and you can read about it in Isaiah 55:1. Eternal life is FREE and it cannot be purchased with money. In Acts 8:18-20 we learn of one man who tried to buy God’s gift with money. Was he able to do this? _______  No one can buy salvation because the price has already been paid! The Lord Jesus Christ paid the price, not with silver and not with gold, but with His own precious ________________ (1 Peter 1:18-19). Have you received God’s gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23; John 1:12)?


Coins were very common in New Testament times. As we look at the coins in our pocket or purses, we can see the images of certain Presidents (such as Washington, Lincoln, etc.). The Romans did the same thing. Their coins had the image of the emperor on them. Whose image could be seen on the coin that was brought to Jesus (Matthew 22:19-21)? ____________________________

This "penny" mentioned in Matthew 22:19 was one of the most common of all the Roman coins. When we think of a penny we think of a small copper coin which is the least valuable of all our coins. But the penny mentioned in the New Testament was something quite different from the penny that we have today. Read Matthew 20:1,2,10. How much money were these laborers given for a day’s work? _________ How would you like to work for a whole day and only get one penny? Would you complain about this?

This word "penny" referred to a coin called a denarius. It was actually worth quite a bit of money. The denarius was a silver coin (not copper like our penny) and it was the amount of money that a man would usually earn for a day’s wage. How much does your father earn in one day for the work which he does? In Bible times a hard working man would receive one "penny" (denarius) for his daily wage. Try this trick on your parents: Tell them that you want them to give you the amount of money that is worth seven pennies. They will probably think: "Is that all? Seven cents is not very much!"  But then explain to them that you want this amount of money to be worth the same as seven pennies that were used in New Testament times. This would be equal to the amount of money a working man earns for seven days work! 

In John 12:3-5 we learn that Mary anointed Jesus with a valuable ointment. How many pennies (or pence) was this ointment worth? ____________ If one penny equaled a day’s wages, how many days would a man need to work to earn enough money to purchase this expensive ointment? __________________ This would be the amount the average worker would earn in one year (remember, there are 365 days in a year but 52 of these days are Saturdays and the Jews did not work on the Sabbath).

Today inflation is getting worse and worse. As a result our dollars are able to buy less and less. Prices continue to climb higher and higher. Yet the inflation of today is nothing compared to the inflation during the tribulation period (that future time of great trouble that will come upon the earth after Jesus returns to take His believers to heaven--John 14:3). Revelation 6:6 tells about this time of terrible inflation.

How much will a person need to pay for a measure of wheat (Revelation 6:6)? ________________ (one denarius). If a man worked all day he would receive one penny (the daily wage) and with this one penny he could only buy one measure of wheat. A measure of wheat is how much a laboring man would eat in one meal. Barley was a cheaper grain. How many measures of barley could he purchase with his penny (Revelation 6:6)? ________ This would provide him with three meals. But there would be no money left to buy other things such as olive oil and wine. In other words, he had to spend a whole day’s wages for a loaf of bread with no money left to buy anything else. These will be days of great famine and even death (verse 8) for the people living on earth at that time. How thankful are you for the groceries that your family is able to purchase every week?  Do you help your parents carry in bags of groceries?  Are you thankful for all that is in those bags?



The Bible mentions all kinds of minerals (gold, silver, precious stones, iron, copper, marble, pearls, etc.), but in this chapter we will only mention a few minerals. First let us learn how some of the minerals were purified and refined:


Suppose you found a rock which contained gold ore. This rock would not be pure gold because the rock would contain other minerals also. This gold must be purified or refined in order to get rid of the impurities.

The gold ore is first placed in a crucible (a pot which is used to melt metals). The fire heats the crucible and the metal melts into a liquid state. The impurities then come to the surface and they can be skimmed off. These impurities are called DROSS or SCUM. The fire does not harm the gold. Each time the gold goes through the fire it comes out better and more refined (more pure) than before. The same is true for silver.

Psalm 12:6 says that God’s words are pure just like a metal that has been purified. It is like silver that has been completely purified (purified seven times).  This means that God’s words are pure and perfect. There are no impurities. There are no mistakes in the Bible. There are no errors. There is nothing but PURE TRUTH! God’s Word is very ____________ (Psalm 119:140). There is no other book like it.

God also wants His believers to be PURE. Sometimes God will put a believer through the fires of trials and tests. He does this not to destroy us but to purify us.  Job said, "when He hath tried me (refined me), I shall come forth as  _____________" (Job 23:10). What were some of the great trials that God put Job through (see Job chapters 1-2)?

Should we be surprised if God should put us through fiery trials (1 Peter 4:12)? ______  See also 1 Peter 1:6-7. Should we be thankful that God is getting the impurities out of our life?


The Jews used the word brimstone to describe a substance that would catch on fire easily. Usually the word refers to sulfur. Sulfur burns with a blue, hot flame. Sulfur deposits can be found in Palestine, especially around the Dead Sea region.

When sulfur catches on fire it can be a terrifying thing. It would melt and run in burning streams down the ravines (narrow valleys) spreading suffocating fumes everywhere.

Brimstone is used in the book of Revelation to describe the LAKE OF __________ (Revelation 19:20; 20:10; 21:8). This is also called the SECOND DEATH (Revelation 20:14; 21:8). What kind of a person will never be hurt by the second death (see Revelation 2:11 and 1 John 5:5)? _________________________________________________________________


Today we use salt to season food and make it taste good. When something does not taste good, salt may help (see Job 6:6).

In Bible times there was another use of salt that was even more important. Salt was used in preserving foods. What would happen if you were to leave the milk or the hamburger meat out of the refrigerator? Would it go bad and spoil? In Bible times people did not have refrigerators or freezers, but they did have salt. Salted foods would not tend to spoil or become corrupt. Salt in food helps the food not to go bad as fast as it would if there were no salt.

In Matthew 5:13 Jesus said to His followers, "Ye are the ________ of the earth." The world we live in is becoming more and more evil and corrupt (2 Timothy 3:13--"W____________ and W____________"). Yet, in this evil world there are believers who are SALT.  They are helping to keep the world from going too bad too fast. When a believer is obeying God’s Word, his life will help to restrain and hold back the forces of evil.

A good example of this is found in the Old Testament. Jehoiada was a godly priest who acted as "salt" during the reign of King Joash. As long as Jehoiada was alive, what did Joash do (2 Chronicles 24:2)? _______________________________________ But after Jehoiada died and the "salt" was gone, we are shocked to see how CORRUPT King Joash became (2 Chronicles 24:15-22).

Consider your own life. Are you helping to corrupt this world or are you helping to slow down the corruption? Are you like the salt that is preserving the food or are you like the food that is spoiling? If others lived the way you live, would the world be better off or worse off? How salty is your life? Can your unsaved friends see a difference in the way you live and act? Do they need to see more of a difference? Why is there not more of a difference?