The census offering in the book of Exodus is very interesting. Whenever a census of the Israelites was taken, everyone who was twenty years old and older had to pay a half-shekel as an atonement offering. This offering money could only be used for the operation of the Tent Tabernacle. This monetary offering would likely have discouraged the regular counting of the people and contributed to their trust in God, rather than on their numbers. It also would have reminded the Israelites of their position before God, needing always to make atonement for themselves whether it be through animal sacrifice or monetary offering. It is also important to note that financial status did not matter when it came to atonement, everyone had to give the exact amount, no more no less. The wealthy may have attained great status in their lives, but they meant no more to God than the poorest among them. To God, a life is a life.
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