The Widow’s Mite – A Powerful Reminder of What’s Truly Important to God

Israel Today is happy to offer, in extremely LIMITED SUPPLY, authentic “widow’s mites” from the 1st century BC found in archaeological digs in Jerusalem

By Israel Today Staff |
A visitor looks at old coins dated to the time of the Jewish Second Temple on display in the Davidson Center near the Old City in Jerusalem. Photo: Abir Sultan/FLASH90

The precious pennies a poor widow offered in the Temple are now available to our readers from the private collection of Lenny Wolfe, the “Indiana Jones of Israel.”

Wolfe is an archaeologist and prominent dealer in antiquities from the early Jewish and Christian world and in the detection of forgeries. He has written several academic works and also curated exhibitions. In 2012, he acquired part of the so-called ‘Afghan Geniza’ and was appointed by the Israel Antiquities Authority to acquire the remainder for the State of Israel.

The widow’s mite courtesy Lenny Wolfe

Mr. Wolfe, who works tirelessly to save the ancient treasures of the Jewish people, has opened his private collection to readers of Israel Today, including these authentic and certified 1st Century BC “widow’s mites” discovered in archaeological digs in Jerusalem.

The coins were minted by Alexander Jannaeus, King of Judea from 103 to 76 BC, the great grandnephew of Judah Maccabee. These mites were the least valuable coins circulated in Judea. The term “mite” came into use in the 14th century in Flanders and is used in the King James Bible. The Aramaic and Hebrew for a mite is “prutah” or a “penny’s worth.”

These are the bronze pennies mentioned in the Gospels of Luke and Mark, which record that a poor widow put but “two small mites” into the Temple offering. At the time, Jesus was sitting opposite the treasury watching the crowds place their offerings on the table. Rich people laid down large amounts, but a poor widow leaves just two small copper mites, a penny’s worth. People would come at the end of their workday to the Temple bringing their offerings, and this poor woman gives her entire minimum wage day’s labor for the House of God.

Seeing the cynical reaction on the faces of his disciples to the widow’s pennies, Jesus calls them over to explain what is happening. “Let me tell you the truth about this,” he says. “This poor widow, she has put more than all the others into the treasury,” he explains. “They contribute a lot, but only out of their excess, what they don’t really need. This poor widow has given out of her poverty and given all that she (and her children) have to live on.”


A daily reminder

These widow’s pennies stand as a powerful testimony that God’s ways are fundamentally different than the ways of the world. These ancient mites prompt us to reflect on what we believe to be truly important in life. Do we think that we are blessed in proportion to our sense of earthly greatness? Do we sometimes believe that “bigger is better,” tempted to imagine that riches, beauty or honor have anything to do with true spirituality?

Why not place an authentic “widow’s mite” from Jerusalem on your desk or frame it on a wall in your home as an ongoing reminder of what true spirituality means? One, or a pair of these certified authentic bronze pennies would make a great gift for a special occasion for a child or grandchild as a keepsake and reminder of what is truly important in life. What a great Bar Mitzvah, Confirmation or Graduation gift! Or start you own collection of ancient biblical artifacts as a family heirloom.

Each coin comes from the private collection of Lenny Wolfe with an authorized Certificate of Authenticity.

They won’t last long so

Order yours now


Israel Today Membership

Read all member content. Access exclusive, in-depth reports from Israel! Free Zoom events. Connect with Israel right from your home! Raise a voice of truth and hope. Support Faith-based journalism in Jerusalem!


/ month
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Become a Member


/ year
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Save 18% Per Month.
Become a Member

Six Months

every 6 months
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Save 9% Per Month.
Become a Member

Leave a Reply

Israel Today Newsletter

Daily news

FREE to your inbox

Israel Heute Newsletter

Tägliche Nachrichten

KOSTENLOS in Ihrer Inbox

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter