Friday, May 20, 2011
Silver in the Bible - The "Devil's Metal"?
Recently we see lots of mention in American and Canadian media about how silver is the "devil's metal" (so-called because many fortunes have been lost trading it). In reality, the theft from the poor that occurs due to fiat money and inflation is the true evil. Every day they lose a little of their savings to inflation and pay higher prices for food, as Ben Bernake runs the printing presses. It is a vain effort to preserve the status quo of endless debt and deficits. Silver, on the other hand, is an "honest weight and measure" like the Bible/Torah commands and was the metal that was acceptable for giving to God's temple in Jerusalem in the Old Testament.
When Jesus overturned the money-changers tables, he was not angry at the concept of money or profit, he was angry at them for charging people a high premium for the special silver coin that was needed in order to make temple offerings. Essentially the money-changers were running an extortionist/monopolistic cartel; other Jews were required by their religion to visit the temple and there was no where else to get the coins (of course he was most angry about them defiling a house of God by turning it into a marketplace, but the monopoly made it worse). This is similar to today where the government requires everyone to do business and pay tribute in their monopoly-cartel pieces of paper and these papers are constantly losing value. Anyway, more discussion of this some other post, but here are a few mentions of silver in the King James Bible (I provide some context instead of single verses, but for full context you should go to the chapters):
For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD: I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him. The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. The rich and the poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all. A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
And I will shake the nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.
The Bible repeatedly warns in these and other verses that A) virtue/wisdom is superior to wealth and B) Ultimately, God owns everything. But, there is nothing inherently evil in gold and silver, only in how some people go about getting them. What the Bible truly abhors is cheating the poor, widows, and orphans by moving property stones, extracting usury, requiring harsh taxes, lying, using incorrect weights and measure, and of course outright theft. This is exactly what the Federal Reserve and US Government do every single day.