The temple in Jerusalem was both the center of ancient Israel's religious life and also an economic center for the nation. In this ground-breaking study of the economic functions of the Jerusalem temple, Marty E. Stevens, who worked for fifteen years as a Certified Public Accountant prior to getting a Ph.D. in Old Testament, demonstrates that the templeacted as the central bank, internal revenue collector, source of loans, and even debt collector for ancient Israel. Applying a broad knowledge of temple-systems throughout the ancient Near East, Stevens sheds light on the roles played by various officials mentioned in Scripture and their tasks within the temple complex. Neither "Big Brother" nor "big business" the temple still served government and commerce in the course of conducting its religious functions. This fascinating book opens new avenues for understanding the Jerusalem temple and its impact on Israelite society.
Marty E. Stevens holds a PhD in Old Testament from Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education. Prior to embarking on an academic career, she worked for fifteen years as a CPA in the US, Canada, and Europe. She teaches Biblical Studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.