The verse states (24:22):

ויקח האיש נזם זהב בקע משקלו ושני צמידים על ידיה עשרה זהב משקלם

the man took a golden nose ring, weighing half [a shekel], and two bracelets for her hands, weighing ten gold [shekels].

What, if any, is the significance of these particular gifts and their weights?


1 Answer 1


Rashi there says:

  • The half shekel weight of the nose-ring is a reference to the מחצית השקל, the half shekel coin that Jews donated to the Temple yearly.
  • The bracelets refer to the ten tablets -- the two bracelets are the two tablets, and the weight of 10 shekels corresponds to the Ten Commandments.

Tol'dos Yitzchak (by Rav Yitzchak Karo, uncle of the Bes Yosef) [h/t msh210] and Targum Yonasan ben Uziel (seen here) agree with Rashi, quoted above.

  • 1
    Tol'dos Yitzchak (Rav Yitzchak Karo, uncle of the Bes Yosef) agrees. (Of course, he significantly postdated Rashi.)
    – msh210
    Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 6:05
  • 2
    Rabbi Soloveichik observed that a would-be convert is asked two general questions: "do you agree to keep the commandments?" and "do you want to belong to the Jewish people?" Hence: the half-shekel represents membership in the people, and the ten commandments represents the nuts-and-bolts actions.
    – Shalom
    Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 9:52

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