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The purses of the OT (e.g. Isa. 46: 6) were small bags, often poorly made (Hag. 1: 6). Because they often allowed coins to drop out, they were an apt symbol for an inflationary economy. They were carried in the girdle or belt (Matt. 10: 9). Judas had charge of ‘the common purse’ (John 12: 6, NRSV, REB; ‘common fund’, NJB).

Subjects: Biblical Studies.

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