How Many Times Is Money Mentioned in the Bible?
29 SEP 2017
Money is mentioned 140 times in the King James Version of the Bible. If we include the words gold, silver, wealth, riches, inheritance, debt, poverty, and related topics, it turns out that the Bible pays a great deal of attention to financial matters -- more than nearly any other subject.
The word "money" in the Bible refers to gold and silver, the two forms of currency used in that part of the world during Biblical times. Looking at the King James Version, the book also specifically mentions gold 417 times and silver 320 times.
Gold is referenced more often in the Bible than any other metal. It is mentioned already in the story of Adam and Eve in the second book of Genesis, verses 11-12, speaking of the land of Havilah "where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good."
Silver first appears in Genesis 13:2, telling of Abram's "riches of cattle, silver, and gold."
For an example, financial matters are mentioned more often in the Bible than prayer, healing, and mercy. The topic of sin, however, is addressed more frequently than finances, with even the specific word "sin" and variations on it appearing nearly 600 times!
With all the discussion in this book about money, what does the Bible actually have to say about it? The New International Version will be used for all examples below.
The main theme advises against being too attached to money, and pointing out that wealth can be fleeting. The Bible encourages trusting in God to provide rather than trying to build up and hoard large amounts of wealth.
Proverbs 23:4-5 states: "Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle."
Hebrews 13:5 says, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and learn to be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you.'"
The Bible warns that the pursuit of money can cause problems in one's faith and in other areas of life.
Ecclesiastes 5:10 notes, "Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless."
In Matthew 6:24, Jesus says, "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."
1 Timothy 6:10 states, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."
The Bible states the importance of tithing (giving a tenth of one's income to charity) and sharing. Jesus advised giving away more than a tithe. He says in Luke 12:33, "Sell your possessions and give the money away to those in need."
The followers of Jesus had a communal way of life. In Acts 4:32-35, we are told: "All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had . . . There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need."