13 Each one who crosses over to those already counted is to give a half shekel,[1] according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs. This half shekel is an offering to the Lord.

Matthew Henry's Commentary on Exodus 30:13

Commentary on Exodus 30:11-16

(Read Exodus 30:11-16)

The tribute was half a shekel, about fifteen pence of our money. The rich were not to give more, nor the poor less; the souls of the rich and poor are alike precious, and God is no respecter of persons, Acts 10:34; Job 34:19. In other offerings men were to give according to their wordly ability; but this, which was the ransom of the soul, must be alike for all. The souls of all are of equal value, equally in danger, and all equally need a ransom. The money raised was to be used in the service of the tabernacle. Those who have the benefit, must not grudge the necessary charges of God's public worship. Money cannot make atonement for the soul, but it may be used for the honour of Him who has made the atonement, and for the maintenance of the gospel by which the atonement is applied.