“And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.”
King James Version (KJV)
Mr 12:42 There came a certain poor widow. Here, as in other places in the Bible, we must remember the exceedingly depressed and dependent condition of a poor man's widow in the countries where our Lord was. The expression is almost proverbial for one very badly off, and most unlikely to contribute anything to a charitable purpose. Two mites. The smallest of Jewish coins, about the value of one-fifth of a cent. It took its name from its extreme smallness, being derived from the adjective "lepton", signifying "thin". A farthing. Mark (not Luke) adds for his Roman readers an explanation, using a Greek word, "kodrantes", (taken from the Latin "quadrans"), meaning the fourth part, as our word "farthing" does. The value is only of importance as showing upon how minute a gift our Lord pronounced this splendid panegyric, which might be envied by a Croesus or a Rothschild.