Coin in the fish's mouth

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Apostle Peter paying the temple tax with coin from the fish's mouth by Augustin Tünger, 1486.
Tilapia zilli ("St. Peter's fish") - served in a Tiberias restaurant.

Coin in the fish's mouth is one of the miracles of Jesus, told in the Gospel of Matthew 17:24-27.[1][2][3][4]

According to the Gospel, after Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Apostle Peter and asked, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?" And Peter replied: "Yes, he does".

When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak and said:

"What do you think, Simon?" he asked. "From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?"

"From others," Peter answered. "Then the children are exempt," Jesus said to him, implying that as the son of God, he is exempt from paying God's tax. Then Jesus said:

"But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours."

The four-drachma coin would be exactly enough to pay the temple tax (two-drachma coin) for two people.[5]

The Bible does not name the fish, but Tilapia is sometimes referred to as St. Peter's fish.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Clowes, John, 1817, The Miracles of Jesus Christ published by J. Gleave, Manchester, UK page 194
  2. ^ Maguire, Robert, 1863 The Miracles of Christ published by Weeks and Co. London page 221
  3. ^ Daniel J. Scholz 2009 Introducing the New Testament ISBN 0-88489-955-1 page 86
  4. ^ Steven L. Cox, Kendell H Easley, 2007 Harmony of the Gospels ISBN 0-8054-9444-8 page 349
  5. ^ Keener, Craig S., 2009, The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, ISBN 0-8028-6498-8, page 445.