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  • Writer's pictureJerry Ipsen, CFE, MBA

Church Fraud and the Old Testament

Updated: May 27

Church fraud, embezzlement, misappropriation or however you wish to characterize it extends as far back as the Old Testament.  In 2 Kings 12, King Jehoash instructed the priests to use donated money to make needed repairs to the house of the Lord which had fallen into disrepair.  However, in verse 6, some twenty-three years later, the priests still had made no repairs. It was speculated that some sort of embezzlement was occurring.  With that being the case, King Jehoash summoned Jehoiada a priest and others together where they built a chest with a single hole bored into the lid for the collection of future donations. 

In summary, the priests couldn’t be trusted so the money was now being collected by the king’s secretary and the high priest and was given directly to those workmen who had oversight.  The collected money was then hand delivered directly to the carpenters, masons, stonecutters, and other builders for the purchase of materials and their labor.

Even back then, two people were required to count the collected money.  There was oversight as to the use of funds, and workers were paid directly, thus removing the opportunity for theft.

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