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Mark 12:41

ESV And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums.
NIV Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.
NASB And Jesus sat down opposite the treasury, and began watching how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large amounts.
CSB Sitting across from the temple treasury, he watched how the crowd dropped money into the treasury. Many rich people were putting in large sums.
NLT Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts.
KJV And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.

What does Mark 12:41 mean?

"The treasury" mentioned here doesn't refer to the collection of money used to build and support the temple (Joshua 6:19; Ezra 2:69; Nehemiah 7:70–71), but the actual area of the temple where the offerings are collected; this area is also called the Court of Women because women are not allowed to enter any further into the temple complex. That Jesus is "opposite" the treasury suggests He may be sitting under the east portico, not far from the Beautiful Gate which looks out over the Mount of Olives, which is His next destination (Mark 13:1–3).

Shekalim, Chapter 6, Mishnah 5 says the temple had thirteen trumpet-shaped chests, one each for the present and previous censuses (Exodus 30:13), four to support the sacrifices, one for the mercy seat, and six for freewill offerings. The fact that the woman does not put in a shekel and the rich give more than a shekel suggests Jesus is referring to the freewill offerings. When Jesus says that the hypocrites "sound" a "trumpet" when they give (Matthew 6:2), He is probably referring to the noise a handful of coins makes when dropped into one of these chests.

It is, of course, moral and acceptable to donate a large amount of money to a church or ministry. Christian organizations appreciate generosity! Jesus is merely using this opportunity to explain that the sacrificial posture of this woman's heart is more precious to God than all the gold and silver the rich men give. God already owns the whole world; what He wants is our faithfulness (Psalm 50:7–11).
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