Note: after describing the altar of incense where atonement was made each year, the record describes the half shekel tribute that every man over 20 years had to give. From this silver was made sockets for the tabernacle. The explanation that the shekel is 20 gerah parallels the 20 years of age. Was the Israelite being told that his early years of non responsibility were being atoned for?
A. 10 And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the LORD.
B. 11 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 12 When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them.
C. 13 This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:)
D. an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD.
C’. 14 Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD.
B’. 15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.
A’. 16 And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.