A small piece of money, two of which made a kodrantes, or the fourth part of the Roman as. The as was equal to three and one-tenth farthings sterling, or about one and one-half cents. The mite, therefore, would be equal to about two mills, Lu 12:59; 21:2.
contraction of minute, from the Latin minutum, the translation of the Greek word lepton, the very smallest bronze of copper coin (Lu 12:59; 21:2). Two mites made one quadrans, i.e., the fourth part of a Roman as, which was in value nearly a halfpenny. (See Farthing.)
lepton. The seventh of an obolus, which was the sixth of a drachma or denarius, "penny" (Mr 12:42; Lu 12:59; 21:2). Half of a quadrans or farthing. The smallest coin. The widow sowed her all; she might have kept back one of the two mites for herself (2Co 9:6). God accepted the widow's mites, but rejects the miser's "mite."
See WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.
a coin current in Palestine in the time of our Lord.
Mr 12:41-44; Lu 21:1-4
It seems in Palestine to have been the smallest piece of money (worth about one-fifth of a cent), being the half of the farthing, which was a coin of very low value. From St. Mark's explanation, "two mites, which make a farthing," ver. 42, it may perhaps be inferred that the farthing was the commoner coin.
MITE. See MONEY.