Biblical Weights and Measures, a guide

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Biblical Weights and Measures, a guide

Postby GethN7 » Thu May 09, 2019 2:38 am ... guide.html

(see above for original)

The Bible often makes references to various weights and measures in common use at the time it depicts, but little or none of them are used today. Most Bibles contain a summarized conversion table in their index pages of the ones mentioned in the text, but this can still be confusing to modern readers.

The Old Testament period was set during the Bronze Age, before the common usage of currency in Mediterranean societies and thus instead of using a standardized currency based on coinage, items such as gold and silver were given value as established by their weight.

This system sufficed until the Classical Era, which takes place post Babylonian captivity and through the rest of the Old Testament, when early forms of currency emerged.

The New Testament takes place around the time of pre-modern societies, like the Roman Empire, which had long promulgated standardized currency to replace assessing value as was done in the pre-currency days, though some weights and measures were still used for other purposes.

Most Bibles do not cover certain trivia regarding certain weights and measures, so this post has been written to clarify a few ambiguities and confusing parts for modern readers, as well as to clear up occasional common mistranslations in certain texts.

Liquid Measures: Liquid measures cover measures for oil, water, wine, and other liquids.

Log: This was slightly over half a pint, typically mentioned in the Bible regarding the usage of anointing oil, and since not too much would be needed to cover the head of the anointed, this measure was used.

Kab/Cab: Often transliterated with a K or C, depending on translation. Roughly 2 and 1/2 pints.

Hin: Roughly equivalent to one American gallon.

Bath: Equivalent to six American gallons.

Homer/Kor: 60 American gallons. Both terms show up in translations of the Book of Ezekiel.

Metretes: 10 gallons. Shows up in some translations of the Book of John (Gospel Book)

Dry Measures: Covers measures for grain and other items that were not liquids.

Kab/Cab: Often transliterated with a K or C, depending on translation. Roughly 2 and 1/2 pints.

Note: As a dry measure, if used for flour, this barely would have been enough to prepare one meal for a small family for one day, and even that would be starvation rations.

Omer: About 2 1/2 quarts.

Note: Manna mentioned in Exodus would have been gathered in one of these measures, would have lasted a full day for most families for grain related meal products.

Seah: About 8 quarts.

Ephah: 6 gallons.

Note: Would have covered the usual amount of grain needed for the meals of a family for a week.

Lethech: About 30 gallons. Rarely mentioned measure that only shows up in some translations of the Book of Hosea.

Homer/Kor: About 60 gallons.

In dry goods terms, this would have been the amount of grain needed to feed a family for a month.

Money: (Value determined by weight)

Note: Due to the difference in density between silver and gold, silver would have weighed less but had greater volume.

Talent (Silver): About 100 lbs,

Talent (Silver Alternate): About 50 lbs.

Talent: (Gold) About 120 lbs.

Talent: (Gold Alternate): About 60 lbs.

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Re: Biblical Weights and Measures, a guide

Postby ccgr » Fri May 10, 2019 6:47 am

Very cool; thanks for sharing!

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