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Old Testament Weights and Measures

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Standard Measures of VolumeEdit

Liquid MeasuresEdit

1 Bath = 22 liters or 5.8 gallons
1 Hin = 3.66 liters or 3.9 quarts
1 Kab = 1.2 liters or 2.5 pints
1 Log = 0.3 liters or 1.3 cups
10 Baths = 1 homer (or kor) = a "donkey load" = 58 gallons

Dry MeasuresEdit

1 Ephah = 22 liters or .62 bushel
1 Seah = 7.3 liters or 6.6 quarts
1 Omer = 2.2 liters or 2 quarts
1 Kab = 1.2 liters or 1 quart
1 Log = 0.3 liter or .5 pint
5 ephahs = 1 lethech (half-homer) = 110 liters or 3.1 bushels
10 ephahs = 1 homer = 220 liters or 6.2 bushels
Although both David and Ezekiel attempted to standardize weights and measures, complete uniformity was never achieved. Some of the unscrupulous tried to turn this situation to their advantage by keeping two sets of weights. To guard against unfairness, it was not uncommon for an individual to carry his own weights with him in a purse or bag. The need for this practice brought strong rebukes from the prophets, because it indicated the poor spiritual condition of the Israelites. [1]

Weights and MeasuresEdit

10 gerahs = 1 bekah (approximately 6 grams or .21 oz)
2 bekahs = 1 shekel (approximately 11 grams or .39 oz)
50 shekels = 1 mina (approximately 500 grams or 17.5 oz)
60 minas = 1 talent (approximately 30 kg or 66 lbs)

The heavy, royal shekel weighed 13 grams. The heavy, double-standard talent weighed 60 kilograms.

Linear MeasuresEdit

1 cubit = elbow to fingertip = 18 inches or 45 centimeters. The long cubit was 20.4 inches.
1 span = outstretched hand from thumb to little finger = 9 inches or 23 centimeters
1 palm (or handbreadth) = 3 inches or 76 mm.
1 finger (or digit) = 1/4 handbreadth = 3/4 inches or 19 mm.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Old Testament Institute Manual:Genesis–2 Samuel

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