Biblical Weights and Measures


A bekah for every man, that is, half a shekel, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for every one that went to be numbered, from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty men. And of the hundred talents of silver were cast the sockets of the sanctuary, and the sockets of the vail; an hundred sockets of the hundred talents, a talent for a socket.

exodus 38:26-27 - kjv

What are they talking about? Shekels, homers, baths, and cubits are all foreign to most people. There is even a measurement called a "measure". That sounds like the lead in for an Abbott and Costello skit. It's almost enough to drive a person to start reading the NIV. Taking a chance on becoming NIV positive is nothing to fool around with. With that in mind, here is a chart of Biblical weights and measures.

WEIGHTS 
       
beka 1/2 shekel(10 gerahs)    88.14  grains    5.711 g
gerah                          8.81  grains    0.570 g
mina (50 shekels)             20.148 oz      571.175 g
pim 3/4 shekel(1 1/2 bekas)    0.25  oz        7.0   g
pound (Hebrew mina)           20.148 oz      571.175 g
pound (Latin libra)            0.719 lb      325.707 g
shekel(2 bekas)               176.29 grains   11.423 g 
talent (60 minas)             75.558 lb       34.227 kg
talent (Hebrew talent)        75.558 lb       34.227 kg
                

MEASURES 
      
DRY MEASURES of CAPACITY

ephah, measure (3 seahs)         20.878 qt        22.986 L 
homer, measure, cor(2 lethechs)   6.524 bu       229.892 L
kab  (4 logs)                     1.159 qt         1.276 L
lethech(5 ephahs)                 3.262 bu       114.946 L
log (1 1/4 kab)                    20.5 cu. in       .33 L  
measure (3 1/3 omers)             6.959 qt         7.661 L
omer (1/10 epah, 1 4/5 kabs)      2.087 qt         2.297 L
seah (3 1/3 omers, 6 kabs)          .25 cu ft       7.33 L
 
LIQUID MEASURES of CAPACITY

bath (6 hins, 3 seahs)            6.073 gal       22.986 L
hin (3 kabs, 12 logs)             1.012 gal        3.830 L
kab (4 logs)                      1.349 qt         1.276 L
log (1/12 hin)                    0.674 pt         0.318 L 
measure,cor (10 baths)           60.738 gal      229.893 L  
seah (6 kabs, 2 hins)             2.0   gal        7.33  L

MEASURES of LENGTH

cubit (2 spans) 6-7 palms         17.49 in.        44.424 cm  
finger (digit) 1/12 span          0.728 in.         1.849 cm
gomedh 3 3/4 palms, 1 1/4 spans    12.0 in.          30.0 cm  
handbreadth (4 fingers)           2.915 in.         7.404 cm 
palm (handbreadth) 4 fingers        3.0 in.           7.5 cm 
span (3 handbreadths)             8.745 in.        22.212 cm


MEASURES of CAPACITY

measure (Hebrew bath)             6.073 gal       22.986 L  
measure (Hebrew cor)              6.524 bu       229.892 L 
measure (Hebrew seah)             6.959 qt         7.661 L 
measure                            10.3 gal       38.985 L 
quart                              0.98 dry qt     1.078 L
bushel (Latin modius)              7.68 dry qt     8.455 L
pot (Latin sextarius)              0.96 dry pt     0.528 L 
                                   1.12 fluid pt   0.529 L

MEASURES of LENGTH

cubit 6-7 palms, 2 spans          18 in.          45 cm  
fathom   4 cubits. 8 spans        72 in.         182 cm
furlong                          606 ft          184 m

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