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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Table, Tablet


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TABLE, TABLET . 1 . Writing tablet is indicated by the Heb. lûach , which is also applied to wooden boards or planks ( Exodus 27:8 ; Exodus 38:7 in the altar of the Tabernacle, Ezekiel 27:5 in a ship, Song of Solomon 8:9 in a door) and to metal plates (in the bases of the lavers in Solomon’s Temple. 1 Kings 7:36 ). It is, however, most frequently applied to tables of stone on which the Decalogue was engraven ( Exodus 24:12 ; Exodus 31:18 etc.). It is used of a tablet on which a prophecy may be written ( Isaiah 30:8 , Habakkuk 2:2 ), and in Proverbs 3:3 ; Proverbs 7:3 and Jeremiah 17:1 figuratively of the ‘tables of the heart.’ In all these passages, when used of stone, both AV [Note: Authorized Version.] and RV [Note: Revised Version.] translate ‘table’ except in Isaiah 30:8 where RV [Note: Revised Version.] has ‘tablet.’ lûach generally appears in LXX [Note: Septuagint.] and NT as plax ( 2 Corinthians 3:3 , Hebrews 9:4 ). The ‘writing table’ (RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘tablet’) of Luke 1:63 was probably of wax.

2. A female ornament is indicated by Heb. kûmâz , AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ‘tablets,’ RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘armlets,’ RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] ‘necklaces,’ Exodus 35:22 , Numbers 31:50 probably a pendant worn on the neck.

The word ‘tablets’ is also the tr. [Note: translate or translation.] of bottç hannephesh in AV [Note: Authorized Version.] Isaiah 3:20 (RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘perfume boxes,’ lit. ‘houses of the soul’). It is doubtful if nephesh actually means ‘odour,’ but from meaning ‘breath’ it may have come to mean scent or smell. On the other hand, the idea of life may suggest that some life-giving elixir, scent, or ointment was contained in the vessels; but the meaning is doubtful.

The ‘tablet’ ( gillâyôn ) inscribed with a stylus to Maher-shalal-hash-baz , Isaiah 8:1 (‘AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ’ roll’), signifies a polished surface. The word occurs again in Isaiah 3:23 where it probably refers to ‘tablets of polished metal’ used as mirrors (AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ‘glasses’).

W. F. Boyd.


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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Table, Tablet'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hdb/t/table-tablet.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 20th, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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