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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Table, Tablet

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TABLE,TABLET (Luke 1:63 πινακίδιον, 2 Corinthians 3:3 and Hebrews 9:4 πλάξ).—The word πινακίδιον, not wholly unknown in classical Greek, although it is not commonly used, occurs but once in the NT and not at all in the Septuagint. When it is used in Luke 1:63 it denotes, in all probability, a wax-covered wooden writing-tablet. The ordinary LXX Septuagint word for ‘tablet.’ or ‘table’ is the word πλάξ which is found also, as mentioned above, in the NT in two passages. In Isaiah 30:8 we find πυξίον (ἐπὶ πυξίον), which is a writing-tablet of box-wood, and in Jeremiah 17:1 we have στῆθος (ἐπὶ τοῦ στήθους τῆς καρδἱας), ‘breast,’ ‘surface.’ Both πυξίον and στῆθος, however, stand, for the Heb. לוּהַ, which is the ordinary word for ‘tablet’ or ‘table,’ and is used, e.g. in Exodus 31:18, in reference to the tables of the Law. נִּלָּיוֹן (Isaiah 8:1), rendered in the Authorized Version ‘roll,’ is in the Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 more suitably rendered ‘tablet.’ Tablets were in almost universal use in the ancient world alike for purposes of correspondence and for literary purposes in general, and were formed of various materials, such as stone, clay, and wood, the wood being sometimes whitewashed, sometimes covered with wax. Bronze also was employed for tablets, at least in some of the countries about the Mediterranean, but seemingly only for such tablets as contained inscriptions of an official nature.

Literature.—The Commentaries; artt. in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible and Encyc. Bibl.; works on Assyria, Babylon, and Egypt in general; allusions in Ramsay’s Letters to the Seven Churches.

Geo. C. Watt.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Table, Tablet'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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