of silver contained 3,000 shekels (Ex. 38:25, 26), and was equal
to 94 3/7 lbs. avoirdupois. The Greek talent, however, as in the
LXX., was only 82 1/4 lbs. It was in the form of a circular
mass, as the Hebrew name _kikkar_ denotes. A talent of gold was
double the weight of a talent of silver (2 Sam. 12:30). Parable
of the talents (Matt. 18:24; 25:15).
Reduced to English troy-weight, the Hebrew weights were: (1.)
The gerah (Lev. 27:25; Num. 3:47), a Hebrew word, meaning a
grain or kernel, and hence a small weight. It was the twentieth
part of a shekel, and equal to 12 grains.
(2.) Bekah (Ex. 38:26), meaning "a half" i.e., "half a
shekel," equal to 5 pennyweight.
(3.) Shekel, "a weight," only in the Old Testament, and
frequently in its original form (Gen. 23:15, 16; Ex. 21:32;
30:13, 15; 38:24-29, etc.). It was equal to 10 pennyweight.
(4.) Ma'neh, "a part" or "portion" (Ezek. 45:12), equal to 60
shekels, i.e., to 2 lbs. 6 oz.
(5.) Talent of silver (2 Kings 5:22), equal to 3,000 shekels,
i.e., 125 lbs.
(6.) Talent of gold (Ex. 25:39), double the preceding, i.e.,
(2 Sam. 12:30, Heb., R.V., "their king;" Jer. 49:1, 3, R.V.;
Zeph. 1:5), the national idol of the Ammonites. When Rabbah was
taken by David, the crown of this idol was among the spoils. The
weight is said to have been "a talent of gold" (above 100 lbs.).
The expression probably denotes its value rather than its
weight. It was adorned with precious stones.
the lamp-stand, "candelabrum," which Moses was commanded to make
for the tabernacle, according to the pattern shown him. Its form
is described in Ex. 25:31-40; 37:17-24, and may be seen
represented on the Arch of Titus at Rome. It was among the
spoils taken by the Romans from the temple of Jerusalem (A.D.
70). It was made of fine gold, and with the utensils belonging
to it was a talent in weight.
The tabernacle was a tent without windows, and thus artificial
light was needed. This was supplied by the candlestick, which,
however, served also as a symbol of the church or people of God,
who are "the light of the world." The light which "symbolizes
the knowledge of God is not the sun or any natural light, but an
artificial light supplied with a specially prepared oil; for the
knowledge of God is in truth not natural nor common to all men,
but furnished over and above nature."
This candlestick was placed on the south side of the Holy
Place, opposite the table of shewbread (Ex. 27:21; 30:7, 8; Lev.
24:3; 1 Sam. 3:3). It was lighted every evening, and was
extinguished in the morning. In the morning the priests trimmed
the seven lamps, borne by the seven branches, with golden
snuffers, carrying away the ashes in golden dishes (Ex. 25:38),
and supplying the lamps at the same time with fresh oil. What
ultimately became of the candlestick is unknown.
In Solomon's temple there were ten separate candlesticks of
pure gold, five on the right and five on the left of the Holy
Place (1 Kings 7:49; 2 Chr. 4:7). Their structure is not
mentioned. They were carried away to Babylon (Jer. 52:19).
In the temple erected after the Exile there was again but one
candlestick, and like the first, with seven branches. It was
this which was afterwards carried away by Titus to Rome, where
it was deposited in the Temple of Peace. When Genseric plundered
Rome, he is said to have carried it to Carthage (A.D. 455). It
was recaptured by Belisarius (A.D. 533), and carried to
Constantinople and thence to Jerusalem, where it finally