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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

tab'-let: A rigid flat sheet (plate, pad or slab) used to receive writing. Stone, clay, wood and perhaps bronze, gold and lead tablets, at least, are mentioned in the Bible. In the Old English sense of "locket" the word is incorrectly used in the King James Version also of what the Revised Version (British and American) translates as "armlets," margin "necklaces" (Exodus 35:22 Numbers 31:50) and "perfume boxes" (Isaiah 3:20).

The technical Hebrew word for tablet, luach, is generally translated in both the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) as "table." This is used for stone, wood or metal plates or tablets with or without writing. In Isaiah (30:8) where the Revised Version (British and American) translates "tablet," it is contrasted with the "roll" and probably means the wood or waxed tablet. In Habakkuk (2:2, the American Standard Revised Version "tablet," the King James Version and the English Revised Version "table") it perhaps refers to a metal tablet to be erected on a wall, but more likely it refers to the wooden tablet. It is also used in Proverbs (3:3; 7:3, the American Standard Revised Version "tablet," the King James Version and the English Revised Version "table") and in Jeremiah (17:1) figuratively of the writing upon the tablets of the heart, the word being rendered in the Septuagint by the same word (plax) used by Paul (2 Corinthians 3:3, "tables" in the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American)) in the same figure. In other cases (Exodus 24:12, etc.) it is used of the tablets of stone containing the Decalogue.

The word gillayon (Isaiah 8:1), which is translated in the Revised Version (British and American) "tablet" and in the King James Version "roll," is elsewhere (Isaiah 3:23) translated "mirror," and is thought to mean a blank polished surface for writing, particularly because in later use it means the blank margin of a roll.


The clay tablet is referred to in Ezekiel (4:1, English Versions of the Bible "tile"), and its use there for a map of the city has been strikingly illustrated in modern excavation by a tablet map discovered at Nippur (Hilprecht, Explorations, 518). Jeremiah (32:14, the Revised Version (British and American) "deeds," the King James Version "evidences") may also refer to clay tablets, but not surely, since roll deeds were also kept in earthen jars. Job (19:24) is thought by some to refer to the writing on leaden tablets, such as were in very common use in antiquity and in the Middle Ages for the writing of charms and especially curses, but more hold that inscriptions filled with lead are meant here. The plate of pure gold (Exodus 28:36 Leviticus 8:9), engraved like the gravings of a signet, which was on Aaron's miter, may also be properly described as a tablet, recalling the silver treaty between the Hittites and Egyptians and the gold plate on which Queen Helena of Adiabene (Yoma' 37a; Jewish Encyclopedia, VI, 334) had engraved a passage from the Pentateuch (Numbers 5:19-22). Bronze tablets (deltos) are several times referred to in 1 Maccabees (8:22; 14:18, 27, 48).

"Daleth" (daleth or deleth), the Semitic (Phoenician) original from which the generic Greek word for tablet (deltos) is derived (Gardthausen, p. 124, note 1), is perhaps not found strictly in this meaning in the Old Testament. The word is used, however, of two kinds of written documents and in such a way as to suggest that one is the original of, and the other derived from, the "daleth"-tablet. In Deuteronomy 6:9 and 11:20 it is enjoined that the laws of Yahweh shall be written upon the gates of the houses, and in each case the "daleths" (doors) are meant, since the door-posts are also mentioned, and in 1 Samuel 21:13, where David "scrabbles," it is expressly said to be upon the "doors" ("daleths") of the gate. This practice of writing upon house doors and city gates corresponds to the modern posting of notices on church doors and scoring of tallies on a door by the rural innkeeper; and the name seems to have passed from this great door tablet to the portable tablet. On the other hand Jeremiah (36:23) uses "daleths" (English Versions of the Bible "leaves") for the columns of a roll, obviously transferring the term from the panel form of the folding tablets.

pinakis, or pinakidion, is found in Ezekiel 9:2, 11 in the version of Symmachus in place of the "writer's inkhorn," and pinakidion, in Luke 1:63, of the (wooden) tablet on which Zacharias wrote the name of John. Puxion is used several times by Septuagint as the translation for luach, and once (Songs 5:14) for ivory tablets. Sanis is used as the translation of "daleth" or luach 2 or 3 times in the Septuagint and still oftener in the other versions. The most common Greek term both in the New Testament (2 Corinthians 3:3 Hebrews 9:4) and in the Greek Old Testament is plax, most often used of the tables of stone. This, like platos, which is also used for luach in Septuagint, is not recognized in the modern textbooks (Thompson, Gardthausen, Birt).


Gardthausen, Griechische Palaeog., Leipzig, I (1911), 123-32; compare pp. 24-45.

See also literature under WRITING.

E. C. Richardson

4093. pinakidion -- a writing tablet
... a writing tablet. Part of Speech: Noun, Neuter Transliteration: pinakidion Phonetic
Spelling: (pin-ak-id'-ee-on) Short Definition: a tablet for writing ...
// - 6k

4109. plax -- anything flat and broad, hence a flat stone
... flat and broad, hence a flat stone. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration:
plax Phonetic Spelling: (plax) Short Definition: a tablet, flat surface ...
// - 6k

1813. exaleipho -- to wipe out, erase, obliterate
... to plaster, rub smooth, or whitewash." Later it referred to "wiping out" in the
sense of "to " (rubbing out a writing or seal impression left on a wax tablet). ...
// - 7k

Strong's Hebrew
3871. luach -- a tablet, board or plank, a plate
... 3870, 3871. luach or luach. 3872 . a tablet, board or plank, a plate.
Transliteration: luach or luach Phonetic Spelling: (loo'-akh) Short Definition: ...
/hebrew/3871.htm - 6k

1549. gillayon -- a table, tablet
... 1548, 1549. gillayon. 1550 . a table, tablet. Transliteration: gillayon
Phonetic Spelling: (ghil-law-yone') Short Definition: mirrors. ...
/hebrew/1549.htm - 6k

5315. nephesh -- a soul, living being, life, self, person, desire ...
... yourselves (13). any, thyself, them your-selves, slay, soul, tablet, they,
thing,. From naphash; properly, a breathing creature, ie ...
/hebrew/5315.htm - 7k

3558. kumaz -- (a golden ornament) perhaps a bracelet
... tablet. From an unused root meaning to store away; a jewel (probably gold beads) --
tablet. 3557, 3558. kumaz. 3559 . Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/3558.htm - 6k

1004. bayith -- a house
... forth of, X great as would contain, hangings, home(born), (winter)house(-hold),
inside(-ward), palace, place, + prison, + steward, + tablet, temple, web ...
/hebrew/1004.htm - 7k


The Tablet of Wax
... CHAPTER LVI THE TABLET OF WAX. The hart panteth after the waters, The dying
for life that departs ". The Lord in His glory for sinners,. ...
/.../ friends of god/chapter lvi the tablet of.htm

Preface to the Book
... Let each scholar be provided with a cheap tablet, a well-bound blank book of two
hundred pages, a small Bible Dictionary of recognized merit, and a copy of the ...
/.../palmer/a birds-eye view of the bible/preface to the book.htm

It is Lawful for Every Christian to Choose the Life of Religious ...
... As therefore the monastic method of life engraves upon us as on a tablet the life
of penitence, we receive [371] whoever approaches it [372] sincerely; nor is ...
/.../schaff/the seven ecumenical councils/canon xliii it is lawful.htm

... If I wish to write on a white tablet, whatever else is written on the tablet,
however noble its purport, is a hindrance to me. If ...
// eckharts sermons/vi sanctification.htm

A Son is Promised to Zechariah
... those praying outside became anxious. He had become dumb, and I saw him
writing on a tablet before coming out. When he emerged from ...
/.../emmerich/the life of the blessed virgin mary/vi a son is promised.htm

D. The Birth of John, and the "Benedictus. " Ch. 1:57-80
... of thy kindred that is called by this name.62 And they made signs to his father,
what he would have him called.63 And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote ...
/.../erdman/the gospel of luke an exposition/d the birth of john.htm

Letter viii. To Niceas, Sub-Deacon of Aquileia.
... For this reason men called letter-carriers tablet-bearers, [122] and
letter-writers bark-users, [123] because they used the bark of trees. ...
/.../jerome/the principal works of st jerome/letter viii to niceas sub-deacon.htm

Of the Holy Men who Flourished About this Time in Egypt, Namely ...
... A tablet was then given to him, which is still carefully preserved. Upon
this tablet were inscribed injunctions by which he was ...
/.../sozomen/the ecclesiastical history of sozomenus/chapter xiv of the holy men.htm

That from the Disputation of Varro, it Follows that the ...
... human things, and afterwards of divine things, because these divine things were
instituted by men:""As the painter is before the painted tablet, the mason ...
/.../augustine/city of god/chapter 4 that from the disputation.htm

At the Well
... The priests had seized upon the site as a place of prayers, placed a tablet there,
commanding them, and a soldier to see that the command was obeyed. ...
// yoke/chapter xxxvii at the well.htm

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Probably a string of beads worn round the neck (Exodus 35:22; Numbers 31:50). In Isaiah 3:20 the Hebrew word means a perfume-box, as it is rendered in the Revised Version.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) A small table or flat surface.

2. (n.) A flat piece of any material on which to write, paint, draw, or engrave; also, such a piece containing an inscription or a picture.

3. (n.) Hence, a small picture; a miniature.

4. (n.) A kind of pocket memorandum book.

5. (n.) A flattish cake or piece; as, tablets of arsenic were formerly worn as a preservative against the plague.

6. (n.) A solid kind of electuary or confection, commonly made of dry ingredients with sugar, and usually formed into little flat squares; -- called also lozenge, and troche, especially when of a round or rounded form.

Tablet (7 Occurrences)
... form. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. TABLET. tab'-let: A rigid flat sheet
(plate, pad or slab) used to receive writing. Stone, clay ...
/t/tablet.htm - 15k

Writing-tablet (1 Occurrence)
Writing-tablet. Writing-table, Writing-tablet. Written .
Multi-Version Concordance Writing-tablet (1 Occurrence). Luke ...
/w/writing-tablet.htm - 6k

Scroll (70 Occurrences)
... The Babylonian tablet seems to have been the prevailing form in Palestine up to
about 1350 BC, but by 1100 BC, at least, the roll had been in established use ...
/s/scroll.htm - 32k

Roll (57 Occurrences)
... The Babylonian tablet seems to have been the prevailing form in Palestine up to
about 1350 BC, but by 1100 BC, at least, the roll had been in established use ...
/r/roll.htm - 33k

Lachish (22 Occurrences)
... Lachish has been identified with Tell-el-Hesy, where a cuneiform tablet has been
found, containing a letter supposed to be from Amenophis at Amarna in reply to ...
/l/lachish.htm - 22k

Writing-table (1 Occurrence)
Writing-table. Writings, Writing-table. Writing-tablet . ... Luke 1:63 So he asked
for a writing-tablet, and wrote, "His name is John." And they all wondered. ...
/w/writing-table.htm - 6k

Tool (13 Occurrences)
... (See NIV). Isaiah 8:1 And Jehovah saith unto me, 'Take to thee a great tablet, and
write upon it with a graving tool of man, To haste spoil, enjoy prey.' (YLT). ...
/t/tool.htm - 11k

Michtam (12 Occurrences)
... by a word meaning "tablet inscription" or a "stelograph." The root of the word means
to stamp or grave, and hence it is regarded as denoting a composition so ...
/m/michtam.htm - 11k

Maher-shalal-hash-baz (2 Occurrences)
... Zephaniah 1:14), a name Isaiah was commanded first to write in large characters
on a tablet, and afterwards to give as a symbolical name to a son that was to ...
/m/maher-shalal-hash-baz.htm - 8k

Style (5 Occurrences)
... (DBY). Isaiah 8:1 And Jehovah said to me, Take thee a great tablet, and write thereon
with a man's style, concerning Maher-shalal-hash-baz. (DBY). ...
/s/style.htm - 9k

Bible Concordance
Tablet (7 Occurrences)

Luke 1:63 He asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, "His name is John." They all marveled.

Proverbs 3:3 Don't let kindness and truth forsake you. Bind them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart.

Proverbs 7:3 Bind them on your fingers. Write them on the tablet of your heart.

Isaiah 8:1 Yahweh said to me, "Take a large tablet, and write on it with a man's pen,' For Maher Shalal Hash Baz;'

Isaiah 30:8 Now go, write it before them on a tablet, and inscribe it in a book, that it may be for the time to come forever and ever.

Jeremiah 17:1 The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of your altars;

Ezekiel 4:1 You also, son of man, take a tile, and lay it before yourself, and portray on it a city, even Jerusalem:
(See NIV)



Related Terms

Writing-tablet (1 Occurrence)

Scroll (70 Occurrences)

Roll (57 Occurrences)

Lachish (22 Occurrences)

Writing-table (1 Occurrence)

Tool (13 Occurrences)

Michtam (12 Occurrences)

Maher-shalal-hash-baz (2 Occurrences)

Style (5 Occurrences)

Stylus (2 Occurrences)

Ahaz (42 Occurrences)

Table (125 Occurrences)

Pen (16 Occurrences)

Alphabet (2 Occurrences)



Nebuchadnezzar (90 Occurrences)

Number (2370 Occurrences)

Tell (3056 Occurrences)

Tablets (31 Occurrences)

Tower (74 Occurrences)


Bind (68 Occurrences)

Tables (41 Occurrences)

Votive (13 Occurrences)

Zacharias (11 Occurrences)

Zebulun (46 Occurrences)

Nebuchadrezzar (31 Occurrences)

Nail (9 Occurrences)

Latin (2 Occurrences)


Girgashite (7 Occurrences)

Graving (7 Occurrences)

Wondered (45 Occurrences)

Waxen (12 Occurrences)

Wrote (74 Occurrences)

Inscribed (20 Occurrences)

Inscribe (3 Occurrences)

Fingers (22 Occurrences)

Finger (35 Occurrences)

Follows (65 Occurrences)

Tel-abib (1 Occurrence)

Telabib (1 Occurrence)

Tarpelites (1 Occurrence)


Rezin (11 Occurrences)

Evil-merodach (2 Occurrences)

Evilmerodach (2 Occurrences)

Engrave (8 Occurrences)

Engraven (3 Occurrences)

Everyone's (8 Occurrences)

Diamond (5 Occurrences)

Maher (1 Occurrence)

Marshal (2 Occurrences)

Marveled (31 Occurrences)

Mahershalalhashbaz (2 Occurrences)

Plate (34 Occurrences)

Board (47 Occurrences)

Band (150 Occurrences)

Baz (2 Occurrences)

Bear (425 Occurrences)

Chedorlaomer (5 Occurrences)

Astonishment (51 Occurrences)


Speedeth (1 Occurrence)

Shelf (5 Occurrences)

Script (5 Occurrences)

Shalal (2 Occurrences)

Speedy (5 Occurrences)

Ordinary (17 Occurrences)

Put (13688 Occurrences)


Abraham (2539 Occurrences)

Hittites (39 Occurrences)

Flint (12 Occurrences)

Noah (55 Occurrences)

Astonished (92 Occurrences)

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