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What are the modern equivalents of biblical weights and measures?

biblical weights and measures

Question: "What are the modern equivalents of biblical weights and measures?"

Answer:
The use of weights and measurements was common in ancient times, just like it is today. The problem is that the words used for various measurements were usually specific to that culture. Today, most people don’t know what a “shekel” is or what is the difference between a “furlong” and a “fathom.” Some Bible translations have replaced the archaic words with modern equivalents or approximations. Other translations simply transliterate the Greek and Hebrew words for the measurements.

Below are several terms and their approximated equivalents in both metric and imperial measurements. Since some ancient terms varied by area, we have differentiated Greek and Hebrew measurements.

Weights:

Hebrew:
Talent (3,000 shekels or 60 minas, sometimes translated “100 pounds”)
   34.272 kg
   75.6 lbs
Mina (50 shekels, sometimes translated “pound”)
   571.2 g
   1.26 lbs
Shekel
   11.424 g
   0.403 oz
Pim (2/3 shekel?)
   7.616 g
   0.258 oz
Beca (1/2 shekel)
   5.712 g
   .201 oz
Gerah (1/20 shekel)
   0.571 g
   0.02 oz

Greek:
Litra (30 shekels, sometimes translated “pound”)
   0.4 kg
   12 oz
Talent
   40 kg
   88 lbs
Mina
   571.2 g
   1.26 lbs

Linear Measurements:

Hebrew:
Reed (6 cubits)
   2.7 m
   8 3/4 ft or 3 yds
Cubit (2 spans, sometimes translated “yard,” “half a yard,” or “foot”)
   0.5 m
   18 in.
Span (1/2 cubit or 3 handbreadths)
   23 cm
   9 in.
Handbreadth (1/6 cubit, 1/3 span, or 4 fingers, sometimes translated “3 or 4 inches”)
   8 cm
   3 in.
Finger
   1.8 cm
   0.73 in.

Ezekiel’s Cubit (found in Ezekiel 40:5):
Reed (6 of Ezekiel’s cubits)
   3.1 m
   10 ft, 2.4 in.
Cubit (7 handbreadths)
   0.5 m
   20.4 in.

Greek:
Milion (8 stadia, sometimes translated “mile”)
   1.5 km
   1,620 yds or 0.9 mi
Stadion (1/8 milion or 400 cubits, sometimes translated “mile,” “furlong,” or “race”)
   185 m
   1/8 mi
Kalamos (6 cubits, sometimes translated “rod,” “reed,” or “measuring rod”)
   3 m
   3 1/3 yds
Fathom (4 cubits, sometimes translated “6 feet”)
   2 m
   2 yds
Cubit (sometimes translated “yard,” “half a yard,” or “foot”)
   0.5 m
   18 in.

Dry Measures:

Hebrew:
Kor (10 ephahs, sometimes translated “cor,” “homer,” “sack,” “measures,” “bushels”)
   220 L
   5.16 bsh or 200 qts
Letek (5 ephahs, sometimes translated “half homer” or “half sack”)
   110 L
   2.68 bsh
Ephah / Bath (10 omers, sometimes translated “bushel,” “peck,” “deal, “part,” “measure,” or “6 or 7 pints”)
   22 L
   3/5 bsh
Seah (1/3 ephah, sometimes translated “measure,” “peck,” or “large amount”)
   7.3 L
   7 qts
Omer / Issaron (1/10 ephah, sometimes translated “tenth of a deal” or “six pints”)
   2 L
   2.09 qts
Cab (1/18 ephah, sometimes translated “cab”)
   1 L
   1 qt

Greek:
Koros (10 ephahs, sometimes translated “sack,” “measure,” “bushel,” or “500 quartsbus”)
   525 L
   14.9 bsh
Modios (4 omers, sometimes translated “bushel,” “bowl,” “peck,” “corn-measure,” or “meal-tub”)
   9 L
   1 pk or 1/4 bsh
Saton (1/3 ephah, sometimes translated “measure,” “peck,” or “large amount”)
   7.3 L
   7 qts
Choinix (1/18 ephah, sometimes translated “measure” or “quart”)
   1 L
   1 qt
Xestes (1/2 cab, sometimes translated “pot,” “pitcher,” “kettle,” “copper bowl,” or “vessels of bronze”)
   0.5 L
   1 1/6 pts

Liquid Measures:

Hebrew:
Cor / Homer
   208 L
   55 gal
Bath (1 ephah, sometimes translated “gallon,” “barrel,” or “liquid measure”)
   22 L
   5.5 gal
Hin (1/6 bath, sometimes translated “pints”)
   4 L
   1 gal (4 qts)
Log (1/72 bath, sometimes translated “pint” or “cotulus”)
   0.3 L
   0.67 pt

Greek:
Metretes (10 hins, sometimes translated “firkins” or “gallons”)
   39 L
   10 gal
Batos (1 ephah, sometimes translated “gallon,” “barrel,” or “measure”)
   22 L
   6 gal
Xestes (1/8 hin, sometimes translated “pot,” “pitcher,” “kettle,” “copper bowl,” or “vessel of bronze”)
   0.5 L
   1 1/6 pts

Coins and Monies:
Denarius / Denarion: a day’s wage (“penny” in KJV)
Daric / Drachma / Dram: a coin weighing 1/4 oz or 8.5 g
Lepta: the smallest Greek copper coin; of unknown weight (translated “mite” in KJV)
Kodrantess: the smallest Roman copper coin; of unknown weight (translated “mite” in KJV)

Recommended Resources: Willmington's Guide to the Bible and Logos Bible Software.

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What are the modern equivalents of biblical weights and measures?