Table of Shewbread

(shulchan (Ex 25:25-30, etc.); he trapeza kai he prothesis ton arton (Heb 9:2)): For construction, see Tabernacle; Temple. A rude representation of the table is given on the Arch of Titus in Rome. The bas-relief was measured by Professor Boni in 1905, and the height and width of the represented tables were found to be 48 centimeters, or nearly 19 inches. The table represented is, of course, that of Herod’s temple, taken at the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. See the author’s article on "The Temple Spoils" in PEFS, 1906, 306 ff.

The table of shewbread is to be distinguished from the altar of incense. It has become the fashion of the newer criticism to deny the existence of the altar of incense in preexilic times, and to explain the allusion to it in 1Ki 6:20 as the table of shewbread (so in Eze 41:22). The other references (1Ki 6:22; 7:48; 9:25) are dismissed as interpolations. The procedure is radically vicious. The table of shewbread is not an "altar," though the altar is once spoken of as a "table" (Eze 41:22). There was only one altar of incense (1Ki 6:20), but (in 2Ch 4:8) ten tables of shewbread.

See Shewbread.

W. Shaw Caldecott