2. Πινακίδιον. A small writing tablet, ordinarily a block of wood covered with wax (Luke 1:63).
3. Several words tr. as “tablet” in the KJV are rendered differently in the RSV: בָּתֵּ֥י נֶ֖פֶשׁ, “perfume boxes” (Isa 3:20); כּוּמָז, H3921, “armlets” (Exod 35:22) and “beads” (Num 31:50).
4. גִּלָּיֹ֣ון. A large tablet or board (Isa 8:1), tr. as “roll” (KJV). See also Table.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
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 Ex 35:22; Nu 31:50) and "perfume boxes" (Isa 3:20).also of what the (British and American) translates as "armlets," margin "necklaces" (
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 (2Co 3:3, "tables" in the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American)) in the same figure. In other cases (Ex 24:12, etc.) it is used of the tablets of stone containing the Decalogue.
The word gillayon (Isa 8:1), which is translated in the Revised Version (British and American) "tablet" and in the King James Version "roll," is elsewhere (Isa 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, Ex 28:36; Le 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 (Nu 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 De 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 1Sa 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 Eze 9:2,11 in the version of Symmachus in place of the "writer’s inkhorn," and pinakidion, in Lu 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 (So 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 (2Co 3:3; Heb 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