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The English word charger originated from a French word, with the same spelling, that itself originated from a Latin word, carrus, which meant to carry. The words car and cargo originated from the same word. Although charge and charger have taken on various meanings based on the original meaning of to carry (e.g. to "charge a purchase" means to carry a debt, or a "cavalry charge" originally referred to the horse, the charger, that carried a trooper), a charger (i.e. a carrier) was also used to refer to a bowl or dish that was used to carry food or other items.

The English word "charger" is sometimes used to translate two Hebrew words of the Old Testament, pronounced keh-aw-raw, which means a bowl (as found in the quote from Numbers 7:84-85 below), and ag-ar-tawl which means a basin (as found in the quote from Ezra 1:7-11 below), and the Greek word of the New Testament, pronounced pin-ax, which means a plate (as found in the quote from Matthew 14:6-12 below).

"And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. And his head was brought in a charger"

Chargers were used in the offerings made for the dedication of the altar of The Tabernacle In The Wilderness. Each silver charger weighed "an hundred and thirty shekels" which is a little over 3 pounds.


"This was the dedication of the altar, in the day when it was anointed, by the princes of Israel: twelve chargers of silver, twelve silver bowls, twelve spoons of gold: Each charger of silver weighing an hundred and thirty shekels, each bowl seventy: all the silver vessels weighed two thousand and four hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary" (Numbers 7:84-85 KJV)

When the people of Judah returned to Jerusalem from the Babylonian captivity (see Why Babylon?) in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah (the people of the northern kingdom of Israel didn't return, yet - see The Galilee Captivity and The Gathering of Israel and Judah), the articles that were looted from the Temple in Jerusalem by the Babylonians (see Ancient Empires - Babylon) were allowed to be returned by the Persians (see Ancient Empires - Persia) and their King Cyrus who had conquered the Babylonian empire by that time (one article that did not need to be returned to Jerusalem was the Ark of the Covenant, because it very likely never went anywhere - see Raiders Of The Lost Ark).

"Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of The Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar [see King Nebuchadnezzar, also Nebuchadnezzar's Dream] had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods; Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah."

"And this is the number of them: thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty knives, Thirty basins of gold, silver basins of a second sort four hundred and ten, and other vessels a thousand."

"All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up with them of the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem" (Ezra 1:7-11 KJV)

The most infamous charger of Bible History was that used to carry John the Baptist's head. From the Scripture account, it may be that John was buried headless i.e. "his head was brought in a charger" but "his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it."

"But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask."

"And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger."

"And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother."

"And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus" (Matthew 14:6-12 KJV)

Fact Finder: Why is it that, by stated definition of purpose, the beginning of the ministry of Jesus Christ marked the end of the ministry of John the Baptist?
See John's Last Days

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