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by Wayne Blank
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."
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."
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?