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The English word chapiter (chapter is merely a shorter version of chapiter) originated from a Latin word, capitulum, which itself is based upon the root word caput, which means head. Numerous English words were derived from that Latin source e.g. a cap that is worn on the head, a bottle cap which covers the head of a bottle, decapitation which means to remove the head, capital which means a political head.

The King James Version uses "chapiter" to translate three Hebrew words, all of which mean "head" in one way or another. The most prevalent, pronounced in Hebrew as ko-theh-reth, means a crown. Another, pronounced rosh, means head or beginning. The third, pronounced tseh-feth, means to encircle (as a crown).

"The chapiters which were upon the top of the pillars"

The King James version used "chapiter" to describe the tops of the posts or pillars in the Tabernacle and the Temple.

The Tabernacle In The Wilderness, built in the Sinai in the time of Moses:


"36:36 And he made thereunto four pillars of shittim wood, and overlaid them with gold: their hooks were of gold; and he cast for them four sockets of silver. 36:37 And he made an hanging for the tabernacle door of blue, and Purple, and Scarlet, and fine twined Linen, of needlework; 36:38 And the five pillars of it with their hooks: and he overlaid their chapiters and their fillets with Gold: but their five sockets were of brass." (Exodus 36:36-38 KJV)

The Temple, built in Jerusalem in the time of King Solomon (see also God's Tent):

"7:16 And he made two chapiters of molten brass [see Brass, Bronze, Copper], to set upon the tops of the pillars: the height of the one chapiter was five cubits, and the height of the other chapiter was five cubits: 7:17 And nets of checker work, and wreaths of chain work, for the chapiters which were upon the top of the pillars; seven for the one chapiter, and seven for the other chapiter. 7:18 And he made the pillars, and two rows round about upon the one network, to cover the chapiters that were upon the top, with pomegranates: and so did he for the other chapiter. 7:19 And the chapiters that were upon the top of the pillars were of lily work in the porch, four cubits. 7:20 And the chapiters upon the two pillars had pomegranates also above, over against the belly which was by the network: and the pomegranates were two hundred in rows round about upon the other chapiter. 7:21 And he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple [see also Temples]: and he set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin: and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz. 7:22 And upon the top of the pillars was lily work: so was the work of the pillars finished." (1 Kings 7:16-22 KJV)

The original Temple was later destroyed and looted (except for The Ark Of The Covenant, which is still there - see Raiders Of The Lost Ark) by the Babylonians, as a punishment of Israel from the LORD, because of their corruption (see Why Babylon? and Jeremiah's Field).

"52:17 Also the pillars of brass that were in the house of the LORD, and the bases, and the brazen sea that was in the house of the LORD, the Chaldeans brake, and carried all the brass of them to Babylon. 52:18 The caldrons also, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the bowls, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered, took they away. 52:19 And the basins, and the firepans, and the bowls, and the caldrons, and the candlesticks, and the spoons, and the cups; that which was of gold in gold, and that which was of silver in silver, took the captain of the guard away.

52:20 The two pillars, one sea, and twelve brazen bulls that were under the bases, which king Solomon had made in the house of the LORD: the brass of all these vessels was without weight. 52:21 And concerning the pillars, the height of one pillar was eighteen cubits; and a fillet of twelve cubits did compass it; and the thickness thereof was four fingers: it was hollow. 52:22 And a chapiter of brass was upon it; and the height of one chapiter was five cubits, with network and pomegranates upon the chapiters round about, all of brass. The second pillar also and the pomegranates were like unto these. 52:23 And there were ninety and six pomegranates on a side; and all the pomegranates upon the network were an hundred round about." (Jeremiah 52:17-23 KJV)

Fact Finder: What were "Jachin" and "Boaz" in the Jerusalem Temple?
See Jachin and Boaz

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