What is a…
bath in the Bible

The word bath has 2 meanings in the Bible.

  1. Bath, a liquid measurement

    Hebrew: בַּת —transliteration: bath —transliteration: a bath (a Hebrew measure)

    A bath is a Hebrew liquid measure, particularly used for wine, vinegar and oils.

    A bath is one-tenth (⅒) of a homer (1 Kings 7:26; 7:38).

    Because the Israelites sometimes cheated by using inaccurate measurements in trade, God commanded,

    You shall have just balances, a just ephah and a just bath. —Ezek. 45:10 NASB

    …the prescribed portion of oil (namely, the bath of oil), a tenth of a bath from each kor (cor) (which is ten baths or a homer, for ten baths are a homer); —Ezek. 45:14 NASB

    Based on measurements, archaeologists tell us that a bath was apparently about 6-gallons or 5.75 US gallons based on a study of jars marked bath found in Tell Beit Mirsim, Israel—between Mount Hebron and the Shfela).1

    King Solmon’s Temple had a huge bronze basin called a Sea in Hebrew:

    He [Hiram] also he made the Sea of cast metal ten cubits from brim to brim, circular in shape, and its height was five cubits, and it was thirty cubits in circumference. …it could hold two thousand baths. —1 Kings 7:13-26 NASB excerpt

    2,000 baths is thought to be about 12,000 gallons (45,424 liters).


    The liquid measurement bath is equal to 72 logs.

    The dry measurement ephah is also equal to 72 logs.

    1 bath of wine produced by a 10 acre vineyard?

    In Isaiah 5:10, the words “for ten acres of vineyard will yield only one bath of wine” refers to great unproductiveness (a big failure).

  2. Bathing, to bathe

    A different Hebrew word is used for bathing (a verb):

    Hebrew: רָחַץ —transliteration: rachats —meaning: to wash, wash off or away, bathe

  1. Buttrick editor, The Interpreter's Bible (Nashville: Abingden Press, 1956), volume 6

More information

Article Version: July 29, 2021