Jehoiachin's Rations Tablets

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Jehoiachin's Rations Tablet[1]
Jehoiachin Ration Tablet.JPG
Tablet listing ration for King Jehoiachin and his sons, captives in Babylon
Size9.2 cm high, 10.5 wide
WritingAkkadian language in cuneiform script
CreatedNeo-Babylonian period (ca. 595–570 B.C.E.)
Discoveredwithin 1899 to 1917, near the Ishtar Gate
Present locationMuseum of the Ancient Near East, Pergamon Museum, Berlin, room 6
IdentificationVAT 16378

Jehoiachin's rations tablets date from the 6th century BC and describe the oil rations set aside for a royal captive identified with Jeconiah, king of Judah.[2][3] Tablets from the royal archives of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon were unearthed in the ruins of Babylon that contain food rations paid to captives and craftsmen who lived in and around the city. On one of the tablets, "Ya’u-kīnu, king of the land of Yahudu" is mentioned along with his five sons listed as royal princes.[4]


The tablets were excavated from Babylon during 1899–1917 by Robert Koldewey and were stored in a barrel-vaulted underground building consisting of rows of rooms near the Ishtar Gate.


The tablets' text states:

Babylon 28122: "...t[o] Ia-'-u-kin, king..."
Babylon 28178: "10 (sila of oil) to ...Ia-'-kin, king of Ia[...] 21/2 sila to []ns of the king of Ia-a-hu-du"
Babylon 28186: "10 (sila) to Ia-ku-u-ki-nu, the son of the king of Ia-ku-du, 21/2 sila for the 5 sons of the king of Ia-ku-du"

Another tablet reads:

11/2 sila (oil) for three carpenters from Arvad, 1/2 apiece,
111/2 sila for eight woodworkers from Byblos, . . .
31/2 sila for seven Greek craftsman, 1/2 sila apiece,
1/2 sila to the carpenter, Nabuetir
10 sila to Ia-ku-u-ki-nu, the king of Judah’s son,
21/2 sila for the five sons of the Judean king.

A sila is a Babylonian unit of capacity equivalent to approximately 800 mL (1.7 US pints).[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Data from Clyde E. Fant; Mitchell G. Reddish (2008). Lost treasures of the Bible: Understanding the Bible through archaeological artifacts in world museums. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans. p. 218. ISBN 978-0-8028-2881-1.
  2. ^ Thomas, David Winton (1958). Documents from Old Testament Times (1961 ed.). Edinburgh and London: Thomas Nelson. p. 84. ISBN 9780061300851.
  3. ^ Cf. 2 Kings 24:12, 24:15–24:16, 25:2730; 2 Chronicles 36:9–36:10; Jeremiah 22:24–22:26, 29:2, 52:3134; Ezekiel 17:12.
  4. ^ "Babylonian Ration List: King Jehoiakhin in Exile, 592/1 BCE". The Center for Online Judaic Studies. Archived from the original on 16 June 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013. Ya’u-kīnu, king of the land of Yahudu
  5. ^ "Search Entry".