A talent is a measure of weight in the Bible that is equal to 75 pounds or 34 kilograms.

It was equivalent to 3,000 shekels.

Archaeological digs have discovered talents weighing between 65 and 80 pounds (29.5 to 36.3 kg) so this would be near the 75 pound measurement.

Talents were only used in the weighing of precious metals, specifically gold and silver.

Solomon received 666 talents a year in tribute to him, which was considered a vast amount.  (1 Kings 10:14)  This pales in comparison to the amount that David bequeathed to Solomon for the building of the temple.  According to 1 Chronicles 22:14 there were 100,000 talents of gold and 1,000,000 talents of silver.

Related Definition: shekel


A shekel is a biblical measure of weight equal to .4 ounces or 11.4 grams.

Shekels were the standard unit of weight like the pound or gram is today.

Shekels are typically used in reference with monetary value – silver, gold, barley and flour.  There is an exception to this when speaking about Goliath.  His armor is mentioned to weight 5,000 shekels and his iron spearhead weighed 600 shekels.

For those who are curious but don’t want to do the math, that’s 125 (57 kg) pounds of armor and a 15 pound (6.8 kg) spearhead.