Recently I got an e-mail about the size of the holy loaves of bread in Lev 24:5-6 and the size of the table where the loaves were to be put (Exo 25:23). The person knew that the bread were BIG and the table was small. So, why do almost all translations say that the loaves of bread were placed in two rows with 6 in each row?
NIV: Set them in two rows, six in each row
ESV: And you shall set them in two piles, six in a pile
TNIV: Arrange them in two stacks, six in each stack
GW: Put them in two stacks of six each
The table was about 1½ feet wide and 3 feet long. The bread were round and flat and about 4 quarts of flour were used for each bread. That does indicate a large bread, and there would certainly not be room for six loaves of bread side by side. The Hebrew word used here means an “arrangement”, and this particularly form is only used to refer to these holy loaves of bread. So, why do so many translations talk about rows? I don’t know, but it is clear that it should be stacks, six in each, in order to fit on the table. There is a nice picture here.
I am happy to see that both ESV and TNIV in this case have gone away from tradition in order to produce a more accurate translation.