Winter 2004–2005

Inventory / The Bible: 2,728 Objects in Order of Appearance

In the beginning was the word “seed”

Emma Kay

“Inventory” is a column that examines or presents a list, catalogue, or register.

This list catalogues every individual object in the Bible in the order in which it appears. I defined an object as anything inanimate that can be moved. Animal carcasses or parts of the human body were included but I also included eggs and seeds, considering the status of these as objects to be more relevant for my purposes than the fact that they are in some sense animate. No given object is mentioned more than once, even if it is subsequently referred to in the text because it is still the same object. The list does, however, include multiple instances of the same type of object. For example, “Asherah pole” appears seven times in the list, since it is 
clear that these are all individual Asherah poles rather than repeated references to the same object. Hypothetical objects, such as those described in the visions of the prophets, are not included. The object is listed with its material properties, color, and dimensions where they are given.

Seed, gold, resin, onyx, fruit, fig leaves, fruit, vegetables, portion of meat, ark, olive leaf, burnt offerings, wine, bricks, silver, gold, tents, bread, wine, heifer carcass, goat carcass, ram carcass, brazier, torch, flour, curds, milk, veal, bread, one thousand silver shekels, food, skin of water, wood, knife, burnt offering, four hundred silver shekels, jar, gold nose ring, gold bracelets, straw, fodder, gold and silver jewellery, clothing, bread, lentil stew, quiver, bow, clothes, goatskins, bread, food, wine, stone, oil, mandrake plants, poplar branches, almond branches, watering troughs, tent, gods, saddle, stone, stones, food, one hundred pieces of silver, tent, altar, idols, earring, stone, oil, ornamented robe, food, spices, balm, myrrh, twenty shekels, clothes, goat carcass, sackcloth, clothes, veil, seal, cord, staff, cloak, cup, signet ring, linen robes, gold chain, grain, bags, money pouches, balm, honey, spices, myrrh, pistachio nuts, almonds, fodder, silver cup, clothes, three hundred shekels, grain, bread, carts, coffin, basket, staff, cloak, flint knife, excised foreskin, straw, bricks, staffs, dead frogs, soot, lamb, hyssop, cloaks, belts, sandal, staffs, unleavened bread, kneading troughs, clothing, silver articles, gold articles, six hundred chariots, wheels, piece of wood, quails, manna, stone, swords, scroll, tent, quails, manna, stone, swords, scroll, altar, tent, burnt offering, bread, clothes, altar, twelve stone pillars, bowls of blood, book of the Covenant, two engraved stone tablets, gold earrings, calf idol, altar, swords, tent, two stone tablets, veil, gold brooches, gold earring, gold rings, gold ornaments, blue yarn, purple yarn, scarlet yarn, linen, goat hair, red-dyed ram skins, sea cow hide, silver, bronze, acacia wood, onyx, gems, spices, olive oil, tabernacle, ten curtains twenty eight cubits long and four cubits wide, one hundred curtain loops, fifty gold clasps, eleven goat hair curtains thirty cubits long and four cubits wide, one hundred loops, fifty bronze clasps, red leather tent covering, whaleskin tent covering, forty eight acacia wood frames ten cubits long and a cubit and a half wide, ninety six silver bases, two rings, fifteen acacia wood crossbars, gold rings, blue purple and scarlet curtain patterned with cherubim, four acacia wood posts, gold hooks, silver bases, embroidered blue purple and scarlet curtains, five acacia wood posts, hooks, five bronze bases, acacia wood and gold ark two and a half cubits long by one and a half cubits wide by one and a half cubits high, four gold rings, acacia wood and gold poles, gold cover two and a half cubits long and two and a half cubits wide, two hammered gold cherubim, acacia wood and gold table two cubits long by one cubit wide by one and a half cubits high, four gold rings, acacia wood and gold poles, gold plates, gold dishes, gold bowls, gold pitchers, gold lamp-stand, seven gold lamps, gold wick trimmers, gold trays, acacia wood and gold altar one cubit by one cubit by two cubits, two gold rings, two acacia wood and gold poles, anointing oil, incense, altar of acacia wood and bronze five cubits long by five cubits wide by three cubits high, bronze pots, bronze shovels, bronze bowls, bronze meat forks, bronze pans, bronze grating, bronze rings, acacia wood and bronze poles, bronze basin, bronze stand, linen curtains, fifty six wooden and silver posts, twenty bronze bases, blue purple and scarlet embroidered curtain twenty cubits long by five cubits wide, four wooden and silver posts, four bronze bases, bronze tent pegs, blue purple and scarlet priestly garments, gold onyx yarn and linen ephod, gold breast-piece, precious gems, blue embroidered linen robe with gold bells, linen tunics, head bands, undergarments, diadem, one bull carcass, two ram carcasses, basket, unleavened bread, wafer, calf carcass, grain, ox carcass, standards, banners, tents, money, blue cloths, purple cloth, six whaleskin coverings, six carts, twelve silver plates, twelve silver bowls, flour, oil, twelve gold dishes, incense, two silver trumpets, manna, hand mill, stone mortar, pot, quail, vine branch, pomegranates, figs, wood, stones, bronze censers, incense, twelve staffs, bronze snake, pole, twenty one altars, gold articles, iron bed thirteen feet long and six feet wide, stalks of flax, scarlet rope, twelve stones, flint knives, unleavened bread, grain, seven ram’s horn trumpets, silver articles, gold articles, bronze articles, iron articles, two hundred shekels of silver, wedge of gold, robe, tent, rocks, javelin, rocks, altar, engraved stones, sacks, wineskins, sandals, clothes, bread, chariots, swords, scroll, human bones, iron chariots, sacrifices, sword one and a half feet long, key, trumpet, ox-goad, swords, tent, skin of milk, tent peg, hammer, wheat, wine press, goat carcass, unleavened bread, basket, pot of broth, staff, altar, pole, bull carcass, trumpets, fleece, tents, three hundred trumpets, jars, torches, swords, camel ornaments, gold earrings, garment, pendants, purple garments, chains, grapes, food, drink, salt, axe, branches, millstones, sword, tambourines, goat carcass, grain, honey, clothes, one hundred and fifty torches, two ropes, donkey’s jaw bone, seven thongs, ropes, fabric, loom, pin, seven braids of hair, bronze shackles, eleven hundred shekels, carved silver image, cast silver idol, ephod, household idol, saddles, straw, fodder, bread wine, knife, burnt offerings, swords, burnt offerings, bread, vinegar, roasted grain, one ephah of barley, shawl, barley, meat, one ephah of flour, skin of wine, bull carcass, three pronged fork, pan, meat, linen ephod, robes, chair, statue of Dagon, five gold models of rats, five gold models of tumours, cart, chest, burnt offering, stone, sacks, quarter of a shekel of silver, meat, flask of oil, scroll, pieces of ox carcass, offerings, three thousand chariots, burnt offerings, ploughshares, axes, mattocks, sickles, forks, goad, sword, spear, ephod, swords, staff, honeycombs, meat, ox carcass, horn of anointing oil, bread, skin of wine, harp, bronze helmet, bronze scale body armour, bronze greaves, bronze javelin, shield, one ephah of roasted grain, ten loaves of bread, ten cheeses, tunic, coat of armour, bronze helmet, sword, staff, five stones, shepherd’s bag, sling, robe tunic, sword, bow, belt, tambourine, lutes, spear, one hundred excised foreskins, idol, bed, garment, goat’s hair, table, arrow, bow, bread, sword, cloth, sheep pens, piece of a robe, swords, supplies, two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, one hundred cakes of raisins, two hundred cakes of pressed figs, water jug, clothes, couch, veal, unleavened bread, sword, armour, three corpses, clothes, crown, arm-band, twenty four daggers, spear, trumpet, tar, sackcloth, bier, severed human head, two corpses, cedar logs, cart, harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums, cymbals, bull carcass, calf carcass, linen ephod, loaf of bread, cake of dates, cake of raisins, gold shields, articles of silver, articles of gold, articles of bronze, table, garments, sleeping mat, letter, cup, lotion, clothes, food, crown, iron picks, axes, bricks, bread, robe, ashes, clothes, two hundred shekels of human hair, chariot, robe, two hundred loaves of bread, one hundred cakes of raisins, one hundred cakes of figs, skin of wine, stones, cloth, grain, bedding, bowls, articles of pottery, wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, lentils, honey, curds, cheese, three javelins, trumpet, rocks, clothes, tunic, belt, dagger, sheath, garment, severed human head, bronze spear, sword, spear, spear, spear, spear, threshing sledges, ox yokes, fifty shekels of silver, altar, burnt offerings, chariots, horn of oil, tent, trumpet, flutes, sacrifices, incense, burnt offerings, fellowship offerings, flour, barley, straw, cedar logs, pine logs, twenty thousand baths of olive oil, blocks of stone, timber, gold chains, two wood and gold cherubim, cast metal basin, twelve bronze statues of bulls, ten bronze wheeled basin stands, ten bronze basins, pots, shovels, sprinkling bowls, gold table, ten gold lamp stands, lamps, tongs, golden dishes, gold wick trimmers, gold sprinkling bowls, gold censers, twenty two thousand cattle carcasses, one hundred and twenty thousand sheep and goat carcasses, burnt offerings, grain offerings, fat, one hundred and twenty gold talents, ships, four hundred and twenty gold talents, spices, gold, precious stones, food, robes, burnt offerings, gold, alum wood, gem stones, harps, lyres, two hundred large shields, three hundred small gold shields, ivory wood and gold throne, gold goblets, fourteen hundred chariots, silver, incense, sacrifices, cloak, twelve pieces of cloth, chariot, two gold calves, offerings, bread, corpse, saddle, ten loaves of bread, cakes, jar of honey, bronze shields, idols, Asherah pole, Asherah pole, bread, meat, sticks, jar of water, jar of flour, jug of oil, bread, bull carcass, two seahs of seed, wood, four water jars, chariot, cloak, belt, cake of bread, jar of water, ploughing equipment, sackcloth, robes, thrones, iron horns, bow, chariot, ships, hair garment, belt, cloak, clothes, bowl, salt, harp, jars of oil, bed, table, chair, lamp, cloak, belt, staff, cooking pot, herbs, gourds, cloak, flour, twenty loaves of barley bread, ears of corn, ten silver talents, six thousand shekels of gold, ten sets of clothing, robes, two bags, iron axe-head, stick, chariots, silver, gold, clothes, two chariots, clothing equipment, wares, cloth, cloak, flask of oil, chariot, bow, arrow, chariots, human skull, severed human hands, severed human feet, letters, severed human heads, baskets, robe, spears, shields, crown, copy of the Covenant, trumpets, robes, idols, chest, money, bags, timber, stone, money, Asherah pole, bow, arrows, gold and silver articles, silver, gold, sketch, burnt offerings, grain offering, drink offering, fellowship offering, bronze altar, basins, basin stand, stones, Asherah pole, incense, idols, clothes, sackcloth, letter, sword, fig poultice, letters, gift, silver, gold, spices, oil, arms, money, article, altars, bones, silver, gold, gold articles, bronze shackles, clothes, sword, sword, severed human head, armour, bones, spear, spear, spear, flour, fig cakes, raisin cake, wine, oil, harps, lyres, tambourines, cymbals, trumpets, cedar logs, linen robes, linen ephod, ram’s horns, burnt offerings, fellowship offerings, bread loaf, cake of dates, cake of raisins, one thousand chariots, bronze, gold articles, silver articles, bronze articles, garments, one thousand talents of silver, thirty two thousand chariots, gold crown, sackcloth, threshing sledges, altar, six hundred shekels of gold, sword, sacrifices, nails, cedar logs, one hundred thousand talents of gold, one hundred thousand talents of silver, bronze, iron, wood, stone, harps, lyres, cymbals, sacred things, book, gold lamp-stands, lamps, silver lamp-stands, lamps, gold tables, silver tables, forks, gold sprinkling bowls, gold pitchers, gold dishes, silver dishes, gold altar, plan, onyx, turquoise, stones, marble, three thousand talents of gold, seven thousand talents of silver, five thousand talents of gold, ten thousand daries of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze, one hundred thousand talents of iron, precious stones, one thousand bull carcasses, one thousand ram carcasses, one thousand lamb carcasses, altar, one thousand burnt offerings, fourteen hundred chariots, gold nails, wood and gold cherubim, blue purple and crimson yarn and linen curtain, bronze chains, bronze altars, cast metal basin, ten wash basins, ten gold lampstands, ten tables, one hundred gold sprinkling bowls, pots, shovels, sprinkling bowls, clay moulds, tongs, gold wick trimmers, gold censers, linen robe, cymbals, harps, lyres, twenty two thousand cattle carcasses, one hundred and twenty thousand sheep and goat carcasses, fat, ships, four hundred and fifty talents of gold, food, robes, one hundred and twenty talents of gold, spices, precious stones, algum wood, harps, lyres, gold, silver, two hundred gold shields, three hundred small shields, gold wood and ivory throne, footstool, gold goblets, goat idols, calf idols, one thousand two hundred chariots, thirty thousand large shields and spears, two hundred and eighty thousand small shields, two hundred and eighty thousand bows, seven hundred cattle carcasses, seven hundred sheep and goat carcasses, Asherah pole, bier, spices, perfumes, gifts, silver, bow, arrow, armour, equipment, articles, harps, lutes, trumpets, one hundred spears, one hundred shields, robes, altars, idols, chest, money, burnt offerings, gold articles, silver articles, catapults, incense, altar, three hundred talents of silver, thirty thousand cors of wheat, thirty thousand cors of barley, idols, incense, clothes, sandals, food, drink, healing balm, seven bull carcasses, seven ram carcasses, seven male lamb carcasses, seven male goat carcasses, altar, six hundred bull carcasses, three thousand sheep and goat carcasses, drink offerings, letters, lamb, burnt offerings, musical instruments, fellowship offerings, one thousand bull carcasses, seven thousand sheep and goat carcasses, stones, Asherah poles, altars, grain, wine, oil, honey, holy things, weapons, shields, offerings, gifts, silver, gold, precious stones, spices, shields, valuables, grain, wine, oil, Asherah poles, altars, idol, hook, bronze, shackles, money, book, robes, thirty thousand sheep and goat carcasses, three thousand cattle carcasses, two thousand six hundred offerings, five thousand offerings, pots, dishes, cauldrons, pans, bronze shackles, silver and gold articles, goods, gifts, thirty gold dishes, one thousand silver dishes, twenty nine silver pans, thirty gold bowls, four hundred and ten matching silver bells, one thousand articles, six thousand one hundred drachmas of gold, five thousand minas of silver, one hundred priestly garments, altar, burnt offerings, food, drink, oil, cedar logs, vestments, trumpets, cymbals, letter, scroll, letter, six hundred and fifty talents of silver, one hundred talents of silver articles, one hundred talents of gold, twenty gold bowls, two articles of polished bronze, twelve bull carcasses, ninety six ram carcasses, seventy seven male lamb carcasses, twelve male goat carcasses, tunic, cloak, wine, letters, swords, spears, bowls, shields, armour, forty shekels of silver, food, wine, ox carcass, six sheep carcasses, poultry, letters, one thousand drachmas, gold, fifty bowls, five priestly garments, fifty thousand drachmas of gold, four thousand two hundred minas of silver, olive branches, myrtle branches, palm branches, shade tree branches, sack‑cloth, seals, cymbals, harps, lyres, household goods, winepresses, wine, grapes, figs, merchandise, blue and white linen hangings, white linen cords, purple material, silver rings, gold and silver couches, gold goblets, crown, gifts, signet ring, dispatches, clothes, sackcloth, ashes, clothes, robes, gold sceptre, book, robe, couch, purple linen robe, letters, burnt offering, robe, shard of pottery, robes, pieces of silver, gold rings, piece of coal, tongs, altar, sackcloth, sandals, clothes, sackcloth, letter, one hundred and eighty five thousand corpses, poultice of figs, silver, gold, spices, oil, armour, linen belt, potter’s wheel, clay pot, clay jar, two baskets of figs, sword, yoke, letter, seventeen shekels of silver, sealed document, unsealed document, clay jar, incense, drink offerings, bowl of wine, wine cups, scroll, brazier, knife, clothes, scroll, loaf of bread, ropes, rags, clothes, bronze shackles, provisions, gift, wine, fruit, oil, storage jars, clothes, grain offerings, incense, scroll, stone, six weapons, linen clothes, writing kit, altar, things, turban, sandals, gold statue, horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, musical instruments, robe, trousers, turbans, gold goblet, silver goblets, gold gods, silver gods, bronze gods, iron gods, wood gods, stone gods, lamp-stands, purple clothes, gold chain, signet ring, sealing wax, signet rings, fifteen shekels of silver, a homer and a lethek of barley, cargo, sackcloth, ashes, two staffs, thirty pieces of silver.

Gold, frankincense, myrrh, camel hair clothes, leather belt, locusts, honey, nets, boats, mat, flute, severed human head, platter, five loaves of bread, two fish, twelve baskets of bread, seven loaves of bread, fish, seven baskets of bread, denarii, several cloaks, branches, tables, benches, alabaster jar of perfume, table, thirty silver coins, bread, cup, cup, clubs, swords, severed human ear, seat, scarlet robe, crown of thorns, staff, clothes, cross, wine, myrrh, sign, sponge, jar of wine vinegar, curtain, linen cloth, seal, camel hair clothes, leather belt, locusts, honey, nets, mat, boat boats, cushion, stones, cloak, oil, severed human head, platter, boat, five loaves of bread, two fish, twelve baskets of bread, oars, anchor, bed, seven loaves of bread, fish, seven baskets of bread, loaf of bread, clothes, branches, table, benches, money, table, alabaster jar of perfume, jar of water, bread, cup, sword, clubs, severed human ear, linen garment, purple robe, crown of thorns, staff, clothes, cross, wine, myrrh, sign, sponge, wine vinegar, stick, linen cloth, incense, writing tablet, cloths, manger, scroll, nets, two boats, fish, mats, coffin, alabaster jar of perfume, boat, five loaves, two fish, twelve baskets of bread, cloaks, gifts, two copper coins, jar of water, cup, bread, swords, clubs, one severed human ear, cross, clothes, wine vinegar, sign, curtains, strips of linen cloth, spices, perfumes, six stone water jars, whip, coins, tables, mat, five barley loaves, two fish, twelve baskets of bread, stones, strips of linen, pint of nard, clothing, towel, basin, bread, dish, torches, lanterns, weapons, sword, severed human ear, crown of thorns, purple robe, cross, sign, clothes, undergarment, jar of wine vinegar, sponge, hyssop stalk, spear, spices, strips of linen, burial cloth, net, one hundred and fifty three fish, outer garment, bread, stones, chariot, book, letter, food, basket, mat, robes, clothing, two chains, clothes, sandals, cloak, robes, throne, stocks, chains, sword, lamps, food, handkerchief, aprons, scroll, bread, ship, belt, two chains, cloaks, ship, anchor, lifeboat, ropes, sea anchor, cargo, ship’s tackle, four anchors, bread, rudders, planks, wreckage, brushwood, ship.

To view a PDF of “The Bible: 2728 Objects in Order of Appearance,” click here.

Emma Kay is an artist based in London. She has recently had solo shows at Tate Modern; The Approach, London; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and Chisenhale Gallery, London. Worldview, Kay’s history of the world from memory, was published by Book Works in 2000.

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