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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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BALANCE . The Hebrew balances probably differed but little from those in use in Egypt as described by Wilkinson (Anc. Egyp . [1878], II. 246 f.). The main parts were the beam with its support, and the scales which were hung by cords from the ends of the equal arms of the beam. The ‘pair of scales’ is used in OT by a figure for the balance as a whole; only once is the beam so used ( Isaiah 46:6 ). The weights were originally of stone and are always so termed. The moral necessity of a just balance and true weights and the iniquity of false ones are frequently emphasized by the prophets, moral teachers, and legislators of Israel; see Amos 8:5 , Micah 6:11 , Proverbs 11:1 ; Proverbs 16:11 (‘a just balance and scales are the Lord’s’) Proverbs 20:23 , Leviticus 19:36 , Deuteronomy 25:13 ff.

A. R. S. Kennedy.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Balance'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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