3 occurrences in 3 dictionaries

Reference: Balance


occurs in Le 19:36; Isa 46:6, as the rendering of the Hebrew kanch', which properly means "a reed" or "a cane," then a rod or beam of a balance. This same word is translated "measuring reed" in Eze 40:3,5; 42:16-18. There is another Hebrew word, mozena'yim, i.e., "two poisers", also so rendered (Da 5:27). The balances as represented on the most ancient Egyptian monuments resemble those now in use. A "pair of balances" is a symbol of justice and fair dealing (Job 31:6; Ps 62:9; Pr 11:1). The expression denotes great want and scarcity in Re 6:5.

Illustration: Balance

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The emblem of justice (Job 31:6; Ps 62:9; Pr 11:1) the test of truth and honesty. The emblem of scarcity, food being weighed out Re 6:5). Mozenaim, "double scales" (Ge 23:16). Qaneh, "the beam of a balance" (Isa 46:6). Peles, "scales" (Isa 40:12): literally, "the beam", or else the aperture in which the tongue or beam moves.

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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 (Isa 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 Am 8:5; Mic 6:11; Pr 11:1; 16:11 ('a just balance and scales are the Lord's') Pr 20:23; Le 19:36; De 25:13 ff.

A. R. S. Kennedy.

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