The Heb. word commonly denotes 'steps' (see Ex 20:26; 1Ki 10:20), and is so rendered elsewhere in this narrative (2Ki 20:9-11; Isa 38:8; AV 'degrees'). The 'steps' referred to doubtless formed part of some kind of sun-clock. According to Herod, ii. 109, the Babylonians were the inventors of the polos or concave dial, the gnomon, and the division of the day into 12 hours. The introduction by Ahaz of a device for measuring the time may be regarded as a result of his intercourse with the Assyrians (2Ki 16:10 ff.), but it is uncertain what kind of clock is intended. See also art. Time.