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Known since ancient times, a balance is a device used for measuring mass, or weight (mass is the actual amount of matter in a body, whereas weight is determined by the force of gravity i.e. although his mass is the same in both places, an astronaut weighing 160 pounds on earth weighs only 27 pounds on the moon). Using the principle of the lever, the equal-arm balance, or beam balance, is the simplest type. Pans of equal weight are suspended from a beam which is balanced from its center point. The object to be weighed is placed in one pan, then standard weights are placed in the other pan until the pans balance.

Balances Balances were known throughout The Bible, with literal and symbolic usages.

A Planned Creation

"Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?" (Isaiah 40:12 RSV) (see The Seven Days Of Creation)

Honesty Commanded By God

"You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measures of length or weight or quantity. You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin [see Biblical Weights and Measures]: I am The Lord your God [see Rock Of Ages], who brought you out of the land of Egypt." (Leviticus 19:35-36 RSV)

"A false balance is an abomination to The Lord, but a just weight is His delight." (Proverbs 11:1 RSV) (see The Ten Commandments and The Ten Commandments Now?)

Symbolic Of Judgment

"Let me be weighed in a just balance, and let God know my integrity!" (Job 31:6 RSV)

"Men of low estate are but a breath, men of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath." (Psalm 62:9 RSV)

"This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; TEKEL, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting; PERES, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians." Then Belshazzar commanded, and Daniel was clothed with purple, a chain of gold was put about his neck, and proclamation was made concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom." (Daniel 5:26-29 RSV) (see The Writing On The Wall)

End-Time Famine

"When he opened the third seal (see The Seven Seals), I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" And I saw, and behold, a black horse [see The Four Horsemen], and its rider had a balance in his hand; and I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; but do not harm oil and wine!" (Revelation 6:5-6 RSV)

Fact Finder: Who are the riders of the two symbolic white horses of end-time prophecy?
See Two White Horses

This Week's Bible Quiz

1. How many days did God make it rain for The Flood in the time of Noah?

2. How many days was Moses up on Mount Sinai when God gave him The Ten Commandments?

3. How many years did Moses lead the Israelites in the Wilderness Journey after the Exodus?

4. How many years did Eli judge Israel?

5. How many years did King David reign?

6. How many years did King Solomon reign?

7. How old was Joshua in the year that he succeeded Moses?

8. How many years did the Israelites eat Manna?

9. How many days did Jesus Christ spend fasting and being tempted by Satan?

10. How many days did Christ appear to the apostles after His resurrection?

For the answers to this August 22 2000 quiz, see the Bible Quiz Answers Page

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