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Balance

BALANCE. The English word is from the Latin bilanx and means “having two scales.” It is used to translate three Hebrew words: mo’znayim, kaneh, and peles. The balances of the Hebrews consisted of a horizontal bar, either suspended from a cord that was held in the hand, or pivoted on a perpendicular rod. Scales were suspended from the ends of the bar, one for the object to be weighed, the other for the weight. At first the weights were of stone. Weighing with such balances could be accurately done, but the system was liable to fraud, so that in the OT there is much denunciation of “dishonest scales” (Mic.6.11).