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Plumb Line

PLUMB LINE (Heb. ’anāk). A cord with a stone or metal weight, the plummet, tied to one end; used by builders to keep a wall perpendicular. Plumb line and plummet are used figuratively of God’s action in testing the uprightness of his people (2Kgs.21.13; Isa.28.17; Amos.7.7-Amos.7.9).

In addition, RSV translates אֶ֫בֶן, H74, “plummets of chaos” in Isaiah 34:11. KJV has “stones of emptiness.”

In each text where the term is used it refers to an ordinary tool of the day in a symbolic sense, and is likened to the justice of God in judgment that is true and accurate. (See also Tools.)