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December 14

Ezekiel 44:15-31; Revelation 6

Thought from Today's Old Testament Passage:

[Ezek 45:9-12] Ezekiel used the reality of God's promised future blessings as a springboard to exhort the princes in his day to repentance. "You have gone far enough, O princes of Israel! (cf. 44:6) Give up your violence and oppression and do what is just and right." Israel's civil leaders had callously disregarded the rights of those they were to protect. Their basic problem was greed. So Ezekiel exhorted them to "use accurate scales, an accurate ephah, and an accurate bath." An ephah was a measure of dry capacity and a bath was a measure of liquid capacity. They were each equivalent to approximately five gallons. Each of these was a 10th of a homer. A homer was approximately 50 gallons, or about 5 bushels. The Hebrew word homer, possibly related to hamor (donkey), suggests that this was a "donkey load."

Ezekiel also defined the measure of weight (in addition to the measures of capacity): "the shekel is to consist of 20 gerahs." A "shekel" weighed just under 11½ grams or about 2/5 of an ounce. The "gerah" was Israel's smallest unit of weight; it took 20 gerahs to make one shekel…

Weights found from Old Testament times vary to some extent. Apparently people used weights of differing sizes to cheat others. Ezekiel was exhorting Israel's leaders to establish honest standards for all Israelites.

John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck, eds., The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), p. 1311.

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