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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

October 26, 2023

The Bible Edge

Practical Points to Ponder from Proverbs

Proverbs 20:10

Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD.

Weights and measures should be true and honest. However, some merchants used divers weights and measures in order to cheat. Here is how it would work.

Let’s say a merchant was going to sell a pound worth of grain. They would put the grain on one side of a scale and a weight on the other side. But the weight they would choose may have 1 lb. etched on it, but it may only weigh ¾ of a lb. Thereby for every pound of wheat sold, the merchant would actually only be selling ¾ of a lb. yet receiving money for 1 lb. On the other hand when the merchant was buying grain, they would stealthily use a weight that said 1 lb. but could actually weigh 1.25 lbs. Herein he would pay for one pound but receive 1.25 pounds of grain. Hence the “divers” weight. An honest merchant would use a 1 lb. weight that actually weighed 1 lb., whether buying or selling. This would be a “just” weight. A measure can likewise be altered.

Divers weights and measures are both an abomination to the Lord. There is no greater condemnation than an abomination. Yet, on the other side of the coin, Proverbs 11:1 states, A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight. False measurements are an abomination to the Lord… just measurements are His delight.

“Great, Preacher, most today do not use these types of measurements and if they do, they are computerized, regulated and properly calibrated.” While that statement may or may not be true, the principle is still in effect. What about those who condemn in others that which they also do? That is a divers measurement of sorts. The old southern saying sums up this malady quite nicely: “Them doin’ the accusin’ are usually the ones doin’ the doin’!” More importantly, Jesus dealt with this, for he said to the religious lawyers of His day: …Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers (Luke 11:46). On one hand some accuse others of doing what they do, on the other hand they judge others for not doing what they don’t do. Both, according to the principle of weights and measures, are abominations to the Lord.

No wonder, Romans 14:4 is in the Bible. If obeyed, it would eliminate all false measurements of others: Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. All are living their life in sight of the Master. Who are we to judge others when we are in the same condition? We are human.

William T. Howe, Ph.D.

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