Divers Weights and Divers Measures

Monday, June 11, 2012

“Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD” (Proverbs 20:10 KJV).

Why is God offended by “divers weights, and divers measures?” Exactly what are these anyway?

The “weights” and “measures” of today’s Scripture are actually elements of commerce in the ancient world. From time immemorial, pan balances (scales) have been used to determine the value of goods. Goods were placed in one of the scales’ pans, and weights (such as stones) were placed in the other pan, and thus, the goods were valued (setting the standard for the price of goods of like nature). But, God knows sinful man will alter the standards (by using different size measurements), to ultimately swindle others (cf. Hosea 12:7; Micah 6:10-12)!

So, God strictly commanded Israel through Moses: “Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers [different] weights, a great and a small. Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small. But thou shalt have a perfect and just [fair, right, honest] weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have…” (Deuteronomy 25:13-15).

Proverbs 20:23 expounds: “Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good.” And Proverbs 11:1: “A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just [fair, right, honest] weight is his delight.”

Leviticus 19:35,36 summarize today’s Scripture and its associated verses: “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure. Just [fair, right, honest] balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have:….” (An “ephah” and a “hin” are units of measurement.)

Just as God strictly warned Israel to be honest in all financial matters, He expects us to do the same. Let us not cheat others out of what rightfully belongs to them: “Render therefore to all their dues: tribute [tax] to whom tribute is due; custom [levy, fee, fine] to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law…. For this,… thou shalt not steal…” (Romans 13:7-9).