BIBLE-TIME MEASUREMENTS
TO HELP YOU WORK THE PROBLEMS
During Bible times, most measurements were estimates. We think during David's reign he had a standard by
which all other weights were determined, but not every king did this. To confuse things further, today's
equivalents are ever changing as inflation does. The wide variations will account for the fact that common Bible
center-reference on scriptures that involve measurements have different amounts depending on when the Bible
was published and by whom.
Money
Money was valued by weight and metal used. A talent of gold was the same size as a talent of silver, but they had different weights
and therefore different values. Talents were more like gold bullion. A talent of gold weighed about 150 pounds. A talent of silver
weighed about 75 pounds. My determination of today's values to their money was based on the average price of gold and silver on
the stock market. If you have older books giving values of Bible coins, it will probably give you lower values, not having accounted
for inflation. Silver seemed to be the standard, much as silver is the standard in United States money - silver dollar, half dollar,
quarter and dime. I do not believe gold was mentioned in the Bible outside of being bullion (talents) much like the gold in the
United States is handled (we do not have gold coins). Since the listing below is based on the use of silver in coins, let me first give
you the value of one talent of gold with an average of $325 per ounce: $840,000.

These problems are based on United States currency.  Whereas US money has a base of 100 (100 cents to a dollar), Bible times
money had a base of 60, but not followed as closely.  The following are the normal silver-based money values.
MONEY NAME
GRAINS
WEIGHT
# TO MAKE UP
SUGGESTED VALUE
NEXT LOWER COIN
           
Talent
525,000
75 US pounds
60 pounds/minehs
$12,000.00
Shekel
Shekel
175
.4 US ounce
2 bekahs
$4.00
Pence
Pence
n/a
    $1.00
Penny
Penny
n/a
    $  .35
Gera
Gera
9
    $  .20
Farthing
Farthing
4
    $  .08
Mite
Mite
2
    $  .04
Nothing Lower
CAPACITY
A few comments on the listing below. The hin was a pot about l gallon in size, depending on who made it. The word ephah comes from
a word meaning basket, and was about 6 gallons and about the most one person could carry in a basket. The word homer is literally
translated donkey, and represented 6-1/2 to 10 bushels (much debate on its size still today), which was about how much a donkey
could carry, obviously depending on the size of the donkey. Another word subject to debate is bath which is translated daughter. Some
commentaries claim this was because the daughters carried the water, but one might wonder if it was because the daughters liked
taking baths; it represents 6 gallons. Below are the Hebrew and U.S. liquid and dry equivalents:
HEBREW
US LIQUID
US DRY
     
Cor/Homer
60 gallons
10 bushels
Firkin
31 gallons
5 bushels
Bath/Ephah
6 gallons
1 bushel
Seah
2 gallons
.40 bushel
Hin
1 gallon
.20 bushel
Omer/Deal
.5 gallon
.10 bushel
LENGTH
You were lucky during Bible times if you were a large person and purchasing something by length. Length measurements were based on
the hand standard. Isn't strange that the Americans followed the foot standard? We originally marked things off with the pace, or long
stride. People in Bible times originally marked things off with the cubit, or distance from tip of fingers to elbow. In order to avoid confusion,
we today have decided that the average cubit was probably 18 inches. We today have a land mile and a longer nautical mile. They then
had a regular cubit and a long cubit which you will see in Ezekiel. Here are the common length measurements:
HEBREW
SIZE
EQUIVALENT
     
Cubit
2 spans
18 inches
Span
3 palms
9 inches
Palm
4 fingers
3 inches
Finger
  .75 inch
Good luck, and have
"Fun with Bible Numbers!"
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