In part one of this study, we examined the meanings of abstemiousness, acre, bath, ephah and pulse. Three of those were measurements of some type and many of they confusing terms in the Bible are measurements. In this issue we will continue this trend into various terms of measure.
SHEKEL: A measurement of weight, used frequently for monetary purposes, gold, silver, etc., but also for grains. A shekel was = to 11 grams, or approximately 1/3 (.35) troy ounce.
Exodus 30:13 This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel [is] twenty gerahs:) an half shekel [shall be] the offering of the LORD.
Numbers 3:47 Thou shalt even take five shekels apiece by the poll, after the shekel of the sanctuary shalt thou take [them]: (the shekel [is] twenty gerahs:)
Joshua 7:21 When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they [are] hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.
GERAH: A coin equivalent to about three cents American money and three half-pence English money: See the first two quotes above.
Noah's ark has always been a subject of contention, especially among unbelievers. Following are the biblical measurements God gave unto Noah.
And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. (Genesis 6:13-16 KJV)
It is suggested that the student, at this point, read the entire chapter 6 of Genesis.
The ark was enormous. A cubit was that of the length of a man's arm from his fingertips to his elbow, about 18 inches. So you see that the ark was the length of one and one-half football fields...450 feet. It was 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. Larger than some modern shopping malls.
Unfortunately, no one knows for certain what tree this has reference to. Many wild guesses have been made including pine, cedar, fir, teak, sandalwood, ebony, wicker, juniper, acacia, boxwood and several others. Adam Clarke, an 18th century Methodist theologian, widely known for his commentary on the whole Bible, ventured the only seemingly sound opinion, that of Cypress. His theory comes from the Greek word for Cypress was kuparisson, which does carry some similarity to gopher if the 'isson' portion is dropped. Many have dismissed that idea however. This writer somewhat feels that he may have been right. Cypress is a very dense, hard wood with weather resistance greater than most woods. God's foreknowledge that Noah would spend a year in this ark and that it would be subjected to horrific weather conditions and water exposure, no doubt caused him to choose a material that would withstand the most. It remains unknown however and probably will never be known for sure.
Biblical dross refers to the scum which forms on molten metal, often referred to in the Bible as dross from molten silver. A derogatory term when referring to humans.
Psalm 119:119 Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love thy testimonies.
Proverbs 25:4 Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.
Proverbs 26:23 Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.
Isaiah 1:22 Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:
Isaiah 1:25 And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:
Ezekiel 22:19 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.
As we learn the meanings of more unknown early biblical terms, our understanding of what we read will become much clearer in our hearts. We therefore, should strive to learn all we can.