Do the British Use Israelite Weights and Measures?

Weights and measures of ancient Israel correspond precisely with modern English and American weights and measures.

Linear Measures

For instance, regarding linear measures, the remains of the synagogues in Galilee and portions of the substructure of the Temple, have all been set out in Hebrew CUBITS of sixteen English INCHES. The 18" cubit was still used commonly in many white countries up until the 19th century. But its modern name was "Ells". This is because it was roughly the length of a man's arm, from elbow to end of middle finger. Hence the name "Ell" from "Elbow." An ell-wand was a rod of one ell length used for official measurement. Edward I of England required that every town have one. The ROYAL CUBIT (translated cubit of a man), is mentioned in Deuteronomy 3:11 and the CUBIT and HANDBREADTH ("tupah") occur in Ezekiel 40:5. The length of a CUBIT and a TUPAH is 18.66 INCHES. The ancient BARLEYCORN was 1/8 INCH. The SPAN is exactly 8 INCHES. A FURLONG is exactly 55.5 English YARDS. A Hebrew SMALL MILE is exactly 444 English YARDS. Sotah 5:3 mentions a SABBATHDAY JOURNEY (Tehum) of exactly 888 YARDS (2,000 ordinary steps or a little over half an English mile). The STAGE equalled our modern MILE.

Square Measures

In square measure, the ancient ZEMEED was an area equal to 1/3 ACRE, exactly 1,480 English YARDS. The ACRE of the sanctuary and the British ACRE are very nearly alike.

Dry Capacity Measures

In dry measures of capacity, one ancient SEAH was equal to our modern PECK within approximately one per cent and one ancient KOR was equal to our QUARTER within one-third of one per cent. The Hebrew LAVER and old English CHALDRON are 32 bushels or four quarters -- the origin of the quartern loaf. The ark of the covenant was a Hebrew LAVER. (See page 35 of British-Israel Bible Notes by J. Bell, 1903).

Liquid Measures

In liquid measure, one HIN was equal to our GALLON within about one per cent. The HIN of 12 LOGS equalled exactly 268 cubic INCHES or 1.012 English GALLONS. A SEAH corresponded to exactly 576 cubic INCHES or 1.012 English PECKS. THREE SEAHS equal one EPHA. The Hebrew KOR of 30 SEAHS is equal to exactly 17,280 cubic INCHES or .993 of an English QUARTER. The Hebrew BATH is equal to 1,728 cubic INCHES or exactly one English cubic FOOT.

Units of Weight

In units of weight, Sixteen TROY GRAINS equal one GERAH. There is a remarkable relationship between the ancient system of liquid measures and the British unit of linear measure, and weight because the CUBIC FOOT is identical with the ancient BATH, a liquid measure and 24 CUBIC INCHES equal one LOG (the volume of six hen eggs) and that volume of water at 62 degrees Farenheit weighs within one per cent of 6000 GRAINS. Modern jewelers still use the ancient CARAT and the Hebrew word for best gold is "CHARUTS." Both the Jewish and British systems of money were based on the weights of precious metals in terms of simple multiples of the TROY GRAIN, which unit was identical with the weight ascribed by the Jews to a grain of BARLEY. For instance the small Hebrew MINA was 9600 GRAINS of BARLEY, the Shekel was 320 GRAINS of BARLEY and a DRACHMAE was 16 GRAINS of BARLEY. These coincidences denote a common source for British and Jewish weights and measures. The ancient French, Italian, Spanish and German measures were different. The contents of English measures of capacity, as fixed by Act of Parliament, have not been scientifically referred to the unit of linear measures. Had that been done, all of the above-names measures would have had an exact correspondence.(For more see F.R. & C.R. Conder's Handbook to the Bible, 1880)

The Numbers "16" and "32"

Just as a pound is equal to 16 ounces, so the Hebrew GERA is equal to 16 TROY GRAINS and the BEKA is equal to 160 TROY GRAINS (.33 ounces) and the large MINA is 16,000 TROY GRAINS (33.33 ounces). Just as one Quart is 32 ounces, so also one SHEKEL is 320 TROY GRAINS (.75 ounces) and one CARAT is 3.2 TROY GRAINS. The British system is the same as the Israelite system -- both use 16 and 32 and their multiples.

The Shilling is the Half-Shekel

The SHILLING of England is the SCHILLING of Holstein and the SKILLING of Scandinavia, "ing" being a patronymic diminutive, the SKILLING or SHILLING is the son of a SHEKEL, i.e. a Half-Shekel of the sanctuary. It is a striking confirmation of the Hebrew origin of the Anglo-Saxons that their national coin represents the Temple tribute ordained for Israel. In Latin countries, from Calais to Varna, the franc, peseta, lira, drachma or bano (in each case valued at about 9.5d.) represents the Denarius of the Romans.

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