BALANCES (bal'ans-ez), mo-zeh nah'yeem, i. e., two scales).
That these were known to the early Hebrews and in common nse is evident from the frequent reference to them in the Old Testament (Lev. xix :36; Job vi :2 ; xxxi :6; Hos. xii :7, etc.). In the early periods of the world gold and silver were paid by weight, so that persons employed in traffic of any kind carried with them a pair of scales or balances and different weights (gener ally stones of different sizes) in a pouch or bag. Dishonest men would carry two sorts of weights, the lighter to sell with and the other to buy with. This explains the allusions (Mic. vi a t ; Hos. xii :7).
In pictures on monuments is represented a balance in which the scales are simply a pair of weights. There are two bags of money which are to be equalized, one of which is a standard. The scribe stands by to register the result. The prob ability is that the Hebrews used the common bal ances of Egypt. (See WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.)
FiguratWe. (1) Men are weighed in the balances, when they are tried by the law, word or judgments of God, and their goodness or bad ness clearly discovered (Dan. v:27; Job xxxi :6, Ps. lxii :9). (2) The balances in the hand of him that sat on the black horse, appearing under the third seal, may denote the strict equity of Divine Providence ; the famed equity of Severus and other persecutors then living, and such scar city of provisions, temporal and spiritual, as obliged men to eat bread as by weight (Rev. vi :5 ; see also Lev. xxvi :26; Ezek. iv 17). (3) The balancings of the clouds, is the manner in which they are poised and supported in the air and formed for their proper purpose (Job xxxvii :16). (4) To weigh with an unjust balance is abomination to the Lord (Prov. xi