A false balance is an abomination of the Lord

jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
The verses in the eleventh chapter of Proverbs stated, “A false balance is an abomination of the Lord: but a just weight is his delight. When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.
Source: The Stand by Stephen King
Context: At the public assemblage, Judge Ferris stood and read this biblical quote with a cracked, apocalyptic voice.

What does this biblical verse actually? This is not a theological question. I am seeking the meaning whether metaphorical or literal.

Words looked up:
abomination: a thing that causes disgust and hatred, or is considered extremely offensive
lowly: low in status or importance
perverseness: moral corruption
transgressor: sinner, offender

What is a false balance? Balance between good and evil? Why false? What does a just weight is delight mean?....

Thank you.
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    A false balance is [an] abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight. When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

    My take on this, in case it helps:

    A "false balance" (something the Lord doesn't like one bit!) is being contrasted with a "just weight" (representing a true or fair balance – equilibrium perhaps) and examples of both are given. Pride and shame = a false balance; lowliness and wisdom = a just weight.

    The next sentence should be self-explanatory, in the light of the definitions you've cited. Here it IS more a case of good v. evil (but I'm not sure who "they" are).
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    If you want to put it like that, yes! An upright citizen would be an honourable one who abided by the rules, was honest, etc.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    To me, the first part sounds like an analogy to a balance scale with two pans, where a product goes on one side and the known weight goes on the other.

    A false balance is an abomination of the Lord - cheating on the weights will get you in trouble in a business transaction and dishonesty will also get you in trouble with the Lord
    but a just weight is his delight - honesty is expected and appreciated, in a business transaction and by the Lord
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    What does this biblical verse actually say? This is not a theological question. I am seeking the meaning whether metaphorical or literal.

    What is a false balance? Balance between good and evil? Why false? What does a just weight is delight mean?....
    This proverb is very literal, and not at all metaphorical. A "balance" is the same thing as "scales; a device for weighing things." This proverb (like others found in the Book of Proverbs) refers to the scales used for weighing things (such as grain) that are bought and sold. God is displeased with those who use scales and weights that have been adjusted to cheat other people, but is pleased with honesty in business dealings.

    This proverb really is no more complicated or symbolic than that.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    This is a quotation from the Old Testament (Jewish Bible) - Proverbs 11:1-3. Here is a more recent translation (New International Version UK).
    The Lord detests dishonest scales,
    but accurate weights find favour with him.

    2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
    but with humility comes wisdom.

    3 The integrity of the upright guides them,
    but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.
    These proverbs are sometimes grouped in terms of themes, but sometimes they appear to be random collections. You see the themes of honesty and integrity in verses 1 and 3.
     

    jacdac

    Senior Member
    Lebanese
    Thank you. How come your pasted writing style differs from Stephen King's citations?
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    You do realise that the Old Testament is written in Hebrew, don't you? There have been different English translations of the Bible. Stephen King used the older (King James/Authorised Version) translation of 1611. I quoted from a more recent English translation.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    To me, the first part sounds like an analogy to a balance scale with two pans, where a product goes on one side and the known weight goes on the other.

    A false balance is an abomination of the Lord - cheating on the weights will get you in trouble in a business transaction and dishonesty will also get you in trouble with the Lord
    but a just weight is his delight - honesty is expected and appreciated, in a business transaction and by the Lord
    Yes, and it's important to remember that this is a agricultural community where true measuring of weight is vital in transactions. This gives more force to any metaphorical meaning.
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    This proverb is very literal, and not at all metaphorical. A "balance" is the same thing as "scales; a device for weighing things." This proverb (like others found in the Book of Proverbs) refers to the scales used for weighing things (such as grain) that are bought and sold. God is displeased with those who use scales and weights that have been adjusted to cheat other people, but is pleased with honesty in business dealings.

    This proverb really is no more complicated or symbolic than that.
    Exactly. The Old Testament is actually full of condemnations of dishonest scales and measurements. E.g.:

    You shall not cheat in measuring length, weight, or quantity. You shall have honest balances, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin ... (Leviticus 19:35-36; the ephah and hin are Hebrew measures).

    Hear this, you that trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land, saying, "... We will make the ephah small and the shekel great, and practice deceit with false balances, ..." (Amos 4-5).

    A trader, in whose hands are false balances, he loves to oppress. (Hosea 12:7).​
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top