Israeli archaeologists have discovered a weight utilized for commerce in ancient Jerusalem that scholars believe was used to cheat other traders, reports the JPost.
Uncovered in the northern section of the City of David adjacent to Jerusalem’s Old City and dating back 2,700 years ago to the First Temple period, the weight is merely 12 mm. in height and 14 mm. in diameter. It is the second of its kind to have been discovered inside of Israel. Cut from hard limestone, the find featured engravings implying that it has a weight of two gerah or, 0.944 grams.
Yet the weight doesn’t actually weigh two gerah. Instead, the researchers discovered that it weighed at least 3.61 grams which is more than three times as much.
Although this may seem strange, Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Hagai Cohen Kolonimus and Eli Shukron say that the likely explanation is that whoever used the weight in trade was using it to defraud people.
These types of scams are extensively described in the Bible, where it is harshly deterred against.
You shall not have in your pouch alternate weights, larger and smaller. (Deuteronomy 25:13)
The prohibition was emphasized several passages later:
You must have completely honest weights and completely honest measures, if you are to endure long on the soil that Hashem your God is giving you. (Deuteronomy 25:13)
Another quote from Proverbs reads:
False weights are an abomination to Hashem; Dishonest scales are not right (Proverbs 20:23)
You shall have an honest balance, honest weights, an honest efah, and an honest hin. I Hashem am your God who freed you from the land of Egypt.. (Leviticus 19:36)
The full findings of this excavation will be published on Friday as part of the book of the City of David Research Conference of the Megalim Institute.