"Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord,But a just weight is His delight."
A fantastic (if verbose) piece from Josh Charles on the Biblical Origins of Sound Money:
Read the whole thing here.The subject of money is far too vast to cover in one blog post, and certainly so when the goal is to expand on principles found both in the Bible, and the writings of the American Founders. But this Proverb, far from teaching us about long-lost ancient methods of money counting is in fact teaching us about a fundamental principle of money in general, and one which in the 21st century world we have completely forgotten, and which doesn’t even play a role in our banking system any longer: money has an objective value, not the value one man or a small group of men arbitrarily places on it. In other words, it has an “objective” value because the society, or the market, have agreed on a set value for a set denomination of coin. In the early days of the United States, this was accomplished by defining a “dollar” as a set amount of gold or silver, an amount that did not change, and which, if altered, could legally result in the death penalty. So objective money has a value that is the same today as yesterday, and tomorrow it will be the same as today. “But God never said an ounce of gold was worth a certain amount of money?” You are correct, but He did say that the concept of money is something which, when put in the “scales” could be measured in truth and justice. In other words, the God of this universe has said He loves honest money, and money can only be honest when its value is known, accepted, and not secretly altered for private gain. Honest money, at the end of the day, is inseparable from honest labor, honest business, and an honest society.
So in the ancient days, what would people do with this money and the scales used to measure it to make them “false”? Well, many things, but for our purposes, I will highlight the two most important ones. First, the person having his coins weighed could do what is called “coin-clipping,” by which he would clip just a small portion of the coins off (meant to be imperceptible to the one weighing the coins), and then take all the clippings, melt them down, and have “more” of the precious metal. In other words, it would be like someone hopping on their computer, and printing more dollar bills without anyone ever knowing. The officials of the Roman Empire famously did this in order to “add” to the treasury of Rome (although the people eventually caught on to their schemes, and the economic results were disastrous). While it no longer matters (because our coins are no longer made of precious metals as they used to be), you will notice a series of ridges on the edge of our coins. These ridges were put in place to avoid coin-clipping, so that if the coin was clipped, it would be immediately obvious. Second, the person who had the scale could alter it in such a way as to make the supposed weight of the coins in question less than they in fact were, thus increasing the amount of coins that the person needed to give him (to enrich himself, or the government on behalf of whom he was collecting the coins). Is any of this beginning to sound familiar?
This turn of events is not only a lie, but it is a spit in the face of justice, for more than any other, it deprives by ever encroaching degrees, and with ever increasing ferocity, the working man and woman’s ability to earn an honest and secure living for their families. Those who have the least recourse for their financial woes are those who are most at the mercy of such a corrupt system. We as Christians need to know what God’s Word says on this subject, and we as Americans need to know what our Founders said about it as well.