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Bible Dictionaries

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary

Cubit

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a measure used among the ancients. The Hebrews call it אמה , the mother of other measures: in Greek πηχυς . A cubit originally was the distance from the elbow to the extremity of the middle finger: this is the fourth part of a well proportioned man's stature. The common cubit is eighteen inches. The Hebrew cubit, according to Bishop Cumberland and M. Pelletier, is twenty-one inches; but others fix it at eighteen inches. The Talmudists observe, that the Hebrew cubit was larger by one quarter than the Roman. Lewis Capellus and others have asserted that there were two sorts of cubits among the Hebrews: one sacred, the other common; the sacred containing three feet, the common containing a foot and a half. Moses assigns to the Levites a thousand sacred cubits of land round about their cities, Numbers 35:4; and in the next verse he gives them two thousand common ones. The opinion, however, is very probable, that the cubit varied in different districts and cities, and at different times, &c.

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Cubit'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/wtd/c/cubit.html. 1831-2.

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