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Ezekiel 44-46 is covenant renewal or reiteration of the law. 45:10-12 is a reiteration of the law of just measures. Verse 12 says:

The shekel shall be twenty gerahs; twenty shekels plus twenty-five shekels plus fifteen shekels shall be your mina.

What is the significance of the summation? Why not simply "one mina must be sixty shekels"?

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Interested to see if other people have ideas; I might guess 15, 20, and 25 were standard weights in a normal set (like, four quarters shall be your dollar). But the ending of Ezekiel is very confusing to me. –  Soldarnal May 17 '12 at 4:25
If that were the case, I would just say "three twenty-shekels is a mina" –  Ray May 17 '12 at 11:25
@Ray, I was thinking they would have only one of each weight. Maybe similar to this puzzle. –  Soldarnal May 18 '12 at 14:53

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I asked this question on Mi Yodeya and this answer says that these were different measuring utensils (standard weights). This answer is based on the Targum, an early translation into Aramaic; I don't have the linguistic skills to evaluate that myself, but it's generally held to be a faithful translation + clarifications (like this).

When transactions were paid for by weight of (e.g.) silver instead of by government-issued money, a merchant would use a balance-style scale to weigh the tender on one side against fixed weights on the other. Rashi, Tosofot, and the Targum (as cited in the linked answer) are talking about these kinds of fixed weights.

Please note: This answer was written for a neutral, academic audience and is not intended to be interpreted in the context of a religious belief or doctrine.

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