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dial

for the measurement of time, only once mentioned in the Bible, erected by Ahaz (2 Kings 20:11; Isa. 38:8)

The Hebrew word ma'aloth is rendered “steps” in Ex. 20:26, 1 Kings 10:19, and “degrees” in 2 Kings 20:9-11. The ma'aloth was probably stairs on which the shadow of a column or obelisk placed on the top fell. The shadow would cover a greater or smaller number of steps, according as the sun was low or high.

Probably the sun-dial was a Babylonian invention. Daniel at Babylon (Dan. 3:6) is the first to make mention of the “hour.”

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