for the measurement of time, only once mentioned in the Bible, erected by Ahaz ( 2 Kings 20:11 ; Isaiah 38:8 ). The Hebrew word (ma'aloth) is rendered "steps" in Ex Exodus 10:19 , and "degrees" in 2 Kings 20:9 2 Kings 20:10 2 Kings 20:11 . 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 ( Daniel 3:6 ) is the first to make mention of the "hour."
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.
[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary
Bibliography InformationEaston, Matthew George. "Entry for Dial". "Easton's Bible Dictionary".