The Cubit
(Three Free movie skits and ideas.)

     Some general facts about Cubits: Cubit means elbow or forearm. A cubit is an ancient unit of measure used throughout the Old Testament. The Cubit originates as early as 3000 BC (about 5000 years ago), and is the distance from the elbow to the end of the middle finger, approx. 17"-22", or 45.4 - 55.5cm. Because everyone's cubit is different, a leader or foreman would have all of the workers use his standardized cubit rod (measuring reed) at construction sites. Cubit, KYOO biht, is a measure of length used by several early civilizations. While no one knows exactly when this measure was established. The cubit was commonly used by many early people including: the Babylonians, the Egyptians, and the Israelites. The royal cubit of the ancient Egyptians was about 20-3/5 inches (53.3 centimeters) long. That of the ancient Romans was 17-1/2 inches (44.5 cent.). The Israelite's cubit at the time of Solomon was 25-1/5 inches (64 cent.). The "span" (zeret) was the distance between the tip of the little finger and the tip of the thumb with the fingers straddled. The measurement of the handbreadth was the width of the four fingers, and the fingerbreadth was measured according to the width of the finger. God told Noah to build the ark in Gen. 6:15, "And this is the way you are to make it: the length of the ark shall be 300 cubits, it's breadth 50 cubits and it's height 30 cubits". If you use Solomon's Cubit, the ark was about 630 ft. long x 105 ft. wide x 63 ft. high. Please note that no one knows the actual size of Noah's Cubit. Ratio between the units of length in the Bible. According to the short cubit.

 
Reed
Cubit
Handbreadth
Fingerbreadth
Reed
 1
 
 
 
 Cubit
 6
 1
 
 
 Handbreadth
 36
 6
 1
 
 Fingerbreadth
 144
24
4
1

Script #1, What is a Cubit?
Basic theme:
A newscast showing a reporter interviewing a scientist who has discovered an ancient cubit.
Cast: 2 people total, not gender specific: one reporter and one scientist.

Script:
News person (standing next to the scientist): "Sir, please tell us about your incredible discovery."

Scientist: "I would be glad to. We have recently discovered that people 3,000 years ago used an ancient method of measuring called a Cubit. A cubit is the distance from your elbow to the tip of your middle finger. It is important to realize that everyone's cubit is different. In those days the leader or king of each nation would establish their own cubit as the national measuring standard."

News Person: "Could you demonstrate that to us?"

Scientist: "Yes I can. Come over here and we will measure your cubit." (They walk a short distance to a table). "Place your elbow on the end of this ruler." (The scientist helps the reporter to positions their elbow on the ruler and measures their arm). "Your Cubit is (whatever the number is). Now I will measure my cubit." (The scientist places their elbow on the end of the ruler and measures it). "My Cubit is (whatever the number is). As you can see, our cubits are different. This creates a problem when you tell me to make something based on your cubit and I make it based on my cubit. That is why the ancient kings mandated that the cubit was a standard size and everyone used that standard."

Reporter: "Can you tell us about some of the things that were made with Cubits thousands of years ago."

Scientist: "Yes, there are several places in the Bible that mention cubits. In Exodus 25:10-11, God gives these instructions to Moses on the building of the Ark of the Covenant. "They shall make an ark of shittim wood (acacia wood); two cubit and a half be its length, a cubit and a half its breath, and a cubit and a half its height. And you shall overlay it with pure gold within and without shall you overlay it, and you shall make upon it a molding of gold round about"

"In Exodus 38: 9-13, God gave instruction on the building of The Tabernacle In The Wilderness. "And he made the court; for the south side the hangings of the court were of fine twined linen, a hundred cubits; their pillars were twenty and their bases twenty, of bronze, but the hooks of the pillars and their fillets were of silver. And for the north side a hundred cubits, their pillars twenty, their bases twenty, of bronze, but the hooks of the . . ."

"Today we have the National Bureau of Standards that establishes the standards of all of the weights and measures that we use. Noah could not have built the Ark if everyone had not worked together using the same standard. Noah and his family counted the cost and made a firm decision to do things God's way. They knew that if they argued about every little thing, they would never get done before the flood came."

Reporter: "Thank you very much for all of that information about the Cubit Mr., or Mrs. Scientist". (The reporter looks into the camera) "This is your reporter on the spot asking you, have you weighed the cost of not doing things God's way? God has a plan and you are part of it. It is up to you to follow that plan. Have you given your heart to Jesus? Are you living the life that God wants you to live? Please pray with us now, father I pray that you would forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Fill me with your presence, your wisdom, and your strength. Lead me and guide me by your Spirit in Jesus name."

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Skit #2, The trouble with Cubits
Basic theme:
Using a Rod Serling, Twilight Zone flavor, two people try to build a wall (or anything else) using Cubits. The Narrator (In the style of Rod Serling) leads the audience to the skit. The scene opens with the Narrator standing in front of a construction site. Builder 1 and Builder 2 are in the background trying to frame a wall. After the Narrator's opening statement, he leaves the scene. Cast: Narrator: A male in a suit. A Rod Serlingesque person.
Two Builders (*BE SURE TO USE SAFETY EQUIPMENT*): Can be anyone (male or female), but should be very different in size (one big and one small). They should be dressed in work clothes, substitute names for (Builder 1) and (Builder 2). Builder 1 is small and Builder 2 is tall. Special props and notes: The script is laid out as if the builders were connecting a new wall to an existing wall but please feel free to adjust the situation so that it works out for you. I have put some situations into this script just to demonstrate how hard and awkward it was to work with each person's Cubits. All of the measurements are made by each of the builders actually placing their arm on the thing that is being measured and moving it along until the measurement is complete. Do not use a measuring reed or ruler. While the builders build with Cubits, they swap jobs as the project progresses. First one measures and the other cuts, then they swap jobs back and forth. The wall is all out of shape, one stud is long, the next stud is too short, the next one is too long, etc. The studs are not the same distance apart, it is a real mess but they don't notice until the end! Because of the cost of actually building a real 2" x 4" frame wall as a backdrop, you may wish to blue background the builders and super impose them over a Popsicle stick model wall. Using Popsicle sticks, make a model of the wall the builders have been building. Be sure to use safety equipment.

Script:
Narrator (close up, head and shoulders shot):
"Let us take a minute to ponder the fate of mankind. Does man measure up to the task at hand? Does it make sense to build a new world with the tools from our ancient past?

(PULL THE CAMERA BACK TO SHOW THE BUILDING SITE)
(Builder 1) and (Builder 2) are testing the limits of man's knowledge and skill. We look in on (Builder 1) and (Builder 2), Builders by trade, builders with a sinister problem."

Builder 1: Builder 1 says to builder 2, "Ok the boss wants us to build a wall across here and he wants it as high as that line up there" Builder 1 points to the line on an existing wall. I will put down a base plate board and you can measure from the top of it to the line up there. (Builder 1 puts a base plate board down and nails it in place. (As the building progresses, you will clearly see that there is nothing "normal" about this wall. I know that wall framing is normally put together on the floor and then stood up into place. But it will be funnier and easier for the people viewing this skit to see how messed up the wall is if they build it stick by stick standing up.)

Builder 2: Ok, I'll measure how high the line is. (Starting by laying on the floor, Builder 2 places their elbow on top of the base plate board and starts measuring cubits with their arm up the wall until they reach the line. The line should be high enough that they need a small ladder. Remember to allow for a top plate in the measurement.) "The height is (whatever the measurement is).

Builder 1: (Builder 1 puts another board on the saw horses and measures the board with his/her cubit and using a square, marks the board and then cuts it.) "Here you are." (Builder 2 helps Builder 1 install the board.) Builder 2 then tells Builder 1, " OK that board was (whatever the measurement was)

Builder 2: Builder 2 goes to the sawhorse, measures, cuts another board, and brings it back to the wall.
(Builder 1 and 2 install a few more boards taking turns measuring and cutting until they have a total of at least 4 studs installed. You may wish to do some time compression to take out the slow parts.)

Boss: The Boss returns and looks at the crocked miss shaped wall and compliments them on a great job.

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Skit #3, How big was the Ark?
Basic theme:
Demonstrate the size of Noah's Ark as compared to other things like a football field.

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Section #2, Audience participation.
A. Show the audience how they can keep a record of how their cubit grows as they grow, on a piece of paper.
B. Show a comparison between adult cubits and kid cubits. Use Handbreadth, and Fingerbreadth
C. If you can find enough space, demonstrate the size of Noah's ark. Remember, it's longer than a football field. A football field is 300 ft. long. The Ark was 450 ft. long. We're not talking about the S.S. Minnow here.
D. You can also show how confusing it is to build things with a unit of measure that is different for everyone that uses it.
E. Funny examples of using a cubit the wrong way.
A. Actor as "Cupid" gets confused and finds out that he is in the wrong movie.
B. Two actors are helping Noah build the ark. One yells the length of a board to the other. The second actor cuts it and gives it to the first actor. The board doesn't fit because their cubits are different. This is funnier if one person is real big and the other is real small.
Notes from the author: This script was written and distributed by: Apple Sauce Kids on the Internet at http://home.dmv.com/~aplsauce. Our store is youth-resources.com, or we can be E-mailed at aplsauce@youth-resources.com Please feel free to use this script: copy, teach, translate into other languages, place on the Internet and electronic Bulletin Boards, and distribute for non profit personal ministry reasons, as often as you wish. Yes, you can copy this lesson and use it on your web site, but please leave these "Notes from the author" with the script. Freely you have received this script, and freely you should give it to someone else. (Written 8/30/2001)

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A note from the author about this skit:
These skits were written and distributed by:

on the internet at http://applesaucekids.com
or E-mail us at aplsauce@applesaucekids.com
     Please feel free to copy, translate into other languages, place on the Internet, electronic Bulletin Boards, and distribute for non profit personal ministry reasons in any manner you wish and as often as you wish. We do request that these "notes from the author" stay with these skits when you share them. Freely you have received, and freely you should give them to someone else. These skits are not to be resold or distributed for profit.
These scripts were initially written on 1998 and up dated on 8/7/2001.