and out of whose hills thou
mayest dig "brass."
8:7-9 "For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land
of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys
and hills; A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and
pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; A land wherein thou shalt
eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a
land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig
Brass or Bronze
In the Bible bronze is the Hebrew word "nechoshet" and the Greek
word "chalchos." During Bible times bronze was an alloy of copper
and tin and was used to an enormous extent. Bronze is derived from the
Italian "bronzo", and was introduced into the English language
during the 18th century to distinguish it from brass, copper, and other
At the present time the term brass is applied to an alloy of copper and zinc
or of copper, zinc and tin. The word translated "brass" in the
King James Version would be more correctly translated bronze, since the
alloy used was copper and tin (Ex 27:4). In some Scriptures copper is meant
In ancient Israel there was no such metal known as brass. The one Hebrew
word for copper and bronze was rendered brass by the King James translators
because at that time the word bronze had not yet been introduced into the
English language. Brass is an alloy of copper and tin. It is a word of old
English origin and cannot be found in any other language. It appears in the
English Bible, referring to either pure copper or to an alloy of copper and
Ancient Palestine was not in the habit of producing metals, but rather
obtained them from the surrounding lands. They obtained copper from the
Edomites who were located in the South, and they obtained tin from the
Phoenicians, who got it from Tarshish, apparently Spain. Bronze, being an
artificial alloy, was known in Egypt in at least 1600 BC. It was probably
known in Europe still earlier (2000 BC).
Bronze was probably of European origin and was carried to Egypt. At a later
period the Egyptians made the alloy themselves, bringing their copper from
Sinai, Cyprus or northern Syria, and their tin from the Balkan regions or
from Spain or the British Isles.
There has been a great interest recently among scholars as to the source of
the tin which was used so frequently in the manufacturing of the ancient
bronzes, mainly because tin occurs in only a few localities. The bronze
articles that were manufactured in the Punic (Phoenician) cities and
colonies were exported all over the world in exchange for the products of
every region, to enhance the wealth of Tyre and Carthage. There have been
numerous discoveries of ancient copper works throughout the ancient world.
The zinc mines at Laurium, in Greece, were extensively worked in ancient
In Deut. 8:9 Moses describing the Promised Land said:
"it is a Land whom stones are
iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass."
Also Job tells a parable saying:
"surely there is a vein for the
silver, and a place for gold with a fine it, iron is taken out of the earth
and brass is molten out of the stone" (Job 28:1-2).
The Bible also records in Ezra 8:27 that
when Ezra journeyed from Babylon to Jerusalem to repair the city he brought
"two vessels of fine copper,
precious as gold."
When the Children of Israel came into the promised land, they found the
Canaanites already skilled in the making and use of bronze instruments. The
ancient Israelites used copper in many different ways, Among the most common
were: weapons, knives, nails, lamps, hand mirrors, locks, works of art, and
sacred vessels and later stamped coins. There was a vast amount of copper
used in the construction of Solomon's temple.
The Tabernacle of Moses
When the children of Israel were asked to give in the building of the
Tabernacle (the temporary tent that Yahweh would dwell in) they gave from
what they had received from the spoils given them by the Egyptians, and they
had given so much that they were commanded to stop giving. Out of the
abundance of what they gave was Bronze. A total of 6,700 lbs. of bronze was
given. The main use for bronze was in the tabernacle furniture within the
outer court, in the places where exceptional strength and heat resistance
was important. Bronze has a melting point of 1,985 degrees. Since the altar
was a place where intense heat was present it was overlaid with bronze.
Ex 27:1-2 You shall make an altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and
five cubits wide--the altar shall be square--and its height shall be three
cubits. You shall make its horns on its four corners; its horns shall be of
one piece with it. And you shall overlay it with bronze. NKJV
"Bronze," naturally, is used in Scripture as the symbol of what is
firm, stubborn, strong and enduring, thus we see "gates of bronze"
(Ps 107:16), "hoofs of bronze" (Mic 4:13), etc. Is is mentioned in
reference to people and cities.
But Bronze also represents judgement. In
showing His anger over a certain city the Lord would say that the "heavens
have turned bronze." When Moses raised the bronze serpent it spoke
of the power of the serpent being judged through the raising of the Son of
Num 21:9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it
was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent,
Bronze typifies the divine character of Christ who took upon Himself the
fire of God's wrath, holiness and justice by becoming a sin offering.
2 Cor 5:21 "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that
we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
Matt 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice,
saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My
God, why have You forsaken Me?"
Today in metallurgy, bronze is an alloy of copper, tin, zinc, phosphorus,
and sometimes small amounts of other elements. Bronzes are harder than
brasses. Most are produced by melting the copper and adding the desired
amounts of tin, zinc, and other substances.
In modern metallurgy brass is an alloy having copper (55%-90%) and zinc
(10%-45%) as its essential components. The properties of brass vary with the
proportion of copper and zinc and with the addition of small amounts of
other elements, such as aluminum, lead, tin, or nickel.