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Pottery
        

Early known in Egypt. Israel in bondservice there wrought at it (Psalm 81:6, so the Hebrew in 1 Samuel 2:14); but translated for "pots" the harden baskets for carrying clay, bricks, etc., such as are depicted in the sepulchral vaults at Thebes (Exodus 5:6-12; 2 Chronicles 16:6). The potter trod the clay into a paste (Isaiah 41:25), then put it on a wheel, by which he sat and shaped it. The wheel or horizontal lathe was a wooden disc, placed on another larger one, and turned by hand or worked by a treadle (Jeremiah 18:3); on the upper he molded the clay into shape (Isaiah 45:9); the vessel was then smoothed, glazed, and burnt. Tiles with painting and writing on them were common (Ezekiel 4:1). There was a royal establishment of potters at Jerusalem under the sons of Shelab (1 Chronicles 4:25), carrying on the trade for the king's revenue. The pottery found in Israel is divisible into Phoenician, Graeco-Phoenician, Roman, Christian, and Arabic; on handles of jars occur inscriptions: "to king Zepha .... king Shat" and Melek (Israel Exploration, Our Work in Israel).
        Emblem of man's brittle frailty, and of God's potter-like power to shape our ends as He pleases (Psalm 2:9; Isaiah 29:16; Isaiah 30:14; Jeremiah 19:11; Lamentations 4:2). As Isaiah 40:3 and Malachi 3:1 are thrown together in Mark 1:2-3; also Isaiah 62:11 and Zechariah 9:9 in Matthew 21:4-5; and Isaiah 8:14; Isaiah 28:16 in Romans 9:33; so Jeremiah 18:3-6; Jeremiah 18:19, and Zechariah 11:12-13 in Matthew 27:9. Matthew presumes his reader's full knowledge of Scripture, and merges the two human sacred writers, Jeremiah and Zechariah, in the one voice of the Holy Spirit speaking by them. In Matthew and Zechariah alike, the Lord's representative, Israel's Shepherd, has a paltry price set upon Him by the people; the transaction is done deliberately by men connected with the house of Jehovah; the money is given to the potter, marking the perpetrators' baseness, guilt, and doom, and the hand of the Lord overrules it all, the Jewish rulers while following their own aims unconsciously fulfilling Jehovah's "appointment."


Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew Robert M.A., D.D., "Definition for 'Pottery' Fausset's Bible Dictionary".
bible-history.com - Fausset's; 1878.

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