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Fausset's Bible Dictionary

 

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Silver
        

Hebrew keceph, Greek arguros. The only one of the four metals, gold, silver, brass, and iron, not mentioned until after the deluge. Abraham paid Ephron for the cave of Machpelah "400 shekels of silver, current money with the merchant" (Genesis 23:16). By this time it had become a recognized standard of value and medium of exchange. It probably was not coined, but bars of silver were probably formed in conventional shapes and marked with some sign to note their weight. The thousand ("pieces" is not in the Hebrew) of silver given by Abimelech to Abraham probably indicate the value of the "sheep and oxen," etc., which he gave (Genesis 20:14-16). (See MONEY.) Silver was brought to Solomon in lavish abundance from Arabia and Tarshish (in plates like the Cingalese sacred writing tablets). 2 Chronicles 9:14; 2 Chronicles 9:21; 1 Kings 10:21-27. Idols were generally wood inside, plated over with silver (Jeremiah 10:9; Isaiah 30:22; Isaiah 40:19; Hosea 13:2; Habakkuk 2:19).
        It was used for women's ornaments, Genesis 24:53; cups, Genesis 44:2; sockets and chapiters of the pillars of the tabernacle, Exodus 26:19; Exodus 27:10; Exodus 38:17; the two trumpets, Numbers 10:2; the temple candlesticks, etc., 1 Chronicles 28:15-17; the model shrines of Diana, Acts 19:24. There being mines ("vein") of silver and "dust of gold" is accurately noted in Job 28:1 (See METALS.) The Lord, with perfect wisdom and love, leaves His people in affliction till, their dross being purified, He sees them reflecting His holy image; just as a "refiner of silver" sits watching the melting silver until he sees his own image reflected, when he knows the silver has been long enough in the furnace and withdraws it (Malachi 3:3). (See MINES; LEAD.) Captain Burton's discovery of silver and gold and other metals in great abundance in the land of Midian, as well as the remains of ancient mine workings, remarkably confirms the Scripture account of Midian's wealth in the metals (Numbers 31:9; Numbers 31:22; Numbers 31:50-54; Judges 8:24-26). A forger would never have ascribed this kind of wealth to a nomadic people. (See MIDIAN; PARAN.)
        


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

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