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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

 

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CLAY

kla (chomer, chacaph, TiT, meleT, `abhi, ma`abheh, abhTiT; pelos, "wet clay," "mud"): True clay, which is a highly aluminous soil, is found in certain localities in Israel,and is used in making pottery. The Hebrew and Greek words, as well as the English "clay," are, however, used loosely for any sticky mud. In making mud bricks, true clay is not always used, but ordinary soil is worked up with water and mixed with straw, molded and left to dry in the sun. Chomer (compare chmar, "slime" or "bitumen") is rendered both "clay" and "mortar." TiT is rendered "clay" or "mire." In Isa 41:25 we have: "He shall come upon rulers as upon mortar (chomer), and as the potter treadeth clay" (TiT). In Nah 3:14, "Go into the clay (TiT), and tread the mortar (chomer); make strong the brickkiln" (i.e. make the walls ready to withstand a siege). Chacaph is the clay of the image in Nebuchadnezzar's dream (Dan 2:33 ff). MeleT occurs only in Jer 43:9, where we find: the King James Version, "Take great stones .... and hide them in the clay in the brickkiln"; the Revised Version (British and American), "hide them in mortar in the brickwork"; the Revised Version, margin, "lay them with mortar in the pavement." In Hab 2:6, `abhTiT (found only here) is rendered in the King James Version "thick clay," as if from `abhi and TiT, but the Revised Version (British and American) has "pledges," referring the word to the root `abhaT, "to give a pledge." In 1 Ki 7:46, ma`abheh ha-'adhamah (compare 2 Ch 4:17, `abhi ha-'adhamah) is the compact or clayey soil in the plain of Jordan between Succoth and Zarethan, in which Hiram cast the vessels of brass for Solomon's temple. In Jn 9:6,11,14, Thayer gives "made mud of the spittle"; in Rom 9:21, "wet clay."
Alfred Ely Day

Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Definition for 'CLAY'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". bible-history.com - ISBE; 1915.

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