Manners & Customs: Metal Workers
Metal Workers and Metallurgy in the Ancient World
Blacksmiths. In the days of King Saul the Philistines put a ban on Hebrew blacksmiths. "Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears" (I Samuel 13:19). The Philistines required the Hebrews to bring their coulters and mattocks to the vicinity of Ramle to be sharpened, and this district in the Valley of Ajalon for many years afterward came to be known as the Valley of Smiths.
But Jewish blacksmiths were active in the days of Isaiah, for he said: "The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers" (Isaiah 44:12). Isaiah refers to the blacksmith's anvil (Isaiah 41:7), and Jeremiah makes mention of his bellows (Jeremiah 6:29). The primitive type of anvil that has been in use for centuries is simply a cube of iron that has been inserted in a block of oak log. The old type of bellows, which is worked by hand, is made of the skin either of a goat or of a cow with the hair left on it. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Coppersmiths. Moses described the land of Canaan as being "a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass [copper]" (Deuteronomy 8:9). Deposits of copper and iron have been discovered along the length of Wadi Araba which leads to the Gulf of Akaba. An excavation at Tel el Kheleifeh, which is the site of ancient Ezion-geber, King Solomon's port city, has revealed that some of Solomon's copper and iron refineries were located there. The builders of the smelters at Ezion-geber faced their furnaces toward the prevailing wind which was northwest. Winds that continued steadily blew through flue holes and kept the fire in the furnace rooms burning. Thus in those days the same principle essentially was employed as that of the Bessemer blast furnace of modern times.
Solomon must have carried on a thriving business in copper. Scripture says: "And the pots, and the shovels, and the basons: and all these vessels, which Hiram made to King Solomon for the house of the Lord, were of bright brass [i.e., burnished copper]" (I Kings 7:45).
[Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
A study of working with metal would need to begin with "Tubal-cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron" (Genesis 4:22). That is, he was the forger of every cutting instrument of brass [copper] and iron. The Orientals who lived three to four thousand years ago were very advanced in the mechanical arts. Some of the work of those skilled ancient workmen, as brought to light by archaeologists is superior to anything the world has produced since. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Smith in Easton's Bible Dictionary
The Hebrews were not permitted by the Philistines in the days
Samuel to have a smith amongst them, lest they should
swords and spears (1 Sam. 13:19). Thus the Philistines
make their conquest permanent (comp. 2 Kings 24:16).
Smith in Naves Topical Bible
(A worker in metals)
-Jewish, carried away captive to Babylon
2Ki 24:14; Jer 24:1
-The manufacturers of idols
Isa 41:7; 44:12
-Genius of, from God
Ex 31:3-5; 35:30-35; Isa 54:16
Smith Scripture - 1 Samuel 13:19
Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of
Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make [them]
swords or spears:
Smith Scripture - 2 Kings 24:14
And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and
all the mighty men of valour, [even] ten thousand captives,
and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the
poorest sort of the people of the land.
Smith Scripture - Exodus 31:4
To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and
Smith Scripture - Genesis 4:22
And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every
artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain [was]
Smith Scripture - Isaiah 41:7
So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, [and] he that
smootheth [with] the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying,
It [is] ready for the sodering: and he fastened it with nails,
[that] it should not be moved.
Smith Scripture - Isaiah 44:12
The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and
fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength
of his arms: yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth: he
drinketh no water, and is faint.
Smith scripture - Isaiah 54:16
Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the
fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and
I have created the waster to destroy.
Smith Scripture - Jeremiah 24:1
The LORD shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs [were]
set before the temple of the LORD, after that Nebuchadrezzar
king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of
Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the
carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to
Workers of Silver and Gold
Silversmiths and goldsmiths. Nehemiah mentions the presence of goldsmiths (Nehemiah 3:8), and the most famous example of a silversmith is Demetrius, whose business was interfered with by the evangelistic work of the Apostle Paul (Acts 19:24). The Apostle Peter used the goldsmith's task as an illustration of the trial of the Christian's faith. "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth . . . might be found unto praise and honor" (I Peter 1:7). The apostle is describing an old-time goldsmith who places his crude ore in a crucible and then applies the heat to melt it. When the impurities come to the surface they are skimmed off. When the workman is able to see his face reflected clearly in the surface of the molten liquid, he takes it away from the fire, and knows that he has pure gold left. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
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