Chemical knowledge in the New Testament. - Journal of Chemical

Chemical knowledge in the New Testament. Hugo Zahnd, and Dorothy. Gillis. J. Chem. Educ. , 1946, 23 (2), p 90. DOI: 10.1021/ed023p90. Publication Date...
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N HISTORIES of chemistry very little space is deThe chief producers of gold were Sheba, Ophir, Upvoted to the bearing of Christianity and the New haz, Parvaim, and Havilah. Palestine itself had no Testam&t upon chemistry. The present study was gold.' Nevertheless, the Jews, by the time of the undertaken in order to expand the somewhat cursory early Christians, were expert gold workers. Beating accounts available in the standard texts. into leaves, drawing into wire, hammering, and casting As in the case of the Old Testament, we find but little were common ways of working gold since the earliest chemical information in the New Testament. While Semitic Period. Even Moses was familiar with the the latter is void of sound theoretical speculation, it art of working gold since he "was learned in all the wiscontains some practical information dealing with the dom of the Egyptians" [(Acts 7: 22).' The numbersources and uses of metallic and nonmetallic substances. ing of the verses follows that used in the King James' Reference is made also to a limited number of simple version of the Bible.] Pliny describes an amalgamation chemical processes. The New Testament, perhaps be- process for the extraction of gold and silver which in cause it is inspired by the idea of the renunciation of the some respects resembles the modern methods.6 Accordmaterial world, contains even less chemical information ing to Napier, the ancients used three methods for the than is found in the Old Testament.' What knowledge puri6cation of gold. In one method the impure metal of science the early Christians did possess was t h e i ~ was fused and then exposed to a current of air. By heritage from the Hebrews, who in turn had merely another procedure the molten alloy was treated with borrowed the information from the Egyptians, Baby- niter. In the third process the impure gold was mixed with lead and the whole exposed to fusion by heatlonians, and Phoenicians. Palestine and Syria were influenced by Egyptian ing in an earthen vessel, the fusion being accompanied culture as early as 2000 B.C. Imports from Egypt and by the blowing with bellows. The latter method was Babylonia included red and blue woolen shawls, silver claimed to be superior to the other processes.' A more and gold vessels, precious stones, and furniture fash- detailed account of the refining of gold as practiced ioned of ebony and ivory. Amulets, such as the cross by the ancients is outlined by Berth6lot. According of life, the sphinx, and the solar disc with wings, were to him, the contaminated gold was heated in an earthen also imported from Egypt. Archaeological research vase with twice its weight of salt and three times its conducted in Palestine indicates a much lower state of weight of a prqduct of the slow oxidation of pyrites; civilization of the early Israelites than that of the con- the process of heating was repeated with two parts by temporary Phoenicians, Egyptians, or Babylonian~.~weight of salt and one part by weight of s c h i ~ t . ~With Greek philosophy also influenced the speculative reference to the purification of gold, Partington makes the following statement: "So far as is known, all thoughts of the early Christians. A clear understanding of the chemical insight con- ancient processes for the separation of gold from silver tained in the New Testament therefore demands the or other metals depended on a dry method of heating study of the theoretical and practical a&omplishments with salt, misy (impure iron sulfate), and other materials, still used in the 18th ~ e n t u r y . " ~ of the more ancient civilizations. Archaeological researches conducted by Petrie disclose evidence that gold was used abundantly as early THE METALS Wbile the metals mentioned in the New Testament as 1190 B.C. It was numbered among the luxuries are gold, silver, copper, and iron, evidence exists that which comprised the merchan'dise of Babylon (Revelead as well as bronze and brass were known even to the lation l: 12). Its preciousness is further indicated inhabitants of Philistine Gezer. The Hebrews did ndt by the fact that i t was included among the gifts from practice mining or metallurgy, but they were probably the Wise Men of the East to Jesus (Matthew 2: 11). acquainted with the processes commonly used in Leba- Gold was used for articles of apparel. Wealthy non. Whereas Palestine is poor in minerals, copper women bedecked themselves with gold (Revelation was presumably found in Palestine, Syria, and Leba- 17:4) and wore golden girdles (Revelation 1: 13). Eight gateways of the temple were supplied with non. The existence of iron mines in Lebanon is also ' M'CLINTOCK, D. D., AND J. Srn~o,"CyclopaediaofBiblical. alluded to by some authors.' -Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature." Harper and Brothers, ' WEEKS,M. E., "An exhibit of chemical substancesmentioned New York, 1869-81, Vol. 3, 916-7. in the Bible." J. CREM. EDUC..20, 63-76 (1943); Iss~now,S., WEEKS. op. cit., 20, 64 (1943). AND H. ZAHND, "Chemical knowledge in the Old Testament," NAPIER, J., "The Ancient Workers and Artificers in Metal," ibid.,20, 327-35 (1943). Griffin Company. London and Glasgow, 1858, p. 18. ' PART~OTON, J. R.. "Origins and Development of Applied 7 Ibid.. p. 20. Chemistry," Longmans, Green & Company, London, 1935, pp. BERTHBLOT, M. P. E., "Introduction A I'htude de la Chemie 467-71. des anciens et du moyin age,'' Paris, 1889, p. 14. PARTINOTON. did.,pp. 481-2 PARTINOTON, op. cit., p. 486.


folding doors overlaid with gold and silver (Acts Demetrius, a silversmith, made such shrines (Acts 19: 3 :2).lO Inside, among the furnishings of the temple, 24). Paul despised these idols and thus aroused the were to be found golden candlesticks (Revelation anger of Demetrius and , ~fellow s craftsmen (Acts 19: 1: 12), a golden censer, and a golden altar (Revelation 26). 8:3). The metal was commonly used for jewelry, Copper evidently was known and used before the especially for the manufacture of rings (James 2:2). flood. Petrie disclosed the existence of copper rings These rings, which were considered as an indispensable and of copper beads of the years 2000 B.C. and 1180 part of the fashionable attire, were sometimes made of B.c., respectively. While the Hebrews probably never iron inlaid with gold. The rings of the early Chris- smelted the metal themselves, they were acquainted tians were adorned with symbols of faith." Vials with the metallurgical processes used by the Egyptian (Revelation 15: 7) and cups (Revelation 17: 4) made metal workers. The Sinai peninsula was the earliest of gold are also mentioned in the New Testament. source of Egyptian copper.19 Since copper is found in The quotation "a golden rud to measure the city" Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria, the assumption that indicates yet another use for this element (Revelation King Solomon opened copper mines in Lebanon is most 21: 15). The pagan Greeks used gold to make idols, likely correct. According to Partington, the large the commonest of which were made of wood decorated copper pieces used for the construction of the temple with gold, whiie"others were cast in gold.'"or these were made under the supervision of Phoenician aridols of gold the Christians had nothing but contempt. t i s a n ~ . While ~~ most coppersmiths settled in AlexWhile spiritual wealth was considered far superior andria,21 Alexander, the coppersmith who opposed to treasures of gold (Matthew 10: 9; James 5: 3; Paul, lived in EphesusZ2(I1 Timothy 4: 14). Copper, I Peter 1:7, 1&19; Acts 17-29), the material value of too, was commonly used for coinage. The widow's the latter was fully appreciated (Revelation 3: 18,4:4; mites were probably small copper coins2' (Luke 21: I Corinthians 3: 12).la 2; Mark 12:43). According to Napier, copper was Silver was plentiful in Palestine during the reign of not used in the pure state as it was difficult to toughen. Solomon (about 950 B.c.). At this time silver came tarnished easily, and formed toxic compounds on its from Arabia and from Tharshish. The latter country surface. Because of the latter property it was not was perhaps Spain or possibly Assur. The possibility used for the manufacture of kitchen ntensils.a' exists that some silver may have been found in PalesInasmuch as the Hebrew as well as the classic Greek tine. Silver was probably refined by means of heating use one word for copper, bronze, or brass, the translaand its cupellation in the presence of lead was also tions become ambiguous. "Brass" as used in the practiced.14 Authorized Version, probably often signifies copper or The chief use of silver was for money (Luke 15:s; bronze; "brazen" objects, on the other hand, were John 2: 15). The "denarins," a silver coin issued by most likely composed of bronze. The "fine brass" the Roman Imperial mint, bore on one side the head of of the New~Testament,according to M'Clintock and the Emperor (or some member of the Imperial family) Strong, refers to still another alloy composed of gold in conjunction with superscriptions" (Matthew 22: and silver.26 20; Mark 12:16; Luke 20:24). These coins were Of the copper alloys, bronze came into use no later used for the paying of tribute. Other coins in comthan about 2000 B.C. According to Partington, this mon use were the "farthing" (Matthew 5: 26; Mark alloy was particularly abundant from the earliest 12: 42; Matthew 10:29; Luke 12: 6) and the " ~ t a t e r " ' ~ "Amorite" period to 1350 B.C. Cooking pots, knives, (Matthew 17: 27; 26: 15; 27: 3-5)fthe latter being a Phoenician standard. Silver was ;also used for the arrow-heads, mirrors, and axes are but a few of the making of idols" (Revelation 9:20) and shrines. objects which were composed of bronze. Early These silver shrines were small models of the temple of bronzes varied considerably in composition and thus Diana, containing an image of the goddess. Pilgrims indicated a lack of skill in metallurgical procedure.26 purchased these replicas on their way to the temple.18 "Brazen" (bronze) vessels of all types were in common use (Mark 7:4). Pans, shovels, arms, decorative ' W ~ m s c xF., , "Jewish Artisan Life in the Time of'Jesus," designs of the Tabernacle, fetters, bows, and the translated from 3rd revised ed. by RcK, Funk and Wamalh bronze sea cast for Solomon were fashioned from this New York, 1883, p. Jesus spoke in the treasury where the con1%vINcENT,M. Rf:*word studies in the N~~ ~ ~ - ~ ~ t alloy. . " p y l e s Scribner's Sons, New York. 1890, "James." Vol. 1, P. tribution for the temple were kept in thirteen "brazen" do*.

1%C m m , T. K.. AND J. S. BLACK, "Encyclopaedia Bihlica." A. and C. Black, London, 1899, Vol. 2, p. 2151; Revelation 9: 20. la M'CLINTOCKAND STRONO, op. cit.,Vol. 3, pp. 916-7. 1' PARTINGTON, op. cit., p. 487. U CHEYNE AND BLACK.09.cit., Vol. 3, pp. 3646-8. CHEYNE AND BLACK.09. cd.. Vol. 4, p. 4786. " CHEYNEIWD BUCK. op. cit., Vol. 2. p. 2151. 18 VINCENT, op. cd., "Acts," Vol. 1, p. 554; WHEELER, J. T.. "An Analpis and Summaty of New Testament History Including the Four Gospels Harmonized, the Acts, and Analysis of the Epistles and the Book of Revelations: The Critical History' Geography, etc.; with Copious Notes, Historical, Geo-



graphical and Antiquarian." Arthur Hall, Virtue and Company, London, 1853, "Acts of the Apostles" p. 91. lo DAYIS, W. C. E.,"Story of Copper." The Century Company. New York. 1924, p. 19. PARTINGTON, op. it., p. 489. DELITZ~CH, op. cit., p. 41. Is Ibid., p. 9. WEEKS, oP. cd., p. 66. NAPIER, op. tit.,pp. 6 2 6 . M'CLINTOCK AND STRONG, Op. cd.. Vol. 1, p. 878. PARTINGTON, 09.cit., pp. 474-5.

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vesselsn (John 8:20). Moses made a "brazen" for the smelting process. Josephns mentions the serpent which was supposed to protect against bites "Iron Mountain" which is one of the peaks bounding of venomous snakes and which Christ later declared the valley of the Jordan north of the Dead to be a symbol of Himself crucified." The "beautiful The "Rose Mines," which were worked by Ibrahim gate" mentioned in the New Testament probably Pasha from 1835-9, are among the iron mines found derived its name from the bas-relief liily-work in Corin- in the region east of the ~ 0 r d ~ n . ~b~~ x it is quite thian "brass" with which some of the folding doors of possible that iron was obtained not only from ores the temple were decorateda8 (Acts 3: 10). "Brass" found on the surface but also by means of mining was often highly polished (Revelation 1: 15). Hel- processes. According to Napier, there is no evidence mets, apparentlymannfactured of bronze, were worn that the ancients were acquainted with cast iron; by distinguished men while engaged in battle." To however, tbey did possess malleable iron and steel." the Christian, a helmet was the symbol for salvation Products composed of this metal and mentioned in (Ephesians 6: 17; I Thessalonians 5 :8). the New Testament are gates (Acts 12: 10). fetters The alloy brass was known early in the Holy Land and chains (Mark 5:4), breastplates (Revelation (1400-1000 B.c.)." The brass-makers were not 9:9; I Thessalonians 5: 8). helmets (I Thessalonians familiar with zinc in the pure state; instead, they 5:8), nails (John 20:25), and axes (Luke 3:9; Matused the ore calamine, a hydrated zinc silicate, to thew 3:lO; Revelation 20:4). Pa& used the term form the brass called aurichalcum in early Roman breastplate as a symbol for the righteousness of the The brass was most likely used for the Christian warrior. The breastplate was either a manufacture of bells and cymbals (for reference see corselet of scale armor or a cuirass of broad plates across the chest and long flexible bands of steel across footnote 31). the shoulders (Ephesians 6: 14). Iron is used symStudies undertaken by Petrie show the existence of iron works in Palestine at an early date (1300 B.c.). bolically torepresent firmness (~evelation2:27). amber and electrum have not been He expresses also the view that the early Israelites were acquainted with steel. Objects manufactured defined. Amber (chasmil) as referred to by of iron before the time of David include an iron ring Some writers indicates an alloy composed of several (1180 B.c.), tools (1170 B.c.), and a broken steel dag- metals. According to M'Clintock and Strong, the ger (1350 B.c.). At the time of David (10Q0 B . ~ . ) fine brass mentioned in the New Testament (Revelatools and weapons were fashioned of iron. It appears tion 1: 15) refers to this type of amber.38 Electrum that the working of irondid not originate in Pales- probably signifies an d a y of the composition of gold tine. While the Bible gives no clue as to the origin and " This alloy served for the making of in *siaMinor. of the use of iron, i t is known that the Philistines were Lead, which was an article of commerce at re, well acquainted with the art of working iron. The used facthe preparation 6f various alloys. Thus Philistines probably acquired the s k i from the HitRoman monetary bronze a t times contained some I n the time of Solomon (960 B.c.) the Phoetites. nicians were noteworthy for their s k i in metal work- lead. "'. " According to Partington, this metal may ing. By the time of Amos (760 B.C)iron was in gen- have had its origin in the mines of Gebel R u s h (near eral use by the ancient Hebrews. Swords, chains, ax- the Red Sea). The chief Of tin was as a constituent of the alloy heads, chariots, and other objects too numerous to mention were fashioned of iron $t an early date. know" as bronze. The element was brought to ~ y r e D~~ to the bias against the employment of iron for and 0th- Centers of commerce by Phoenician merreligious ceremonies, this element was not used in the chants from Spain, to which country it came from Britain (Cornwall). construction of the Tabernacle.aa Up to the time of 1000 B.C. much of the iron used PRECIOUS STONES was of foreign origin, most likely from the iron works situated in Asia Minor. Iron ore is abundant in From the geological ch$.acter of the mountains in Palestine and Syria. Deposits of the metal were Syria it can be ascertained that tbey contain topaz, found in Judea and Lebanon.a4 Iron furnaces dating as far back as 1200 B.C. were disclosed by Petfie. Kmo, J.. "Palestine, The Physical Geography and Natural Wood, instead of coal, was used as a source of heat H i s t m of the Holy Land." Charles Knight and Company, London. 1841. D. laxi. ' op. tit., p. 26. " DELITZS~H; NAPIER.op. it., p. 137. 17 WHEELER,op. cit., "The Gospels," pp. 1056. 'M ' C L I N ~ CAND K STRONG, Op. cit., Vd. 1, p. 191. rs K I ~ OJ., , "Palestine, the Biblical Hlstory of the Holy



~ ~ n d Charles ," Knight and Company, London, l y 1 , p. 318. 2s wuaar.m. ob. c3.. "Acts of the A~ostles, u. 20; DE~. .. ..----~ ~ n sop. c tit.. ~ , p. 19. ro CHEYNE ~ r BLACK, n 09. cit., Vol. 2, pp. 20134. 81 PARTINGTON, op. tit., pp. 83,475-6,490. DAVIS,op. cit., pp. 1 4 5 . ~VARTINGTON, op. tit., pp. 476. 491-3. a4 HASTINGS J., "A D i c t i o n q of the Bible," Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1898, "Mining and metals," Vol. 3, pp. 374-5.


a s F & ~ o ~ S.. s , "Popular and Critical Bible Encyclopaedia and Saiptural Dictionary." Howard-Severance Comoanv. . .. Chicago. i903,Vol. 1. pp. 394-5. "The tenns amber and electrum are often used interchangeably by the ancients to designate one of the following substances: (1) an alloy composed of gold and silver; (2) amber; (3) glass; (4) shellac. FALLOWS, op. cd.,,p. 244. 4 ~ ~ ~ n iop.k cU., ~ p. o 55. ~ ,

emerald, chrysobery1,several varieties of rock crystal, and the finer grades of jasper.4a The precious stones enumerated in the Book of Revelation are jasper (Revelation4:3; 21: 11, 18,19), sardius (Revelation 4: 3; 21: 20). emerald (Revelation 4: 3; . 21 : 19), sapphire, chalcedony, sardonyx, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprasus, jacinth, and amethyst (Revelation21: 19,20). I t appears that most of the information gathered on gems named in the New Testament is derived from the knowledge as disclosed by Pliny. But since the identification of precious stones by the classical writers is far tram lucid, the establishment of the identity of these gems remains uncertain. The modern terminology for the precious stones mentioned in the Book Revelation does not correspond in every case to the name found in the authorized version of the English Bible.44 The Temple in Jerusalem was decorated with diverse precious stones (Luke 21: 5). The references to ctystal found in the Book of Revelation designate probably rock uystal. ~heophrastusclassifies C V S tal among the pellucid Stones used for engraved seals (Revelation 4 : 6; 21 : 11; 22 : Jasper, as the word appears in the Authorized Version of the New Testament, probably does not indicate the mineral we know as jasper. Jasper is not a translucent Stone, yet in Revelation 21: 11the stone is described as being "clear as crystal." This suggests its identification as a superior variety of jade or nephrite. Jasper; as we know it, is an opaque quartz (a variety of chalcedony), of red. yellow, or Putty color. Jade, on the 0 t h hand, is translucent and has been used for jewelry, cups, bells, and priceless bowls. Since diamonds were probably known to the earlier Jews, jasper has also h been assumed by some to be identical ~ t diamond. The name sapphire very probably indicated the modern lapis lazuli. The latter stone has been mined for the longest time in Afghanistan. The best specimens are golden due to the presence of iron pyrites. Chalcedony probably refers figuraivel~to a green variety of chalcedony found a t Chalcedon. It is a c r ~ ~ t o u ~ s t a l lquartz ine called carnelian, onyx, S*48 RUSSELL, M., "Palestine the HOIY Land from the ~ ~ ~

donyx, or sard, depending on its staining. It has been used by gem engravers since antiquity. Pliny uses the name "calchedoni smaragdi" for an inferior kind of emerald. A mountain located in Chalcedon apparently was the source for this variety of precious stone.& The word emerald has been correctly rendered in the New Testament. I t is composed of silicate of aluminum and beryllium and is extremely costly when it is large, flawless, and brilliant. A possible source for this gem was certain mines a t Zabara on the borders of Egypt. At present the chief source for the true emerald is Colombia. The ancients attributed great magic virtues to the emerald. Improving vision, coloring water green, easing the pain of childbuth, and driving away evil spirits were some of the magic powers ascribed to this precious stone. The green color of this gem is due to the presence of a chromiumc~mpound.~~ The sardonyx of antiquity is probably identical with the stone known a t present by this name. It is an onyx with the addition of a thud layer of sard. The sardius of the New Testament is identical with the sard, a variety of carnelian of deep tinge. It apparently was extensively used for the manufacture of intaglios and signets. The gem referred to as chrysolite in Revelation is now called topaz. T ~ as we ~ ~ ~ the , term, may be blue, green, pink, brown, yellow, or even white. When heated, the yellow variety changes to pink topaz. It is most likely, but not certain, that the beryl of the ancients is identical witk modern beryl. B q l as a minerapspecies includes the common beryl, the aquamarine, and the emerald. While the beryl is related to the emerald, it cannot to it in value. It is interesting to note that the similarity between the bery? and the emerald was pointed out by Pliny. ~ ~in beryl was pr&ticed ~ by the. ancient Greeks and Romans. The beryl may be green, light blue, pink, yellow, or white in color. The topaz of the ancients is identical with the chrysolite of modern times. Chrysolite, also called olivine or is an olive-green magnesium iron silicate. l iperidot, est to the Present Time," Harper and Brothers, New Yo& The chrysoprasus is probably identical with the 1836, p. 308. "According to Hvns~nr,J. G., AND A. J. P. MCCL-, ~ d i - apple-green type of chalcedonic quartz now named tors, "The International Teachers' Handy Bible Encyclopedia chfysiprase. and Concordance," Garden City Publishing Company, New York, The term jacinth as found in the Revelations 1940,p. 272. the following comparison may be made: appears to indicate the modern sapphire. The sapAuthurizcd Vwsion Modern Namcr phire, as identified by modem man, is a transparent Jasper Jade Sapphire Lapis Lazuli variety of aluminum oxide or corundum. According Chalcedony Chalcedony to Cheyne and Black, the hyacinthus of the ancients Emerald Emerald Sardonyx Sardonyx was probably also identical with our sapphire.'s The Sardius Sard most valuable sapphires are "velvet" or "corn flower"


Chrysolite Beryl Topaz Chrysoprasus Jacinth Amethyst

Topaz Beryl Chrysolite Chrysiprare Sapphire Ameythist

CH~YNE AND BLACK, 09.cit., Vol. 2. p. 964.

blues. The amethyst is identical with the stone h o w n to-


CERYNE m BLACK, oP.c&, Vol. 1, pp. 719-20.

" CHEYNEAND BLACK.VOI.2, pp. 1287-8.

CHEYNE AND BLACK, oP.cit.. Vd. 1, p. 2305.





day by this name. It is a form of quartz, silicon di- symbol for faithfulness, purity, and lastingness oxide, or rock crystal possessing a clear bluish-violet (Colossians 4: 6). This idea is also embodied in the or purple color due to the presence of an oxide of iron words of Jesus to his disciples: "Ye are the salt of the or manganese. Its Greek name implies the belief earth" (Matthew 5:13). Speech seasoned with that its wearer could drink wine freely and yet retain salt indicates moderate, discrete conversation his normal senses." Theophrastus was the earliest (Colossians 4 :6). The Israelites believed that Greek writer to allude to this magic property; the exposure to air destroyed the efficacy of the anwine color of the amethyst, i t was argued, resists the tiseptic property of salt (Matthew 5: 13) and rendwed intoxicating effects of the wine. This is clearly a case i t "saltless" (Mark 9: 50). The more inferior grades of sympathetic r n a g i ~ . ~ " Ithis n connection i t is in- of salt were used as soil fertilizers or were spread on the teresting to note that many wine glasses were made of dunghill (Matthew 5: 13; Luke 14: 35) to speed the amethyst in ancient Rome. decomposition of the dung.66 W i l e the later Jews were acquainted with the imSalt is found under various conditions in numeious itation of gems by means of colored glass, neither the localities in Palestine. Great quantities of salt are Old Testament nor the New Testament refers to this washed up along the shores of the Dead Sea. Rock art.51 salt is found in large amounts a t the southern end of Pearls are mentioned several times in the New this body of water. The high concentration of salt Testament (Matthew 7: 6; 13:45, 46; I Timothy 2: 9; found in thelatter is believed to originate in the strata Revelation 17: 4; 18: 12; 21: 21). Pearls are pro- of rock within its basin. This theory is supported by duced within the shell of numerous tropical mollusks, the fact that a hi1 near its shore is made up partly of particularly by the species Meleagrina or Margariti- salt and by the evidence that large crystal formations fera. They are found in the Persian Gulf, the Red composed of salt are found suspended from cliffs in Sea, and elsewhere. many places. Strabo claims that towns and villages made entirely of salt were located to the south of the COMMERCIAL PRODUCTS Dead Sea." Because sulfur bums so easily, the old popular The ancient Jews became acquainted with the use name of this element is "brimstone" or "brenne- of glass a t an early date (1400-1000 B . c . ) . ~ ~ The stonen-that is, "bwnstone." Brimstone is fre- oldest examples of the art of glass making came to quently referred to in connection with divine judg- Palestine from countries situated around the Nile, ment (Luke 17:29; Revelation 9: 17; 14: 10; 19:20; the Tigris, and the Euphrates. In Egypt and Baby20: 10; 21:8).s2 lonia glass was deemed most precious, a fit offering to While the authors of the New Testament do not indi- the Gods.6s Glass was made in Syria and Palestine cate any practical use to which sulfur was put by the as early as the Roman period and by the time of the Jews, Pliny claims that the ancients used the element early Christia~swas of good quality, abundant, and for the process of lamp fumigation and for the clean- cheap. Skilled glass workers were numbered among ing of wool. There is also evidence available that the residents of Alexandria as well as among the Rosulfur was used for the preparation of certain medical mans. The early artisans were familiar with the remedies and in connection with ceremonies dealing manufacture of colorless as well as colored glass. It with religious purification. Perhaps the Xebrews, has been established that during the later Roman as well as the Greeks and Romans, connected the Empire the Phoenician glass works in Tyre were operozonic smell formed during lightning'discharges with ated by Jews.60 the presence of sulfur. In such wise the allusion to the The transparency of glass and its sparkling appearoverfhrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, caused by a rain ance were highly priced by the early Christians (Revof fie and brimstone from heaven, may be explained elation 4: 6; 15: 2; 2111, , ; : ) Most (Luke 17:29). The fact that the Hebrews were ac- authorities believe that the references t o mirrors in quainted with the volcanic phenomenon known as the Authorized Version of'the New Testament ( I "solfatara" and with "firewells" forms the basis for Corinthians 13:12; I1 Corinthians3: 18; James 1:23) another interpretation of the account of the destruc- indicated metal discs with ornamental handles intion of these cities." Sulfur was found in Palestine stead of looking glasses. These polished metal mirrors on the Hi of Tiberias and its immediate neighbor- were fashionable a t that time in Greek society.6' hood, along the shores of the Dead Sea, and in the Clay was used in Palestine mainly for the manuwarm springs of the volcanic valley of the J ~ r d a n . ~facture ~ , ~ ~ of bricks and kitchen utensils (pottery), the Salt was widely used for sacrificial purposes (Mark construction of ceilings and floors, and the fabrication 9: 49-50). Figuratively speaking, salt is used as a '%'~INTOCK AND STRONG, o@. tit., Vd. 9, pp. 25940. " KITTO,J.. "Palestine. The Physical Geography and Nahval 4s Cmym AND BLACK, 09.~ d .Vol. . 1, p. 138. History of the Holy Land, Charles Knight and Company, M CHEYNE AND BLACK, Vo1. 1, p. 138. London, 1841, p. Ixx. 61 PARTINGTON, 09. tit., p. 507. " PARTINGTON, op. cit., p. 499. 51 CHEAND BLACK,op. tit., Vol. 1. p. 611. CHEYNE AND BLACK, 0.0. tit., Vd. 2, pp. 1737-8. CHEYNE AND BLACK,op. cd., VOI. 1, p. 611. " PARTINGTON, op. cit., p. 500. 6' RUSSELL. op. cd., pp. 305;6. VO~.1, P. 752. " CHEYNEAND BLACK, oP. d t . , Vd. 3, p. 3153. ~"VINCENT, 0.0. ~ d . "James, ,

of tablets to be used for the inscription of important the rhombohedral division of the hexagonal system)." documents. Clay instead of wax was used for seal- The "alabaster" cruse (Matthew 26: 7; Mark 14:3; ing.%¶ The belief that kilns existed which were used Luke 7: 37) mentioned in the story of Mary of Bethfor the manufacture of large storage vessels for water any was a cruet with a cylindrical top and made of and wine is supported by considerable evidence.B3 calcite ("Egyptian alabaster," "Oriental alabaster"). The Israelites learned brick-making from the Egyp- Pliny compares these vessels poetically with a closed tians and brick kilns were used a t an early date by the rosebud and states that ointments are best presenred Jews. Pottery making and the use of the potter's in them.'= "Brake" in Mark does not indicate the wheel was also introduced by way of Egypt. Various breaking of the seal or the neck of the cruse but reforms of clay vessels are mentioned in the New Testa- fers to the shattering of the vessel and thus prevents ment.64 Thus we find reference to a large vessel for its profanation by any future menial use." Marble carrying water (John 4:28), to a drinking cup (Mark was included among the fabulous merchandise of 7:4;. 14: 13; Luke 22: lo), and to potsherds (earthen Babylon (Revelation 18: 12). vessels of undefined shape) used to preserve buried On Mt. Carmel and near Bethlehem are found certreasure (I1 Corinthians 4: 7).= Perrot, in his "His- tain products of processes of crystallization called tory of Art in Sardinia, JudaeqSyria, and Asia Minor," "Elijah's melons" and the "Virgin Mary's peas." gives an account of vases shaped like pine cones which Silicious accretions shaped like little loaves of bread were used for the importation of mercury. These became legendary as the petrified fruits of the cities vessels apparently were of foreign origin.'% Due to of the plain. It is perhaps the resemblance of these silthe fragility, pottery was not considered very valuable icious accretions to little loaves of bread that prompted and was therefore put to menial use (Revelation 2: 27; Christ to say, "Or what man is there of you, who, I1 Timothy 2:5?0).67 Yet Jesus used this same humble if his sou shall ask him for bread, will give him a clay to anoint the eyes of a blind man in order to re- stone" (Matthew 7: 9)." store his sight (John 9: 6). . Several symbolic references are made to stone or The use of stone for practical purposes is also indi- rock. Simon, the son of Jona, is called Cephas, cated in the New Testament. Limestone, basalt, which may be interpreted as "a stone" (John 1:42). sandstone, various kinds of marble, flint (a trausluceut A white stone is mentioned by Jesus in the message brown or smoky gray to black form of chalcedonic to the churches (Revelation 2:17). The rejected quartz), serpentine rock, gypsum, Egyptian ."ala- stone alluded to by Christ is probably a symbol of baster," and other stones were used by the Jews for Himself (Matthew 21 :42; Luke 20:17). masonry and other common purposes.'~ The body The term "pitch," as used in the Authorized Version of the departed was safeguarded by closing the en- of. the Old Testament, signifies that the ancient Istrance to the sepulchre with a large stone (Mark raelites were ,familiar with thG bitumen or asphalt 15: 46). The tombs of the wealthy were hewn in stone found in the valley of the Jordan and in or close to the (Luke 23: 53)'O and the ministration of the death was Dead Sea. ThelJews used this material for the caulkengraven in stone (I1 Corinthiis 3:7). Waterpots inz of wood. the oreoaration of medicinals. and as a made of stone are alluded to in the New Testament mortar or cement lor &]ding. (John 2: 6 ) . Vases made t o hold unguents were freThe making of bread was practiced by the Egypquently made of Egyptian alabaster, the name being tians a t an early date. They made little rolls from derived from a city in Egypt, Alabqtra, near which white flour which were similar in shape to our muffins. were located quarries of this variety of stone. Ma- Public bakeries in ancient Greece and Rome signify baster, as we understand the term, is a form of gyp- the widespread practice of bread making. The flour sum, white or delicately tinted, frequently translu- used by the Jews for the baking of bread was prepared cent, and used for the manufacture of ornamental ob- by grinding wheat, corn, barley, or rye in stone morjects and statuary. This is not to be confused with tars. The product was then passed through a sieve. the alabaster of ancient times which was a fine grade The best bread was apparently made from wheat of stalagmitic carbonate of lime and was also used for flour. "Fine flour" is specified as one of the articles ornaments and vases. According to Partington, of merchandise of fallen Babylon (Revelation 18:13). alabaster as referred to in the New Testament is a While baking a t home was done by women, public variety of calcite (calcium carbonate, crystallizing in bakeries emoloved men for this uurvose. The bakeries in Palestine were restricted to specified districts in the towns. The leaven used for the preparation of CCH~YNE AND BLACK., Vol. 1, P. 836. " PERROT. G.. AND C. CHIPIBZ,"History of Att in Sardinia. bread was a piece of entirely fermented dough which Judaea, Syria and Asia M i , " Armstrong and Son, New York, 1890. Vol. 1. 0. 352. was mixed with the flour (Matthew 13:33; Luke C H E Y ~'nm BLACK, 09. cit., Vol. 3, pp. 38169. 13:21). es CHEYNE AND BLACK, ibid., Vol. 3, pp. 3815-9. "$7 PERROT AND CHIPIEZ, op. tit.. VOI. 1, p. 357. PAF~NGTON, op. tit., p. 501. CEEYNEAND BLACK, op. tit., Vol. 3, pp. 3815-9. i2 VINCENT, op. cit., "Matthew," Vol. 1, p. 136. FALLOWS, op. cit., Vol. 2, p. 1614. I' CHEY~VB AND BLACK, 69. ~ dVbl. . 1, p. 108. 6D PARTINGTON,Op.