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2. כִּבְשָׁן, H3901, kiln, for lime or pottery. A kiln was made of limestone, was dome-shaped, and had openings at the top and bottom for the escape of smoke and the supplying of fuel. When fuel was being burned, a thick, dark column of smoke issued forth. In the account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah it is said that “the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace” (
3. כּוּר, H3929, smelting-pot or furnace for smelting metals. In the Bible the word is used only in the metaphorical sense of suffering permitted by God in punishment or discipline. The deliverance of Israel from Egypt was like being taken from the midst of an iron furnace (
4. עֲלִיל, H6612. The word is used only in
5. עֲלִיל, H6612, burning mass. Found in
7. Κάμινος, furnace, oven. The LXX uses káminos to tr. ’attūn, kibshān, and kūr. In
It will be seen that almost always the word “furnace” occurs in the Bible in a metaphorical sense of God’s punishment or of His tempering the character of man.
Furnaces were used for smelting iron from the ore; melting and refining gold, silver, brass, tin, and lead; firing pottery and other ceramic products; firing bricks; and making lime.
The metal industry flourished as early as 2000 b.c. Many mining and smelting camps along the edge of the Arabah have been found. The largest was at Mene’iyyeh, c. twenty-one m. N of the . There was another at Khirbet en-Nahas, fifty-two m. farther N.
The largest copper mine in the whole of the ancient Near E was found at Tell-el-Kheleifeh (Ezion-Geber), at the S end of the Wadi Arabah. It was built in the 10th cent. b.c., most likely by Solomon, who also built a fleet of merchant ships there for carrying on trade. The shelter was oriented so that the strong prevailing wind from the N would blow into the flues, making the use of bellows unnecessary. Charcoal was used for fuel. This smelter was in use up to the 5th cent. b.c.
A number of smelting furnaces have been discovered in Pal. itself, some used to smelt copper, others iron. Four were found at Tell Jemmeh, two at Ain Shems, and others at Ai and at Tell Qasile near Tell Aviv.
N. Glueck, The Other Side of the Jordan (1940), chs. 3, 4; N. Glueck, The River Jordan (1946), 145-147; R. J. Forbes, Studies in Ancient Technology (1958), VI, 66ff.; C. Singer, etc. (Eds.), A History of Technology (1954), 391-397, 577; G. E. Wright, Biblical Archaeology (1962), 135-137.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
fur’-nas: The word is used in theof the Bible to translate several Hebrew words:
George B. Eager