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Smith or Blacksmith

SMITH or BLACKSMITH. The Heb. term for blacksmith (חָרָשׁ, H3093) is literally “the skilled craftsman who works in iron.” The originator of this craft was Tubal-cain (Gen 4:22). The context of 1 Samuel 13:19 refers to the Philistine blacksmiths who were the first to bring the craft of working iron into Pal. The prophet Isaiah gave a good description of a blacksmith in 44:12 but the passage is in the midst of a description of idol-making and no iron idols have been found. Isaiah 54:16 refers to the making of an iron artifact of some kind, but it is not definitely specified. The context caused the trs. to use the term “weapon,” which is a possible tr.

The word “smith” (מַסְגֵּר, H4994) is used to describe one class of craftsmen taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, but the exact meaning of the Heb. term used is still unknown and “smith” is only a conjecture (2 Kings 24:14, 16; Jer 24:1; 29:2).


R. J. Forbes, Studies in Ancient Technology, vol. IX (1964).