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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Refiner, Refining

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REFINER, REFINING . The ancient Egyptians purified gold by putting it into earthen crucibles with lead, salt, a little tin, and barley bran, sealing the crucibles with clay, and then exposing them to the heat of a furnace for five days and nights. Refining silver by cupellation is a very old process. The silver mixed with lead is put into a crucible made of bone earth, and placed in a reverberatory furnace. As the oxide of lead forms, it is blown off by bellows, and towards the end of the process the thin covering of oxide becomes iridescent and soon disappears, and the pure bright surface of the silver flashes out. This process of refining silver is referred to in Jeremiah 6:29 . The reference in Malachi 3:2 f. is to the purifying influence of affliction on the people of God; their sinful Impurities gradually disappear, and at last the Divine image is reflected from the soul, as the face of the refiner from the surface of the purified silver.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Refiner, Refining'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/r/refiner-refining.html. 1909.

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