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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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(σίδηρος; adj. σιδήρεος)

Iron, the commonest, cheapest, and most useful of heavy metals, is mentioned (Revelation 18:12) among the merchandise of ‘Babylon’ (= Rome). The Iron Age of civilization succeeded the Ages of Copper and Bronze. ‘In Egypt, Chaldaea, Assyria, China, it reaches far back, to perhaps 4000 years before the Christian era. Homer represents Greece as beginning her Iron Age twelve hundred years before our era’ (Encyclopaedia Britannica 11 xiv. [1910] 800). Rome was supplied with iron from India, the shores of the Black Sea, Spain, Elba, and the province of Noricum. The apocalyptic Messiah is to rule the nations with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:27; Revelation 12:5; Revelation 19:15), a symbol of inflexible justice (cf. Psalms 29). The iron gate leading from the fortress of Antonia into the city of Jerusalem opened to St. Peter and the angel of its own accord (αὐτομάτη, Acts 12:10); cf. Homer’s αὐτόμαται δὲ πύλαι μύκον οὐρανοῦ, ἂς ἔχον Ὡραι (Il. v. 749), and Virgil, aen. vi. 81f.

James Strahan.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Iron'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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