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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Earthen, Vessels

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ûrth ´'n , (חרשׂ , ḥeres , יצר , yecer ; ὀστράκινος , ostrákinos ): These vessels were heat-resisting and were used for cooking and for boiling clothes (Leviticus 6:28 ; Leviticus 11:33 ; Leviticus 14:5 , Leviticus 14:50 ). They were probably non-porous and took the place of the ḳidri or ma'ajin used in Syria today. A traveler in the interior of Palestine may still meet with the hospitality showed to David (2 Samuel 17:28 ). The generous natives brought not only gifts of food but the necessary vessels in which to cook it. An earthen vessel was used to preserve a land deed (Jeremiah 32:14 ).

Figurative: In Jeremiah 19:1 breaking of an earthen vessel was symbolical of the destruction of Jerusalem. These vessels were also used to symbolize the commonness ( Lamentations 4:2 ) and frailness of our bodies (2 Corinthians 4:7 ). See POTTERY .

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Earthen, Vessels'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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