Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pottery in the Bible pt.1

Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. Jer. 18:3

This information was taken from Chapter Three of Bible Manners & Customs by Rev. G.M. Mackie, M.A, 1898

(A) Its usefulness. In the East the fragility of the pottery, the expensiveness of copper vessels, and the unsuitableness of leather bottles for many of the requirements of town and village life, creates a large and constant demand for the potter’s goods. Earthenware jars are also preferred for holding drinking water, because the evaporation from the porous substance helps to keep the water cool. In the warm East it is a point of courtesy to give “…a cup of cold water…(Matt. 10:42).

(B) The Wheel. The clay is trodden by the feet until it is reduced to a suitable and uniform consistency (Isa. 41:25). A quantity of it is then lifted and laid on the table beside the potter. He keeps beside him a dish of water into which at any moment he can dip his fingers.

The potter’s wheel itself consists of an upright, revolving wooden rod to which two horizontal wooden discs are firmly attached, so that whatever turns one turns the other also. Hence the prophet speaks of the wheels of a certain potter (Jer. 18:3). [1] The lower and larger one is driven by a kick of the heel; the upper by a push of the hand. The potter has a considerable variety to choose from, even in the shapes and sizes of the common water pitchers, apart from such articles as cooking pots and jars for olives, cooking butter, grape syrup, etc.


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