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Reference: Brass


BRASS is an alloy of copper and zinc, the general use of which is comparatively modern. In ancient times its place was supplied by bronze, an alloy of copper and tin. Where 'brass' occurs in English Version, we must understand either bronze or copper itself. In some of the references, such as those to mining (De 8:9 'out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass') and smelting (Job 28:2 'Iron is taken out of the earth, and brass is molten out of the stone'), it is clear that only copper can be meant, and Revised Version margin adopts this rendering everywhere (see on Ge 4:22). Copper is not found in Palestine proper, but in the Lebanon and Hermon (possibly the 'mountains of brass' of Zec 6:1). Weapons of copper have been found at Tell el-Hesy (dating from c. b.c. 1500). From very early times copper was largely worked by the Egyptians in the Sinaitic peninsula, where traces of the mining and smelting are still to be seen. A full account of these operations and their remains is given in Flinders Petrie's Researches in Sinai.

James Patrick.

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