Were usually made of clay, dried and hardened in the sun, Ge 11:3, though brick-kilns were sometimes used, 2Sa 12:31; Na 3:14. The tower of Babel was constructed of brick, cemented with bitumen. The bricks used were often a foot square; and great numbers of them are found, both in Babylon and Egypt, impressed with some royal or priestly stamp. The principal subject of interest connected with brick making is the fact that it was the labor in which the Hebrews in Egypt were most oppressed. On the monuments of Egypt, all the parts of this hard and ancient task-work are painted-the carrying, tempering, and molding of the clay, and the drying and pilling of the bricks-all done by foreigners under the orders of taskmasters. The straw was probably mixed with the clay to compact it. See Wilkinson's "Ancient Egyptians."
the making of, formed the chief labour of the Israelites in Egypt (Ex 1:13-14). Those found among the ruins of Babylon and Nineveh are about a foot square and four inches thick. They were usually dried in the sun, though also sometimes in kilns (2Sa 12:31; Jer 43:9; Na 3:14). (See Nebuchadnezzar.)
The bricks used in the tower of Babel were burnt bricks, cemented in the building by bitumen (Ge 11:3).
As early as Ge 11:3 we read of bricks being made and burnt; and in Egypt the bricks were made with an admixture of straw. When the Israelites had to find their own straw or stubble and yet make as many bricks per day, it is probable that but little straw was used. Some ancient bricks have been found which had apparently no straw in them. Many of the bricks were stamped with the name of the reigning monarch.
On the monuments in a tomb the process of brick-making in Egypt is fully delineated: a task-master stands over the men with a stick in his hand, as doubtless was the case in the time of Moses. Ex 5:7-19. Bricks brought from Egypt vary in size, from 20 inches to 14-1/4 in. long, 8-3/4 in. to 6-1/2 in. wide, and 7 in. to 4-1/2 in. thick. There is a brick from Babylon in the British Museum, which bears the inscription in cuneiform characters "I am Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, the restorer of the temples Sag-ili and Zida, the eldest son of Nabopolassar, king of Babylon." It measures 13 in. by 13, and 4 in. thick. Other bricks from Chaldea are more ancient still.