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Holman Bible Dictionary

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The English translation of several Hebrew terms indicating cutting instruments used in normal small industry and in war. 1. Barzel is the Hebrew term for iron and is used for the iron portion of an ax (Isaiah 10:34; 2 Kings 6:5). The ax was used to fell trees. Elisha was able through miraculous power to make the ax head float. 2. Garzen is a hatchet or a tool for cutting stone (Deuteronomy 19:5; Deuteronomy 20:19; 1 Kings 6:7; Isaiah 10:15). It was made of iron and could be used to cut trees. The iron head was attached to a wooden handle. It was not to be used to destroy a city's trees in war. 3. Chereb is a weapon or tool used to destroy enemies' towers in battle (Ezekiel 26:9). The term also is used for flint knives Joshua used in circumcision (John 5:2), for two-sided daggers (Judges 3:16), a tool to shape stone (Exodus 20:25), and of battle swords (Judges 7:20). 4. Magzerah was a tool used in brick work. David apparently forced the Ammonites to tear down their own city walls and then to produce bricks for Israel (2 Samuel 12:31). 5. Maatsad is the craftsman's tool (Jeremiah 10:3; NIV, “chisel”) produced by the blacksmith working with iron (Isaiah 44:12 NAS; NRSV). It was apparently used to trim or prune trees or lumber. 6. Qardom was an iron tool which has to be sharpened (1 Samuel 13:20) and was used for cutting trees (Judges 9:48). Skillful use of this tool made a person famous (Psalms 74:5). 7. Keylaph appears only in Psalms 74:6 and is variously translated: hammer (KJV, NAS, NRSV), hatchet (NIV), sledge hammer (TEV), or crowbar (some lexicons). 8. Kashshil appears only in Psalms 74:6 in combination with 7. above. It is variously translated as ax (KJV, NIV, TEV) or hatchet (NAS, NRSV). Whatever the precise nature of these tools, they could be used for destruction as well as construction. 9. Axine was used to chop down trees (Matthew 3:10).

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'AX, AX HEAD'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".
<>. 1991.


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