The word is translated "copper" in only one passage (Ezra 8:27 the King James Version). In the American Standard Revised Version of this passage, "brass" has been substituted. Neither describes the actual alloy according to present definitions so well as the word "bronze." Copper was one of the earliest metals to be known and utilized in alloy, but copper, as a single metal, was probably little used. The remains of spears, balances, arms, vases, mirrors, statues, cooking utensils, implements of all kinds, etc., from Bible times are principally of an alloy of copper hardened with tin known today as bronze (see BRASS). In such passages as Deuteronomy 8:9, where reference is made to the native metal or ores, "copper" should be substituted for "brass" as in the American Standard Revised Version (compare Job 40:18). This is true also of coins as chalkos, in Matthew 10:9.
Our modern English word "copper" is derived from an old name pertaining to the island of Cyprus. Copper was known to the ancients as Cyprian brass, probably because that island was one of the chief sources for this metal. The Sinai peninsula and the mountains of northern Syria also contributed to the ancient world's supply (see Tell el-Amarna Letters). No evidences of copper ore in any quantity are found in Palestine proper.
See METAL; MINE.
James A. Patch.
The word is found in New Testament once only, in 2 Timothy 4:14: "Alexander the coppersmith did (margin "showed") me much evil." As the Bible word rendered "copper" (see Ezra 8:27 the King James Version) is translated "brass" by the Revised Version (British and American), so the word here rendered "c." should be rendered "brazier," or "worker in brass."