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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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in some of its forms, is the rendering in the Auth. Vers. of several Hebrews words from the following roots:

1. Prop. קָלִע, kala´, to "carve" wood (1 Kings 6:29; 1 Kings 6:32; 1 Kings 6:35); hence מִקְלִעִת, mika´ ath, sculpture in relief (1 Kings 6:18; 1 Kings 6:29; 1 Kings 6:32; "graving," 1 Kings 6:31).

2. חָרִשׁ , charash´, to engrave; whence חֲרֹשֶׁת, charo´ sheth, cutting of wood or stone (Exodus 31:5; Exodus 35:33).

3. חָקָה , chakah´, to hem; whence מְחֻקֶּה ), mechukkeh´, carved (1 Kings 6:35).

4. פָּתִח, pathach´, to open; in Piel, to sculpture ("grave") wood (1 Kings 7:36; 2 Chronicles 3:7), gems (Exodus 28:9; Exodus 28:36; 2 Chronicles 2:7; 2 Chronicles 2:14), etc. (Exodus 28:11; Exodus 39:6; Zechariah 3:9); whence פִּתּוּח pittu´ dch, sculpture (Exodus 28:11; Exodus 28:21; Exodus 28:36; Psalms 74:6; 1 Kings 6:29; elsewhere "graving," etc.).

5. חָטִב, chatab´, to cut into figures; whence חֲטֻבוֹת, chatuboth´, variegated (Proverbs 7:16).

6. Especially, פָּסִל , pasal´, to hew or shape; whence פֶּסֶל, pe´ sel, a "carved" or "graven" image (Exodus 20:4, and often).

7. The Greek word "carve" in the Apocrypha is γλύφω (Wisdom of Solomon 13:13; 1 Maccabees 5:68). (See ENGRAVE).

The Egyptians were extremely fond of carving on articles of furniture, and also in the decoration of walls and ceilings; and, indeed, there was scarcely a corner in an Egyptian palace destitute of carved ornaments. (See HANDICRAFT). The ebony and ivory required for these costly works were obtained, either as a tribute or by traffic, from the Ethiopian nations. We frequently find both elephants' teeth and logs of ebony represented on the monuments as brought to the Egyptian monarchs; and we learn that Solomon did not erect his splendid ivory throne until he had opened a communication with the nations bordering on the Red Sea, through his alliance with the king of Tyre. The arts of carving and engraving were much in request in the construction both of the Tabernacle and the Temple (Exodus 31:2; Exodus 31:5; Exodus 35:3; 1 Kings 6:18; 1 Kings 6:35; Psalms 74:6), as well as in the ornamentation of the priestly dresses (Exodus 28:9-36; Zechariah 3:9; 2 Chronicles 2:6; 2 Chronicles 2:14). In Solomon's time, Huram the Phoenician had the chief care of this, as of the larger architectural works. That the art of carving, however, was cultivated by the Hebrews themselves to a considerable extent, is evident, not only from the cherubim, which were set first in the Tabernacle, and afterwards in Solomon's Temple, but also from the lions which were placed on each side of his throne (1 Kings 10:20). The carving of timber is mentioned in Exodus 31:5, and the prophet Isaiah gives us a minute description of the process of idol-making (Isaiah 44:13). The origin and progress of the art of carving, as connected with Biblical inquiries, have been investigated and illustrated with much ingenuity by Mr. Landseer, in his Sabaean Researches. (See GRAVEN IMAGE).

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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Carve'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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