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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Hammer

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an indispensable tool designated by several Heb. terms:

1. Patiish' (פִּטַּושׁ, connected etymologically with πατάσσω, to strike), which was used by the gold-beater (Isaiah 41:7, Sept. σφῦρα ) to overlay with silver and "smooth" the surface of the image, as well as by the quarryman (Jeremiah 23:29, Sept. πέλυζ ); metaphorically of Babylon as a destructive agent (Jeremiah 1, 23, Sept. σφῦρα). This seems to have been the heaviest instrument of the kind for hard blows.

2. Makkabah' (מִקָּבָח ), properly a tool for hollowing, hence a stonecutter's mallet (1 Kings 6:7), and generally any workman's hammer (Judges 4:21 [where the form is מִקֶּבֶת Smakke'beth]; Isaiah 44:12; Jeremiah 10:4). In Isaiah the Sept. uses τἐρετρον, a gimlet, in all the rest σφῦρα; Vulg. malleus. (See MACCABAEUS).

3. Halmuth' (הִלַמוּת ); used only in Judges 5:26; Sept. σφῦρα, Vulg. mallei [q. d. הלמוֹת ]; and then with the addition of the word "workmen's" by way of explanation, as this is a poetical word, used instead of the preceding more prosaic term. The pins of the tent of the Bedouin are generally of wood, and are driven into the ground by a mallet, which is probably the "hammer" referred to in this passage (Thomson, Land and Book, 2, 149). Dr. Hackett observes (Amer. ed. of Smith's Dict. s.v.) that "it is spoken of as the hammer,' being the one kept for that purpose;" but the Hebrew term used in Judges 5, 26 (to which he refers) is without the art., which is employed, however, with that found in Judges 4:21. (See NAIL).

4. A kind of hammer, named mappets' (מִפֵּוֹ ), Jeremiah 51:20 (A.V. "battle-axe"), or mephits' (מֵפַיוֹ ), Proverbs 25:18 (A.V. "maul"), was used as a weapon of war.

5. Only in the plur. (כֵּילִפּוֹת, keylappoth', Sept. λαξυτήρια Vulg. ascice), a poetic term equivalent to the preceding (Psalms 74:6). (See HANDICRAFT).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Hammer'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/h/hammer.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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