Friday, June 06, 2008

Another Biblical Reference to Steel

Steel was the means of Assyrian conquest and power. The Assyrians conqured the Northern Kingdom and Egypt by Tiglath-Pileser III (Pul) and Shalmaneser V, Sargon II and Sennacherib from 740 to 722 BC. Nahum a prophet in Ninevah prophesying about the fall of Assyria in 612 BC makes a amazing reference to steel.

New American Standard Bible Nahum 2:3
The shields of his mighty men are colored red, The warriors are dressed in scarlet, The chariots are enveloped in flashing steel When he is prepared to march, And the cypress spears are brandished.

KJV Nahum 2:3-4
The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken. The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings.

Flaming torches or flashing steel is 'esh pĕladah in Hebrew
'esh = supernatural fire
pĕladah = steel or finer iron

The word for torch is not pĕladah but lappiyd, which is used in the very next verse.
lappiyd = torch or flame

The Hittites', who are believed to have first discovered the secret to making forged steel, word for steel was "an-bar" which means "fire from heaven." Here we see the connection with steel and meteorites (supernatural fire) which was the ancient source of steel or nickle-iron. So, I agree that 'esh peladah or "firey iron" is referring to steel.

"And I wish that I were not any part of the fifth generation of men, but had died before it came, or been born afterward. For here now is the age of iron. Never by daytime will there be an end to hard work and pain, nor in the night to weariness, when the gods will send anxieties to worry us. (Hesiod, Greek Poet, 8th Century BC).

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