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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [1]

בריל ,  Numbers 31:22;  Isaiah 1:25;  Ezekiel 22:18;  Ezekiel 22:20;  Ezekiel 27:12; a well-known coarse metal, harder than lead. Mr. Parkhurst observes, that Moses, in  Numbers 31:22 , enumerates all the six species of metals. The Lord, by the Prophet Isaiah, having compared the Jewish people to silver, declares, "I will turn my hand upon thee, and purge away thy dross, and remove, all בריליכּ? , thy particles of tin:" where Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion have κασσιτερον σου , and the Vulgate stannum tuum, "thy tin;" but the LXX, ανομους , wicked ones. This denunciation, by a comparison of the preceding and the following context, appears to signify that God would, by a process of judgment purify those among the Jews who were capable of purification, as well as destroy the reprobate and incorrigible,   Jeremiah 6:29-30;  Jeremiah 9:7;  Malachi 3:3;  Ezekiel 12:18;  Ezekiel 12:20 . In  Ezekiel 27:12 , Tarshish is mentioned as furnishing בדיל ; and Bochart proves from the testimonies of Diodorus, Pliny, and Stephanus, that Tartessus in Spain, which he supposes the ancient Tarshish, anciently furnished tin. As Cornwall in very ancient times was resorted to for this metal, and probably first by the Phenicians, some have thought that peninsula to be the Tarshish of the Scriptures; a subject which, however, from the vague use of the word, is involved in much uncertainty. See Tarshish .

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [2]

Bedil ; Greek Kassiteres , from whence comes Cassiterides, the name given to the Scilly isles by the Greeks and Romans. who did not know that the tin came from the mainland of Cornwall. Arabic Kasdeer , Sanskrit Kastira , Egyptian Khasit . The Hebrew Bedil , means "substitute" or alloy, its principal use being then to make bronze. In Egypt and Assyria 10 or 20 parts of tin went to 80 or 90 of copper to make bronze. Found among Midian's spoils ( Numbers 31:22). Centuries before Israel's Exodus bronze was made by the mixture of tin and copper in Egypt, which proves the very ancient use of tin. Isaiah ( Isaiah 1:25) alludes to it as an alloy separated, by smelting, from the silver.

Bedell took his motto from  Isaiah 1:25. In  Ezekiel 22:18;  Ezekiel 22:20, "Israel is to me become dross ... tin ... therefore I will gather you into the furnace," i.e., as Israel has degenerated from pure silver into a deteriorated compound, I must throw them into the furnace to sever the good from the bad ( Jeremiah 6:29-30). The Phoenicians conveyed much tin probably to Tartessus or Tarshish in Spain, thence to Tyre;  Jeremiah 27:12," Tarshish was thy (Tyre's) merchant with tin." Zechariah ( Zechariah 4:10 margin) mentions tin as used for plummets. Spain and Portugal, Cornwall and Devonshire, and the islands Junk, Ceylon, and Banca in the straits of Malacca (Kenrick, Phoenicia, 212), were the only three countries known to possess tin in quantities.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [3]

Tin. Among the various metals found in the spoils of the Midianites, tin is enumerated.  Numbers 31:22. It was known to the Hebrew metal-workers, as an alloy of other metals.  Isaiah 1:25;  Ezekiel 22:18;  Ezekiel 22:20. The markets of Tyre were supplied with it, by the ships of Tarshish.  Ezekiel 27:12. It was used for plummets,  Zechariah 4:10, and was so plentiful as to furnish the writer of Ecclesiasticus,  Sirach 47:18, with a figure by which to express the wealth of Solomon.

Tin is not found in Palestine. Whence, then did the ancient Hebrews obtain their supply "Only three countries are known to contain any considerable quantity of it: Spain, and Portugal, Cornwall and the adjacent parts of Devonshire, and the islands of Junk, Ceylon, and Banca, in the Straits of Malacca." (Kenrick, "Phoenicia," p. 212). There call be little doubt that the mines of Britain were the chief source of supply to the ancient world, See Tarshish . ("Tin ore has lately been found in Midian." - Schaff).

Webster's Dictionary [4]

(1): ( n.) An elementary substance found as an oxide in the mineral cassiterite, and reduced as a soft white crystalline metal, malleable at ordinary temperatures, but brittle when heated. It is not easily oxidized in the air, and is used chiefly to coat iron to protect it from rusting, in the form of tin foil with mercury to form the reflective surface of mirrors, and in solder, bronze, speculum metal, and other alloys. Its compounds are designated as stannous, or stannic. Symbol Sn (Stannum). Atomic weight 117.4.

(2): ( n.) Thin plates of iron covered with tin; tin plate.

(3): ( n.) Money.

(4): ( v. t.) To cover with tin or tinned iron, or to overlay with tin foil.

King James Dictionary [5]

TIN, n. L. stannum stagnum.

1. A white metal, with a slight tinge of yellow. It is soft, non-elastic, very malleable, and when a bar of it is bent near the ear, distinguished by a crackling sound called the cry of tin. It is used for culinary vessels, being for this purpose usually combined with lead, forming pewter and alloyed with small proportions of antimony, copper and bismuth, is formed into various wares resembling silver, under the names of block-tin, brittania, &c. Equal parts of tin and lead compose soder. Tin united with copper in different proportions, forms bronze, bell-metal, and speculum-metal. 2. Thin plates of iron covered with tin.

TIN, To cover with tin, or overlay with tinfoil.

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [6]

 Isaiah 1:25 (c) Probably this metal is used as a picture of hypocrisy. It looks like silver, it resembles it in appearance, but is inferior.

 Ezekiel 22:18 (c) Again this metal is probably used as a picture of hypocrisy. The melting point of silver isa1761degrees, but the melting point of tin isa449 degrees. It is very easily destroyed by heat, and is not permanent as silver would be. The Lord thus diagnoses the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [7]

This is the stannum of the ancients, found alloyed with lead, etc., but separated by smelting. It is not known to have been found in Palestine, but would have been early known there and was imported from Tarshish.  Numbers 31:22;  Isaiah 1:25;  Ezekiel 22:18,20;  Ezekiel 27:12 .

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [8]

A metal known and used at an early period,  Numbers 31:22 , and brought by the Tyrians from Tarshish,  Ezekiel 27:12 . In  Isaiah 1:25 it means the alloy of lead, tin, and other base admixtures in silver ore, separated from the pure silver by smelting.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [9]

Tin.  Numbers 31:22;  Ezekiel 27:12. Burton has recently found tin-ore in the land of Midian. In  Isaiah 1:25 the word "tin" doubtless means a sort of dross. The margin of the R. V. reads "alloy."

Easton's Bible Dictionary [10]

 Numbers 31:22 Ezekiel 22:18,20 Ezekiel 27:12  Isaiah 1:25

Holman Bible Dictionary [11]

Minerals And Metals

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [12]

TIN . See Mining and Metals.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [13]

( בְּדַיל , Bedil, from בָּדִל , to divide; so called apparently from its separation as an Alloy [Isaiah 1, 25]; Seplt Κασσίτερος ; Vlg. Stannum ) , Among the various metals found among the spoils of the Midianites, tin is enumerated ( Numbers 31:22); It. was known to the Hebrew metal- workers as an alloy of other metals ( Isaiah 1:25;  Ezekiel 22:18;  Ezekiel 22:20). The markets of Tyre were supplied with it by the ships of Tarshish ( Ezekiel 27:12). It was used for plummets ( Zechariah 4:10, marg. "stone of tin," as the Heb. is), and was so plentiful as to furnish the writer of Ecclesiasticus (47:18) with a figure by which to express the wealth of Solomon, whom he apostrophizes thus: "Thou didst gather gold as Tin, and didst multiply silver as lead."

In the Homeric times the Greeks were familiar with it. Twenty lavers of tin were in Agamemnon's cuirass given him by Cinyres (Homer, II. 11:25), and twenty bosses of tin were upon his shield (ibid. 11:34). Copper, tin, and gold were used by Hephtestus in welding the famous shield of Achilles (ibid. 18:474). The fence round the vineyard in the device upon it was of tin (ibid. 564), and the oxen were wrought of tin and gold (ibid. 574). -The greaves of Achilles, made by Hephbestus, were of tin beaten fine, close fitting to the limb (ibid. 612; 21:592). His shield had two folds, or layers, of tin between two outer layers of bronze and inner layer of gold (ibid. 20:271). Tin was used in ornamenting chariots (ibid. 23:503), and a cuirass f bronze overlaid with tin is mentioned (ibid. 561). No allusion to it is found in the Odyssey. The melting of tin in a smelting-pot is mentioned by Hesiod (Theol. 862).

Tin is not found in Palestine (Kitto, Phys. Hist. of Palest. ch. 3, p. 73). Whence, then, did the ancient Hebrews obtain their supply ? "Only three countries are known to contain any considerable quantity of it: Spain and Portugal, Cornwall and the adjacent parts of Devonshire, and the islands of Junk, Ceylon, and Banca, in the Straits of Malacca" (Kenrick, Phoenicia, p. 212). According to Diodorus Siculus (5, 46), there were tin mines in the island of Panchaia, off the east coast of Arabia, but the metal was not exported. There can be little doubt that the mines of Britain were the chief source of supply to the ancient world. Mr. Cooley, indeed, writes very positively (Maritime and Inland Discovery, 1, 131), "There can be no difficulty in determining the country from which tin first arrived in Egypt. That metal has been in all ages a principal export of India; it is enumerated as such by Arrian, who found it abundant in the ports of Arabia at a time when the supplies of Rome flowed chiefly through that channel. The tin- mines of Banca are probably the richest in the world; but tin was unquestionably brought from the West at a later period." But it has been shown conclusively by Dr. George Smith (The Cassiferides, Lond. 1863) that, so far from such a statement being justified by tile authority of Arrian, the facts are all the other way. After examining the commerce of the ports of Abyssinia, Arabia, and India, it is abundantly evident that, "instead of its coming, from the East to Egypt; it has invariably been exported from Egypt to the East" (p. 23). With regard to the tin obtained from Spain, although the metal was found there, it does not appear to have been produced in sufficient quantities to supply the Phoenician markets. Posidonius (in Strabo, 3, 147) relates that in the country of the Artabri, in the extreme north-west of the peninsula, the ground was bright with silver, tin, and white gold (mixed with silver), which were brought down by the rivers; but the quantity thus obtained could not have been adequate to the demand. At the present day the whole surface bored for mining in Spain is little more than a square mile (Smith, Cassiterides, p. 46). We are therefore driven to conclude that it was from the Cassiterides, or tin districts of Britain, that the Phoenicians obtained the great bulk of this commodity (Lewis, Hist. Survey of the Astr. of the Anc. p. 451), and that this was done by the direct voyage from Gades. It is true that at a later period (Strabo, 3. 147) tin was conveyed overland to Marseilles by a thirty days journey (Diod. Sic. 5, 2); but Strabo (3, 175) tells us that the Phoenicians alone carried on this traffic in former times from Gades concealing the passage from every one; and that on one occasion, when the Romans followed one of their vessels in order to discover the source of supply, the master of the ship ran upon a shoal, leading those who followed him to destruction. In course of time, however, the Romans discovered the passage. In Ezekiel," the trade in tin is attributed to Tarshish, as the merchant' for the commodity, without any mention of the place whence it was procured" (Cassiterides, p. 74); and it is after the time of Julius Caesar that we first hear of the overland traffic by Marseilles.

Pliny (6, 36) identifies the cassiteros of the Greeks with the plumbum album or candidum of the Romans, which is our tin. Stamnum, he says, is obtained from an ore containing lead and silver, and is the first to become melted in the furnace. The etymology of cassiteros is uncertain; but it is doubtless the same as the Arabic term kasdir. From the fact that in Sanskrit kasti-ra signifies "tin," an argument has been derived in favor of India being the source of the ancient supply of this metal, but too much'stress must not be laid upon it. (See Lead). The name of some metal has been read in the Egyptian sculptures as khasit, which may refer to "tin." The Hebrew word refers to its principal use. in making bronze, which was the case at a very remote period of Egyptian history. A bronze, apparently cast, has been found bearing the name of Pharaoh Pepi of the sixth dynasty, who reigned certainly five centuries before the Exode. In Egypt and Assyria bronze was generally made of ten or twenty parts of tin to eighty or ninety of copper, and there appear to have been the same proportions in Grecian and Roman manufactures of a later age. Wilkinson supposes that the beautiful articles of workmanship frequently found in England, which have neither a Greek nor a Roman type, were probably first introduced by this trade. One specimen of manufactured tin, now in the Truro Muscum, has been discovered in England, which, as it differs from those made by the Romans, is supposed to be of Phoenician origin. It is nearly three feet long by one broad, and three inches high (Anc. Egyptimans, 2, 134 sq.). (See Metal).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [14]

tin ( בּדיל , bedhı̄l ): Tin is mentioned with brass, iron and lead in   Numbers 31:22;  Ezekiel 22:18 ,  Ezekiel 22:20 . Ezekiel mentions tin along with silver, iron and lead as being imported into Tyre from Tarshish (see Metals; Bronze ). The tin must have been brought in the form of ore and smelted in Syria. The writer has some slag dug from a deposit near Beirut which yielded nearly pure tin. It was probably the site of an ancient smelter's shop.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [15]

If this substance be really intended by the Hebrew word, which seems somewhat doubtful, it is first mentioned among the metals which were to be purified by fire found among the prey taken from the Midianites . It is also named among the articles of commerce which the Tyrians received from Tarshish and a leveling instrument of this metal used by builders is noticed in . The Hebrew word also denotes the alloy of lead, tin, and other inferior metals, combined with silver in the ore and separated from it by smelting .