From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Smith's Bible Dictionary [1]


1. The knives of the Egyptians, and of other nations in early times, were probably only of hard stone, and the use of the flint or stone knife was sometimes retained for sacred purposes after the introduction of iron and steel.

2. In their meals, the Jews, like other Orientals, made little use of knives, but they were required both for slaughtering animals, either for food or sacrifice, and for cutting up the carcass.  Leviticus 7:33-34;  Leviticus 8:15;  Leviticus 8:20;  Leviticus 8:25;  Leviticus 9:13;  Numbers 18:18;  1 Samuel 9:24 etc.

3. Smaller knives were in use for paring fruit (Josephus) and for sharpening pens.  Jeremiah 36:23.

4. The razor was often used for Nazarite purposes, for which a special chamber was reserved in the Temple.  Numbers 6:5;  Numbers 6:9;  Numbers 6:19;  Ezekiel 5:1, etc.

5. The pruning-hooks of  Isaiah 18:5 were probably curved knives.

6. The lancets of the priests of Baal were doubtless pointed knives.  1 Kings 18:28.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [2]

Knife . Of the various sorts of knives noticed in the OT mention may be made of the flint knives used for the rite of circumcision (  Joshua 5:2 f., cf.   Exodus 4:25 ) an instance of conservatism in ritual, to which parallels may be found in all religions. The knives for ordinary purposes under the monarchy were mostly of bronze, of which, as of the earlier flint knives, the recent excavations have furnished many varieties. We also read of sacrificial knives (  Genesis 22:6;   Genesis 22:10 ,   Ezra 1:9 ), of ‘a barber’s knife’ or razor (  Ezekiel 5:1 ), and of a scribe’s knife (  Jeremiah 36:23 EV [Note: English Version.] ‘penknife,’), used for sharpening his reed-pen and making the necessary erasures. Cf. House, § 9 .

A. R. S. Kennedy.

Webster's Dictionary [3]

(1): ( v. t.) Fig.: To stab in the back; to try to defeat by underhand means, esp. in politics; to vote or work secretly against (a candidate of one's own party).

(2): ( n.) An instrument consisting of a thin blade, usually of steel and having a sharp edge for cutting, fastened to a handle, but of many different forms and names for different uses; as, table knife, drawing knife, putty knife, pallet knife, pocketknife, penknife, chopping knife, etc..

(3): ( v. t.) To prune with the knife.

(4): ( v. t.) To cut or stab with a knife.

(5): ( n.) A sword or dagger.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [4]

Originally of flakes of stone or flint, which was retained for sacred purposes as circumcision, even after the introduction of bronze, iron, and steel ( Exodus 4:25;  Joshua 5:2, margin). The Egyptians never used bronze or steel in preparing the mummies, stone being regarded as purer and more sacred. Used little at meals, but for slaughtering animals and cutting up carcass ( Genesis 22:6;  Leviticus 7:33-34). Also by scribes for making and mending the reed pen ( Jeremiah 36:23, "penknife"; see also  1 Kings 18:28). (See Civilization ; Joshua

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [5]

Knife, Knives

In the early ages of the world, before that instruments of metal were formed, the eastern inhabitants used sharp stones for the purpose of cutting. Thus Zipporah took a sharp stone for the circumcision of her son. ( Exodus 4:25) And Joshua, at the command of the Lord, made sharp knives for the same purpose. The margin of the Bible saith, that they were "knives of flints." (See  Joshua 5:2-3) And as knives of stones were then in use, it is more than probable that the earlier ages had none formed of better materials. ( Genesis 22:6)

Easton's Bible Dictionary [6]

  • Smaller knives (Heb. ta'ar,  Jeremiah 36:26 ) were used for sharpening pens. The pruning-knives mentioned in  Isaiah 18:5 (Heb. mizmaroth) were probably curved knives.

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Knife'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. 1897.

  • Holman Bible Dictionary [7]

     Joshua 5:2-3 Genesis 17:11 Leviticus 7:2 Leviticus 8:15 8:20 8:25 Leviticus 9:8-15 1 Samuel 9:24 Isaiah 18:5  1 Kings 18:28 Ezra 1:9

    King James Dictionary [8]

    KNIFE,n. nife plu. knives nives.

    1. A cutting instrument with a sharp edge. Knives are of various shapes and sizes, adapted to their respective uses as table knives carving knives or carvers penknives, &c. 2. A sword or dagger.

    Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [9]

     Proverbs 23:2 (b) Type of self-restraint and the crucifixion of fleshly desires.

    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [10]

    nı̄f  : (1) מאכלת , ma'ăkheleth , literally, an instrument for eating; but used of large knives for slaying animals, cutting up a carcass or a sacrificial victim (  Genesis 22:6 ,  Genesis 22:10;  Judges 19:29;  Proverbs 30:14 ). (2) חרב , ḥerebh , rendered generally "sword," but in  Joshua 5:2 ,  Joshua 5:3 of stone knives for circumcision (compare   Exodus 4:25 ), probably of similar knives in  1 Kings 18:28 , used by Baal prophets in gashing themselves. In  Ezekiel 5:12 the King James Version, "knife," probably better the Revised Version (British and American), "sword." (3) תּער , ta‛ar , usually rendered "razor," in combination with הסּפר , ha - ṣōphēr , "knife of the writer," or "penknife" ( Jeremiah 36:23 ). (4) מחלפים , maḥălāphı̄m , "slaughter-knives" ( Ezra 1:9 ). (5) שׂכּין , sakkı̄n , Aramaic, "knife" ( Proverbs 23:2 ). Early knives were commonly made of sharp stones, especially of flint, later of bronze and iron. The-former remained in use in religious ceremonies long after the latter were in common use. Knives were not generally used at meals, meats being cut into bits before served, and bread being. broken into fragments. Herod used a knife for paring apples, and attempted suicide with the instrument (Josephus, Ant ., Xvii , vii, 1; BJ , I, xxxiii, 7).

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [11]

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