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English Bible Dictionary

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 22:18,20) 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, Ecclus. 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.)

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