Carpenter's Tools

Carpenter's tools. With but few exceptions, the tools used by the carpenter in Bible times are those used by these primitive Palestinian carpenters of today. The prophet Isaiah names four instruments used by the carpenter of his day. "The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass" (Isaiah 44:13). The "rule" was no doubt a measuring line; the "line" was a marking tool or stylus, taking the place of our pencil; the "plane" was a scraping tool; and the "compass" was an instrument for making a circle, as it is today. The "ax" was used in olden times to shape timber as well as to fell trees. It had an iron head usually fastened by means of thongs to a wooden handle, and so it was easy for the head to slip off. Deuteronomy 19:5 and II Kings 6:5). Excavations at the city of Gezer revealed that the people of Israel in Bible times had developed ribbon-flint knives into saws by making their edges irregular. Finds there also indicate that they used saws that were made of thin, flexible strips of metal that had been set in frames of wood. Isaiah mentions the use of the saw: "Shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it?" (Isaiah 10:15). Jeremiah refers to the use of hammer and nails: "They fasten it with nails and with hammers that it move not" (Jeremiah 10:4). The archaeologists have found an abundance of bronze and iron nails. The hammers they have brought to light were made mostly of stone. Thus CHRIST must have made use of both hammer and nails in his Nazareth carpenter shop. The Bible mentions twice the use of the awl (Exodus 21:6; Deuteronomy 15:17). these boring instruments as found at Gezer were usually set in bone handles. Chisels found there were made either of bronze or iron. CHRIST must have used this tool also. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

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