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Schaff's Bible Dictionary

Definitions in Biblical History

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What is Silver?
        , a well-known precious metal. The Tarshish whence it was obtained was probably in Spain, as silver is still brought from the same region which furnished it in the days of Solomon, 1 Kgs 10:22, as well as from many countries then unknown. That the value of this metal was recognized very early in human history is evident, Gen 13:2; Isa 44:2; Job 28:1. The reason probably is that, like gold, it is often found in a state of purity in the earth, and therefore easily discovered. It was used in the construction of the tabernacle, Ex 26:19, Jud 1:32, for the furniture of the temple, 1 Chr 28:14-17, and also for musical instruments, Num 10:2, and for adorning idols. Isa 40:19. And that it was abundant in that day appears from 1 Kgs 10:27. Silver constituted the chief medium of trade, though it was not coined, but used by weight, Gen 23:10, and the Hebrew word for this metal denoted money in general, as does the French word argent. The "pieces of silver" (thirty of which were given as the price if innocent blood. Matt 26:15; 1 Sam 27:3) were probably shekels of silver, worth fifty cents each. The "silverling," Isa 7:23, is supposed to have been of like value. In Mal 3:2-3 there is manifest reference to the "cupellation" of silver by means of lead, the process of purification employed before the discovery of quicksilver. "'A very beautiful phenomenon, known as the fulguration of the metal, attends the removal of the last portions of lead from the silver. During the earlier stages of the process the film of oxide of lead, which is constantly forming over the melted mass, is renewed as rapidly as it is removed: but when the lead has all been oxidized, the film of litharge upon the silver becomes thinner and thinner as it flows off". It then exhibits a succession of the beautiful iridescent tints of Newton's rings; and at length [image -463, 31, 283, 460, 19710] 1. Pool of Siloam. 2 Plan of the tunnel, leading from the Virgin's Fount, or Well, to the Pool of Siloam. 3. Facsimile of the ancient Inscription found (1881) in the tunnel, about 15 feet from the Pool of Siloam. the film of oxide suddenly disappears, and reveals the brilliant surface of the metallic silver beneath.' - Miller's Chemistry. The brilliant tints of the film of oxide in its later stages, and the sudden flashing forth of the metal in its full pure glory, form a striking illustration of the offering of righteousness which the refining and purifying influence of the Christian faith produces." - Prof. Deane.

Bibliography Information
Schaff, Philip, Dr. "Biblical Definition for 'silver' in Schaffs Bible Dictionary". - Schaff's

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