A malleable, metallic element of reddish brown color. The word “copper” (Lat. cuprum) derives from “Cyprus,” the island renowned in antiquity for its copper industry. The utilization of copper led to the science of metallurgy. According to biblical tradition, the first metallurgist was a figure named Tubal-cain, “the forger of all instruments of bronze [read copper] and iron” (Gen 4:22). “Cain” means “smith” in Hebrew, and the tradition probably derives from the Kenites, a tribe of smiths in the Wadi Arabah region (Gen 15:19; Num 24:21; Judg 1:16). In fact this area, south of the Dead Sea, was and is a principal copper-mining area (Deut 8:9; Job 28:1-5).

Gen 4:22

22Zillah bore Tubal-cain, who made all kinds of bronze and iron tools. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.

Gen 15:19

19the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites,

Num 24:21

21Then he looked on the Kenite, and uttered his oracle, saying:
“Enduring is your dwelling place,
and your nest is set in the rock;

Judg 1:16

16The descendants of Hobab the Kenite, Moses' father-in-law, went up with the people of Judah from the city of palms into the wilderness of Judah, which lies in ... View more

Deut 8:9

9a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper.

Job 28:1-5

Interlude: Where Wisdom Is Found
1“Surely there is a mine for silver,
and a place for gold to be refined.2Iron is taken out of the earth,
and copper is smelted ... View more

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