Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Not nearly ready for throwing and firing
"The preparation of the clay is a critical matter for the potter. First the potter must search for the proper clay sources and then collect the clay. Afterward, the clay is wedged (de-aired) to expel air bubbles. This is accomplished by kneading or treading. Potters ordinarily tread their own clay to be certain it is prepared properly for throwing or firing. Then the clay is placed in a pit, water is added and it is allowed to settle."
-- Philip J. King and Lawrence E. Stager, Life in Biblical Israel (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2001), 135.
This is a great example of how knowing a little background about a common expression in Scripture gives us a better idea of what was meant when writings were penned in ancient times! It meant more than moving some clay around on a pottery wheel.
"But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make. Then the word of the LORD came to me saying, 'Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?' declares the LORD. 'Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.' "
-- Jeremiah 18:4-6 NASB
"But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, 'Why have you made me like this?' Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?"
--Romans 9:20-21 NKJV
"But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people."
--Isaiah 64:8-9 KJV