structure to contain fire and provide heat, bake bread, etc. | fiery furnace

FURNACE in scriptures [BibleGateway Search]

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FURNACE [Easton Bible Dictionary]

* Chald. attun, a large furnace with a wide open mouth, at the top of which materials were cast in ( Daniel 3:22,23; Compare Jeremiah 29:22). This furnace would be in constant requisition, for the Babylonians disposed of their dead by cremation, as did also the Accadians who invaded Mesopotamia.

* Heb. kibshan, a smelting furnace ( Genesis 19:28), also a lime-kiln (Isaiah 33:12; Amos 2:1).

* Heb. kur, a refining furnace (Proverbs 17:3; 27:21; Ezek. 22:18).

* Heb. alil, a crucible; only used in Psalms 12:6.

* Heb. tannur, oven for baking bread (Genesis 15:17; Isaiah 31:9; Nehemiah 3:11). It was a large pot, narrowing towards the top. When it was heated by a fire made within, the dough was spread over the heated surface, and thus was baked. "A smoking furnace and a burning lamp" (Genesis 15:17), the symbol of the presence of the Almighty, passed between the divided pieces of Abraham's sacrifice in ratification of the covenant God made with him. (See OVEN .)

* Gr. kamnos, a furnace, kiln, or oven (Matthew 13:42,50; Revelation 1:15; 9:2).

FIERY FURNACE [The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge]
The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge has information on this subject at Exodus 9:8-10

Verse 8
And the LORD said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh.

    Take to
This was a significant command; not only referring to the fiery furnace, which was a type of the slavery of the Israelites, but to a cruel rite common among the Egyptians. They had several cities styled Typhonian, in which at particular seasons they sacrificed men, who were burnt alive; and the ashes of the victim were scattered upwards in the air, with the view, probably, that where any atom of dust was carried, a blessing was entailed. The like, therefore, was done by Moses, though with a different intention, and more certain effect. See Bryant, pp. 93-106.
Verse 9
And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt.
    a boil
        Leviticus 13:18-20; Deuteronomy 28:27,35; Job 2:7; Revelation 16:2
Verse 10
And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast.

    a boil
        Deuteronomy 28:27

FURNACE [Smith Bible Dictionary]

Various kinds of furnaces are noticed in the Bible, such as
* a smelting or calcining furnace, (Genesis 19:28; Exodus 9:8,10; 19:18) especially a * lime-kiln, (Isaiah 33:12; Amos 2:1)
* a refining furnace, (Proverbs 17:3)
* Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace, a large furnace built like a brick-kiln, (Daniel 3:22,23) with two openings one at the top for putting in the materials, and another below for removing them;
* the potter’s furnace, Ecclus. 27:5;
* The blacksmith’s furnace. Ecclus. 38:28.
The Persians were in the habit of using the furnace as a means of inflicting punishment. (Daniel 3:22,23; Jeremiah 29:22)


The word is used in the Old Testament English Versions of the Bible to translate several Hebrew words:
Kibhshan, in Genesis 19:28, where the smoke of the destruction of the cities of the plain is said to have ascended "as the smoke of a furnace"; in Exodus 9:8, where Yahweh commands to take "handfuls of ashes of the furnace and .... sprinkle it toward heaven," etc.

Kur, in Deuteronomy 4:20, where Yahweh is represented, when speaking of taking the children of Israel out of Egypt, as taking them "out of the iron furnace."

`Alil in Psalms 12:6, where "the words of Yahweh" are said to be "pure," "as silver tried in a furnace"; compare Proverbs 17:3, "furnace for gold."

`Attun, in Daniel 3:6, where mention is made of "a burning fiery furnace" into which Daniel and his companions were cast. There is good reason to believe that these words all stand for either a brick-kiln or a smelting furnace.

In the New Testament a notable figurative use is made of the word in the phrase "the furnace of fire," he kaminos tou puros. It is found in the parable of the Tares (Matthew 13:42) as part of the remarkable imagery of that parable; while in the companion parable of the Drag-Net (Matthew 13:50) it stands as a symbol of the final destiny of the impenitent, a synonym of "hell"; compare Jeremiah 29:22; Daniel 3:6,22; Revelation 20:14-15, etc., and "eternal fire" (Matthew 25:41), "unquenchable fire" (Matthew 3:12), "the Gehenna of fire" (Matthew 5:22 margin; Matthew 18:9 parallel Mark 9:43 margin, etc.). A fact which modern travelers speak of, that furnaces for punishment have been found in Persia as elsewhere in the East, sheds some light upon this use of the expression "the furnace of fire."

George B. Eager

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