Basin (in the old editions "bason"). The following words in the original are thus rendered in the English version of the Bible. SEE CUP; SEE BOWL; SEE DISH, etc.
1. אִגָּן, aggan', prop. a trough for washing, a laver (Ex 24:6); rendered 'goblet" in Song 7:2,. where its shape is compared to the human navel; "cup" in Isa 22:24. In the New Test. (Joh 13:5), νιπτήρ, a ewer (q.v.).
2. כּפוֹר, kephor', from the etymology, a covered dish or urn, spoken of the golden and silver vessels of the sanctuary (1Ch 28:17; Ezr 1:10; Ezr 8:27).
3. מַזרָק, mizrak', a vase from which to sprinkle any thing; usually of the sacrificial bowls (and so occasionally translated); twice of wine-goblets ("bowl," Am 6:6; Zec 9:15). It seems to denote a metallic vessel. The basins for the service of the tabernacle were of brass (Ex 27:3), but those of the Temple were of gold (2Ch 4:8).
4. The term of the most general signification is סִŠ, saph (of uncertain etymology; the Sept. renders variously), spoken of the utensils for holding the blood of victims ("bason," Ex 12:22; Jer 52:19; "bowl," 2Ki 12:13), and the oil for the sacred candlestick ("bowl," 1Ki 7:50); also of "basons" for domestic purposes (2Sa 17:28), and specially a drinking-" cup" (Zec 12:2). The Targum of Jonathan renders it by ספל, an earthenware vase, but in some of the above passages it could not have been of this material.
(a.) Between the various vessels bearing in the Auth. Vers. the names of basin, bowl, charger, cup, and dish, it is scarcely possible now to ascertain the precise distinction, as very few, if any, remains are known up to the present time, to exist of Jewish earthen or metal ware, and as the same words are variously rendered in different places. We can only conjecture their form and material from the analogy of ancient Egyptian or Assyrian specimens of works of the same kind, and from modern Oriental vessels for culinary or domestic purposes. Among the smaller vessels for the tabernacle or temple service, many must have been required to receive from the sacrificial victims the blood to be sprinkled for purification. Moses, on the occasion of the great ceremony of purification in the wilderness, put half the blood in "the basins, הָאִגָּנֹת, or bowls, and afterward sprinkled it on the people (Ex 24:6,8; Ex 39:21; Le 1:5; Le 2:15; Le 3:2; Le 8:13; Le 4:5,34; Le 8:23-24; Le 14:14,25; Le 16:15,19; Heb 9:19). Among the vessels cast in metal, whether gold, silver, or brass, by Hiram for Solomon, besides the laver and great sea, mention is made of basins, bowls, and cups. Of the first (מַזרקַים, marg. bowls) he is said to have made 100 (2Ch 4:8; 1Ki 7:45-46; comp. Ex 25:29, and 1Ch 28:14,17). Josephus, probably with great exaggeration, reckons of φιάλαι and σπονδεῖα 20,000 in gold and 40,000 in silver, besides an equal number in each metal of κρατῆρες, for the offerings of flour mixed with oil (Ant. 8:3, 7 and 8; comp. Birch, Hist. of Pottery, 1:152).
(b.) The "basin" from which our Lord washed the disciples' feet, νιπτήρ, was probably deeper and larger than the hand-basin for sprinkling, סַיר (Jer 52:18), which, in the Auth. Vers. "caldrons," Vulg. lebetes, is by the Syr. rendered basins for washing the feet (Joh 13:5). SEE WASHING (OF FEET AND HANDS).