(מִפֻּחִ, mappu'ach, blower; Sept. φυσήτηρ) only occurs in Jer 6:29, and with reference to the casting of metal. As fires in the East are always of wood or charcoal, a sufficient heat for ordinary purposes is soon raised by the help of fans, and the use of bellows is confined to the workers in metal. Such was the case anciently; and in the mural paintings of Egypt we observe no bellows but such as are used for the forge or furnace. They occur as early as the time of Moses, being represented in a tomb at Thebes which bears the name of Thothmes III. They consisted of a leathern bag secured and fitted into a frame, from which a long pipe extended for carrying the wind to the fire. They were worked by the feet, the operator standing upon them, with one under each foot, and pressing them alternately, while he pulled up each exhausted skin with a string he held in his hand. In one instance, it is observed from the painting that when the man left the bellows they were raised as if filled with air, and this would imply a knowledge of the valve. The earliest specimens seem to have been simply of reed, tipped with a metal point to resist the action of the fire (Wilkinson's Anc. Egyptians, 3, 338). Bellows of an analogous kind were early known to the Greeks and Romans. Homer (II. 18, 470) speaks of 20 φῦσαι in the forge of Hephaestus, and they are mentioned frequently by ancient authors (Smith's Dict. of Class. Ant. s.v. Follis). The ordinary hand-bellows now used for small fires in Egypt are a sort of bag made of the skin of a kid, with an opening at one end (like the mouth of a common carpet bag), where the skin is sewed upon two pieces of wood; and these being pulled apart by the hands and closed again, the bag is pressed down, and the air thus forced through the pipe at the other end.

Bible concordance for BELLOWS.

Definition of bellows

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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