Graving There is much indistinctness in the terms of this ancient art of the Jews, arising from the fact that one and the same artisan combined, in skill and practice, many branches, which the modern principle of "division of labor" has now assigned to different pursuits. Thus Aholiab was not only "an engraver," but also "a cunning workman" in general art, "and an embroiderer in blue, and in purple, and in scarlet and fine linen" (Ex 38:23). In like manner Beezaleeld is described as accomplished "in all manner of workmanship; and to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass and in the cutting of stones to set them, and in carving of wood, to make any manner of cunning work" (Ex 35:31-33). These numerous gifts they both possessed and practiced themselves, and imparted to others; so that they formed an early school of art to supply the demand created by the institution of the Mosaic ritual, the members of which school were as comprehensive in their attainments as their great teachers (Ex 35:34; Ex 1:2). The same combination of arts seems to have characterized the later school, which was formed under the auspices of David, when preparing for the erection of the Temple (1Ch 22:15; 1Ch 28:21). Many of these artificers were Phoenicians, whom the king had invited to his new capital (2Sa 5:11; 1Ch 14:1). In the next reign, Hiram, to whose genius the Temple of Solomon owed much of the beauty of its architectural details, as well as its sacred vessels (1Ki 7:15-45), was a native of Tyre, the son of a Tyrian artificer by an Israelitish mother. This man's skill was again as comprehensive as that of his great predecessors (1Ki 5:14).
1. חָצֵב, chatsab', although once in the A.V. (Job 19:24) translated "graven" (with an undoubted reference to the ancient art of engraving), is generally used to indicate the rougher work of hewing stone or wood, in quarry or forest. In Pr 9:1, indeed, it is applied to the finer art of
hewing or fashioning pillars; but its usual objectives of בּאֹר (cistern, Jer 2:13), קֶבֶר (sepulcher, Isa 22:16), יֶקֶב (wine-press, Isa 5:2), prove that הצב has to do with rougher operations than those which fall under our idea of "engraving." (But see below, under ט.) This word is contrasted with
2. חָרִשׁ charash' (or, as it once occurs, חָרִת, charath', in Ex 32:16), which is used to describe "engraving" in Jer 17:1. In Ge 4:22 the participial derivative of this root is employed in the description of Tubal-cain. the Biblical progenitor of all artificers of the kind indicated in this article. But it is less in the verbal forms than in the noun חָרָשׁ that this word expresses the art before us. As a nouns it occurs more than thirty times, and is rendered variously is A.V. ("engraved," "craftsman," "smith," "artificer," etc.). Though it indicates artistic work by fine instruments, in metal, wood, and stone, and is thus opposed to the rougher operations of חצב, it yet includes other usages, which remove it from the specific sense of our art. (Thus, while with אֶבֶן alone, Ex 28:11, it may well refer to the fine work of the engraver in stone, yet in the phrase קִיר חָרָשֵׁי אֶבֶן, literally, hewer of the stone of the wall; 2 Samuel 5:11; or more simply חָרָשֵׁי קִיר [was of wall], 1Ch 14:1, it can hardly describe a higher art than what is attributed to it in A.V. that of the ordinary "mason;" similarly with צִים, timber, it points to the work of the "carpenter," 1Ch 14:1, etc.; and with בִּרזֶל iron, to that of the "smith" or ironfounder.) The prevalent idea, however, of חרשׁ is the subtle work of the finer arts; and with this well agree such passages as Pr 6:18, where the word describes the "heart that deviseth wicked imaginations," and 1Sa 23:9, where it is predicated of Saul, "secretly practising mischief" (Hiph. part. הָרָ ה שָׁאוּל מִחֲרִישּׁ). Gesenius (Thes. Heb. page 529) has collected instances of the like meaning of the word in the other Shemitic languages, and compares it with the "doli fabricator" of Virgil, AEneid, 2:264; and the cognate phrases, "fabricae quidvis," Plautus, Asin. 1:1, 89; and δόλον τεύχειν, κακὰ τεύχειν, of Hesiod and Homer, and τεκταίνεσθαι μῆτιν, Iliad 10:19. In connection with the word חרשׁ, we have in 1Ch 14:14, an indication that, even in early times, encouragement was given to. associations of art among the ancient Jews, by providing for their members a local habitation in which to pursue their calling, which is proved to have been an honorable one from the illustrious names that are associated with its pursuit (verses 13, 14). From this passage (of verse 14, compared with verses 21 and 23), we further learn that the various arts were hereditary in certain families. (The word "stonesquarers," in 1Ki 5:18, is a different term. SEE GIBLITE.)
3. חָקִק, chakak', describes a branch of art which more literally coincides with our idea of engraving. In Eze 4:1 the word is used of engraving a plan or map; in Job 19:23, of inscribing upon tablets (of stone or metal), a very early instance of the art; similarly in Isa 30:8; while in Eze 23:14 (אִנשֵׁי מחֻקָּה) the word seems to indicate painting, portraying in colors (חֲקֻקִּים בִּשָּׁשִׁר); and the addition of לאּהִקִּיר upon the wall, raises the suspicion that-fresco art, which was known to very ancient nations, including the Egyptians, was practiced by the Babylonians, andadmired, if not imitated by the Jews; comp. verses 14, 15, 16. (On the art of coloring as known to the Assyrians, Egyptians, Greeks, etc., see Sir G. Wilkinson, On Color and Taste, page 153.) The Sept. renders the remarkable phrase before us, ἐζωγαφημένοι ἐν γραφίδι, without specifying color; but Symmachus, the Vulgate, the Peshito, and the Chaldee paraphrase all include in their versions the express idea of color. The idea of careful and accurate art which is implied in the term under consideration imparts much beauty to the passage in Isa 40:16 "Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands," where the same word is used. (There is here an allusion to the Eastern custom of tracing out on the hands the sketches of eminent cities or places, and then rubbing them with the powder of the hennah or cypress, and so making the marks perpetual. Maundrell (Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem, page 100 [London, 1810]) describes the process of "pilgrims having their arms ands hands marked with the usual ensigns of Jerusalem." See also Rosenmüller, ad loc., and J.D. Michaelis, Notae in Lowthii Praect. [Oxford, 1821], pages 501, 502; and Burder's Oriental Customs [Lond. 1840], page 149.) The second clause of this passage, "Thy walls are continually before me," may be compared with Isa 22:16, where our verb חקק is also employed to describe the engraved plan or sketch of a house for architectural purposes. Among other applications of the art indicated by this word may be mentioned monumental stones, such as the אֶבֶן הָ זֶרof 1Sa 7:12, with suitable inscriptions, see especially De 27:2-8.
4. In פָּסִל, pasal´ and its noun פֶּסֶל pe'sel (always rendered in A.V., "graves image"), we have the operation rather of the sculptor's or.the carver's art than the engraver's. In several passages of Isaiah (Isa 30:22; Isa 40:19; Isa 12:6; Isa 44:12-15) curious details are given of the fabrication of idols, which afforded much employment to the various artificers. engaged in the complicated labor of image-manufacture (see also Jer 10:3-9, from which it would seem that thee wrought and prepared metal for covering the idol was imported, and put on by Jewish artisans). Working in ivory was common to the ancient Egyptians (Wilkinson's Asc. Egyptians, 3:169), the Assyrians (Layard's Nineveh, 2:420), the ancient Greeks (Grote's Greece, 6:30-32), ands the artificers of Jearusalem (Solomon's ivory throne, 1Ki 10:18; ivory palaces, Ps 45:8; ivory beds, Am 6:4) and of'Samaria (Ahab's ivory house, 1Ki 22:39; which was not an uncommon luxury, Am 3:15). No doubt the alliance of the royal houses of Israel and (indirectly) of Judah with the Phoenician monarch (1Ki 16:31) was the means of attracting many of the artificers of Tyre, and Sidon, and Gebal to the metropolis of each of the Jewish kingdoms; both in Solomon's time and in Ahab's, ivory sculpture was probably a Phoenician art.. The neighboring idolators, whose example was so disastrous to Israel, were skilled in image-manufacture. From De 7:25 it appears that the body of the idol was of sculptured wood, overlaid with one or other of the precious metals. The passage, 1Sa 6:2-12, seems to prove that the Philistines had artificers in the precious metals capable of forging the figures of small animals; and their idols that were taken from the spoils of the great battle of Baal-perazim were probably graven of wood (1Ch 14:12).
5. פָתִח, pathach' (in Piel and Pual), is perhaps distinguished from the term we ha ve just considered (פסל) by being used to describe figures in relief rather than statues, such as the cherubic figures on the walls of the Temple (see 1Ch 3:7). Compare the cognate noun פַּהּוּחִ, pittu'ach, engraved figure, in 1Ki 6:29, which passage informs us that the Temple walls were lavishly adorned with these figures, standing probably in various degrees of relief (see also other but similar work, described by this verb, 1Ki 7:36). The chief application, however, of the word is the cutting and engraving of precious stones and metals (intaglio work, as distinguished from the raisework of cameos, etc.), such as the breastplate of the high-priest.(Ex 28:9-11,21), and the plate of his mitre (verses 36, 37). The mystic engraving of Zec 3:9 is likewise described in the same terms. The splendid jewelry of Solomon's time, as referred to in the Song 1:10-11, is best classed under the art indicated by פתח and its derivatives. From Isa 3:18,24, it appears that this art of the goldsmith continued rife is later reigns, and was not unknown even after the captivity (see Zec 6:11). The neighboring nations were no less skilled in this branch of art; for instance, the Egyptians, Ex 12:35, compared with 32:2, 3; the Canaanites, Jos 6:19; the Midianites, Nu 31:50, and (afterwards) Jg 8:356; the Asmoestes, 1Ch 20:2; the Syrians of Zolah and Hamath, 2Sa 8:7-11.
6. מִקלִ ת mika'ath, like our last term of art, describes sculpture in relief (Fürst, Hebr. Worterb. 1:780); it occurs 1Ki 6:18,29 ("carved figures" of cherubims), 32; 7:31, ("gravings)."
7. חֶרֶט, che'ret occurs only in Ex 32:4 (A.V. "a graving tool"), and in Isa 8:1 (A.V. "a pen"). This was rather the scalprum fabrile of the Romans (Livy 27:49) than the stylus (see Smith's Dict. of G. and R. Antiq. s.v. Scalptura. For two other opinions as to the meaning of חֶרֶט in Ex 32:4, see Gesenius, Thes. page 520).
ט, et (which in Ps 45:2 and Jer 8:8, means a writer's style or reed), has the same meaning as the previous word in the other places of its occurrence (Job 19:24; Jer 17:1); here it has the epithet בִּרזֶל i.q. "pen of iron." The occurrence of עט, in Job 19:24, imparts to the יֵחָצבוּן the idea of a fine art than is usually expressed by that verb (see De Saulcy's Hist. de l'art Judaique, Paris, 1858). SEE CARVE.