Smith (חָרָשׁ, charash), a workman in stone, wood, or metal, like the Lat. faber, but sometimes, more accurately defined by what follows, as חָרִשׁ בִּרזֶל, a workman in iron, a smith; Sept. τέκτων, τέκτων σιδήρου, χαλκεύς, τεχνίτης; Vulg. faber and faberfjrrari-us (1Sa 13:19; Isa 44:12; Isa 54:16; 2Ki 24:14; Jer 24:1; Jer 29:2). In 2Ch 24:12 "workers in iron and brass" are mentioned, The first smith mentioned in Scripture is Tubal-cain, whom some writers, arguing from the similarity of the names, identify with Vulcan (Gerh. Vossius, De Orig. Idolol. 1, 16). He is said to have been "an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron" (Ge 4:22), or, perhaps more properly, a whetter or sharpener of every instrument of copper or iron. So Montanus, "acuentem omne artificium eris et ferri;" Sept. σφυροκόπος χαλκεὺς χαλκοῦ καὶ σιδήρου; Vulg. "fuit malleator et faber in cuncta opera seris et ferri." Josephus says that he first of all invented the art of making brass (Ant. 1, 2, 2). As the art of the smith is one of the first essentials to civilization, the mention of its founder was worthy of a place among the other fathers of inventions. So requisite was the trade of a smith in ancient warfare that conquerors removed these artisans from a vanquished nation, in order the more effectually to disable it. Thus the Philistines deprived the Hebrews of their smiths (1Sa 13:19; comp. Jg 5:8). So Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, treated them in later times (2Ki 24:14; Jer 24:1; Jer 29:2). With these instances the commentators compare the stipulation of Porsenna with the Roman people after the expulsion of their kings "Ne ferro, nisi in agricultura, uterentur" (Pliny, Hist. Nat. 31, 14). Cyrus treated the Lydians in the same manner (Herodotus, 1, 142). SEE HANDICRAFT.
מִסגֵּר, masger, smith, occurs in 2Ki 24:14,16; Sept. συγκλείων; Jer 24:1; Jer 29:2; Vulg. clusor, or inclusor. Buxtorf gives "claustrarius, faber ferrarius." The root סגר, to close, indicates artisans "with busy hammers closing rivets up," which suits the context better than other renderings, as setters of precious stones, seal engravers, etc.:
In the New Test. we meet with Demetrius, "the silversmith," at Ephesus, ἀργυροκόπος, "a worker in silver;" Vulg. argentarius; but the commentators are not agreed whether he was a manufacturer of small silver models of the Temple of Diana, ναοὺς ἀργυροῦς, or, at least, of the chapel which contained the famous statue of the goddess, to be sold to foreigners, or used in private devotion, or taken with them by travelers as a safeguard; or whether he made large coins representing the temple and image. Beza, Scaliger, and others understand a coiner or mint master (see Kuinol, ad loc.). That the word may signify a silver founder is clear from the Sept. rendering of Jer 6:29. From Plutarch (Opp. 9, 301, 473, ed. Reisk.) and Hesychius it appears that the word signifies any worker in silver or money. A coppersmith named Alexander is mentioned as an opponent of Paul (2Ti 4:14).
Other Heb. terms substantially indicating the handicraft of a smith are: לוֹטֵשׁ, lotesh; Sept. σφυροκόπος; Vulg. malleator, a hammerer (A.V. "instructor"); a term applied to Tubal-cain in Ge 4:22 (see Gesen. Thesaur. p. 530, 755; Saalschutz, Arch. Hebr. 1, 143); and, הוֹלֵ, holem; Sept. ὁ τύπτων, he that smites (A.V. "smootheth") the anvil (פִּעִ ם, σφῦρα, incus), Isa 41:7, A description of a smith's workshop is given in Ecclus. 28:28. SEE MECHANIC.