616. Tempering Clay

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This is an allusion to the ancient method of tempering the clay for making bricks. It was done by the feet of the laborer, and was very severe and fatiguing labor. Tit, “clay,” may also be rendered “mire”; and chomer, “mortar,” is not to be understood here in the sense of a cement for bricks, but rather of clay. Henderson accordingly translates the passage, “Enter the mire, and tread the clay.” Keil has, “Tread in the mire, and stamp the clay.” Potter’s clay was tempered in a similar way. “He shall come upon princes as upon mortar, and as the potter treadeth clay” (Isa. 41:2525I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come: from the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name: and he shall come upon princes as upon mortar, and as the potter treadeth clay. (Isaiah 41:25)).