Ink; Inkhorn

“552. Ink” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

1. The ink of the ancients was usually composed of lampblack, soot, or pulverized charcoal, prepared with gum and water. It was sold in small particles or grains. When needed for use some of the grains were put into the inkhorn, (see note on Ezekiel 9:22And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar. (Ezekiel 9:2), #570) and mixed with water until the mixture became of the consistence of our modern printer’s ink. It was of an intense glossy black, retaining its color for ages, yet easily obliterated with sponge and water. This is thought to be referred to in Numbers 5:2323And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out with the bitter water: (Numbers 5:23), and Col. 2:1414Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; (Colossians 2:14). The ink still used in the East is mostly of this character.

“570. The Inkhorn” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

It is still customary in the East to put into the girdle the case containing writing implements. It consists of two parts, a receptacle for the pens, and a box for the ink. It is sometimes made of ebony or some other hard wood, but generally of metal brass, copper, or silver—often highly polished and of exquisite workmanship. It is about nine or ten inches long, one and a half or two inches wide, and half an inch deep. The hollow shaft contains pens of reed and a penknife, and has a lid. To the upper end of this case the inkstand is soldered if of metal. This is a small box, square, round, or polygonal; has a lid which moves on hinges, and fastens with a clasp. It is usually twice as heavy as the shaft. The projection of the inkstand is seen outside the girdle, while the shaft is concealed by its folds.

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