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Clay is a fine-grained mineral material of the earth. It is an important part of soil fertility that all plant and (ultimately) all animal life depends upon, and has been used in purified form since ancient times for the production of a tremendous variety and amount of brick, tile, porcelain and earthenware. These two uses for clay, life from the soil, and vessels, have a direct and profound significance to humanity. The original Hebrew word that is translated as the "dust" that Adam was created from actually means clay, making God the first "potter," as was well-known by the ancients: "Yet, O Lord, Thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou art our potter; we are all the work of Thy hand" (Isaiah 64:8 RSV) and "The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life ... I too was formed from a piece of clay." (Job 33:4,6 RSV)

Clay In Bible History

Pottery Clay pottery has been known to humans since the most ancient times:

"the earthen vessel in which it is boiled" (Leviticus 6:28 RSV)

"I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel." (Jeremiah 18:3 RSV)

"as the potter treads clay" (Isaiah 41:25 RSV)

Clay was also used as molds for metal castings. Vessels for the Temple were made that way:

"Now the pots, the shovels, and the basins, all these vessels in the House of The Lord [see Temples and "My Father's House"], which Hiram [see King Hiram Of Tyre] made for King Solomon, were of burnished bronze. In the plain of the Jordan [see The Jordan Valley] the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zarethan." (1 Kings 7:45-46 RSV)

Jesus Christ used clay in the miraculous healing of blind man:

"As He passed by, He saw a man blind from his birth. And His disciples asked Him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"

"Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him. We must work the works of Him who sent Me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

"As He said this, He spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man's eyes with the clay, saying to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam," which means Sent. So he went and washed and came back seeing." (John 9:1-7 RSV)

The rock that was rolled across the entrance of Christ's tomb was sealed with clay:

"Pilate said to them, "You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can." So they went and made the sepulchre secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard." (Matthew 27:65-66 RSV)

Fact Finder: How was clay used as an analogy in one of the most specific prophecies of the Bible?
See Daniel's Statue

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