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A mine is generally defined as "an excavation in the earth with the purpose of extracting minerals" (i.e. minerals are obtained from mines). As Bible History records, humans have been mining and metalworking since the most ancient times. Gold, silver, iron, copper, tin, zinc (brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, bronze is an alloy of copper and tin), as well as various precious stones were all well-known to the people of The Bible.


Gold Bars Minerals were known right from the beginning:

"A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there." (Genesis 2:10-12 RSV)

Among the earliest humans were workers of bronze and iron:

"Zillah bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron." (Genesis 4:22 RSV)

Minerals were part of the description of the Promised Land:

"For The Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper." (Deuteronomy 8:7-9 RSV)

Job described the process of mining and refining of metals and precious stones in ancient times:

"Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold which they refine. Iron is taken out of the earth, and copper is smelted from the ore. Men put an end to darkness, and search out to the farthest bound the ore in gloom and deep darkness. They open shafts in a valley away from where men live; they are forgotten by travelers, they hang afar from men, they swing to and fro. As for the earth, out of it comes bread; but underneath it is turned up as by fire. Its stones are the place of sapphires, and it has dust of gold. That path no bird of prey knows, and the falcon's eye has not seen it. The proud beasts have not trodden it; the lion has not passed over it. Man puts his hand to the flinty rock, and overturns mountains by the roots. He cuts out channels in the rocks, and his eye sees every precious thing." (Job 28:1-10 RSV)

Fact Finder: How were metals from the earth used in one of the greatest prophecies of the Bible?
See Daniel's Statue

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