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OVEN:

Stoves built into a room for the purpose of heating it have always been unknown in the East. The substitute for them is the "aḥ," or portable brazier, which even at present in the Orient is placed in the room during cold weather (comp. Jer. xxxvi. 23). In some regions it is the custom to put a wooden frame like a low table over the pot of coals when the latter no longer send up flames; and over this is spread a large rug to keep in the heat, its ends serving to cover up to the waist the persons lying around the brazier. It is questionable whether the Hebrews were acquainted with this practise (comp. Niebuhr, "Reisen," ii. 394). The usual word for oven, "tannur," designates the baking-oven, which was probably like that still used among the Arabs. It commonly consists of a large open pot or jar which is half filled with small bricks. These, when properly heated, serve to bake the dough spread over them or stuck to the sides of the jar. Horse or sheep dung is usually used as fuel by the modern fellahs (comp. I Kings xvii. 12; Isa. xliv. 15; Ps. cxx. 4). As now, so probably among the ancient Hebrews the dough was baked in a few minutes, often being slightly burned (comp. Hos. vii. 4, 7 et seq.). Such ovens are to-day usually placed in special huts, each household either having one to itself or sharing it with several families. In cold winters the fellahs not seldom use these to warm themselves.

The "maḥabat" was probably a pan devised for baking thin cakes (Lev. ii. 5, vii. 9; Ezek. iv. 3), and in which meat also was sometimes roasted (II Macc. vii. 3, 5). In II Sam. xii. 31, Jer. xliii. 9, and Nah. iii. 14 "malben" is used to indicate the large brickkiln for burning bricks. In Ecclus. (Sirach) xxvii. 5, xxxviii. 10 is mentioned the κάμινος, which was used for burning pottery. "Kibshan" and "kur" (comp. Gen. xix. 28; Ex. ix. 8, 10; xix. 18. Mal. iv. 1) designate the smelting-furnace. The latter term is used in Prov. xvii. 3, xxvii. 21 (comp. Wisdom iii. 6) for the smelting of gold, and in Ezek. xxii. 18-22 and Isa. xlviii. 10 for that of silver. In Deut. iv. 20, I Kings viii. 51, and Jer. xi. 4, however, it is used also to designate the furnace employed for smelting iron ore.

In Dan. iii. a furnace ("attun") is mentioned into which Daniel's three friends were thrown. It is evident that this was like a smelting-furnace, open at the top to admit of the reception of the ore, and having an opening also below, which could be closed, for raking the fire and withdrawing the molten metal (comp. ib. verses 22, 23, 26).

E. G. H. W. N.
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