urth'-'-n, (cheres, yetser; ostrakinos): These vessels were heat-resisting and were used for cooking and for boiling clothes (Le 6:28; 11:33; 14:5,50). They were probably non-porous and took the place of the kidri or ma'ajin used in Syria today. A traveler in the interior of Palestine may still meet with the hospitality showed to David (2Sa 17:28). The generous natives brought not only gifts of food but the necessary vessels in which to cook it. An earthen vessel was used to preserve a land deed (Jer 32:14).
Figurative: In Jer 19:1 breaking of an earthen vessel was symbolical of the destruction of Jerusalem. These vessels were also used to symbolize the commonness (La 4:2) and frailness of our bodies (2Co 4:7).
See POTTERY .
James A. Patch