Niter • Nitre • Potash • Soda
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Lye. Strong alkaline substance (probably potassium carbonate) used for cleaning purposes.See Minerals, Metals, and Precious Stones.
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Lye[Heb bōr] (Job 9:30; Isa. 1:25); AV “clean,” “purely”; NEB also POTASH; [neṯer] (Jer. 2:22); AV NITRE; NEB SODA. A strongly alkaline substance used in cleaning and making soap.It is difficult to know precisely how the two Hebrew terms translated “lye” differ. Bōr may have been potassium carbonate
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
LYE Strong alkaline substance (probably potassium carbonate) used for cleaning purposes. See Minerals and Metals.
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
POTASH. A term found in the NEB at Isa 1:25, translating Heb. bōr (KJV “purely”; RSV, NASB “lye”). The Heb. word also occurs in Job 9:30, where RSV, NASB, and NEB all have “lye” (the KJV translators did not understand the Heb. word). Potash is potassium carbonate, so called because of evaporating in
The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition
NITRE (Heb. neṯer). The modern name denotes saltpetre (sodium or potassium nitrate), but the biblical name refers to natron (carbonate of soda), which came chiefly from the ‘soda lakes’ of Lower Egypt. In Pr. 25:20 the effect of songs on a heavy heart is compared to the action of vinegar on nitre (rvmg.
Smith’s Bible Dictionary
Nitre. Mention of this substance is made in Prov. 25:20—“and as vinegar upon nitre”—and in Jer. 2:22. The article denoted is not that which we now understand by the term nitre, i.e., nitrate of potassa—“saltpetre”—but the nitrum of the Latins and the natron or native carbonate of soda of modern chemistry.
Easton’s Bible Dictionary
Nitre(Prov. 25:20; R.V. marg., “soda”), properly “natron,” a substance so called because, rising from the bottom of the Lake Natron in Egypt, it becomes dry and hard in the sun, and is the soda which effervesces when vinegar is poured on it. It is a carbonate of soda, not saltpetre, which the word generally
Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary
LYE — a mineral alkaline that was mixed with oil to produce soap in Bible times (Jer. 2:22;nitre, KJV; soda, NIV). The one other biblical usage of the Hebrew word that is translated lye in Jeremiah 2:22 leaves a question about the exact nature of lye. Proverbs 20, “Like one who takes away a garment in
SODA — a form of sodium bicarbonate. According to Proverbs, a person who sings songs to a person with a heavy heart is like one who pours vinegar on soda (Prov. 25:20; nitre, KJV).
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
NITRE<ni’-ter> (נֶתֶרע, nether]; [νίτρον, nitron]): Nitre as used in the King James Version does not correspond to the present use of that term. Nitre or niter is now applied to sodium or potassium nitrate. The writer has in his collection a specimen of sodium carbonate, called in Arabic naTrun, which
The Westminster Bible Dictionary
Niʹtre. The word occurs in Prov. 25:20 and in Jer. 2:22. The substance denoted is not that which we now understand by the term nitre, that is, nitrate of potassa or saltpetre, but the nitrum of the Latins, and the natron or native carbonate of soda of modern chemistry. As between vinegar and natron there
Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
LYE Substance used for cleansing purposes from the earliest times. Two Hebrew words are used in the OT for lye. Neter probably refers to sodium bicarbonate. This material occurs naturally and is referred to by ancient writers as appearing in Egypt and Armenia.Bor likely refers to potassium carbonate
The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 3, H–L
lye. KJV, “nitre.” An alkaline substance used for cleansing purposes; it refers either to sodium carbonate, found in certain places as an incrustation on the ground or in certain saline lakes, or to potassium carbonate, which was obtained by leaching wood ashes or other vegetable matter. Both possess
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