Smith's Bible DictionaryCoal
The first and most frequent use of the word rendered coal is a live ember, burning fuel. (Proverbs 26:21) In (2 Samuel 22:9,13) "coals of fire" are put metaphorically for the lightnings proceeding from God. (Psalms 18:8,12,13; 140:10) In (Proverbs 26:21) fuel not yet lighted is clearly signified. The fuel meant in the above passage is probably charcoal, and not coal in our sense of the word.
ATS Bible DictionaryCoal
Usually in Scripture, charcoal, or the embers of fire. Mineral coal is now procured in mount Lebanon, eight hours from Beirut; but we have no certainty that it was known and used by the Jews. The following passages are those which most strongly suggest this substance, 2 Samuel 22:9,13; Job 41:21.
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaCOAL
kol (pecham, "charcoal"; compare Arabic fachm, "charcoal"; gacheleth, "burning coal" or "hot ember"; compare Arabic jacham, "to kindle"; shechor, "a black coal" (Lamentations 4:8); compare Arabic shachchar, "soot" or "dark-colored sandstone"; retseph (1 Kings 19:6), and ritspah (= Rizpah) (Isaiah 6:6), margin "a hot stone"; compare resheph, "a flame" (Songs 8:6 Habakkuk 3:5); anthrax, "a live coal" (Romans 12:20) (= gacheleth in Proverbs 25:22); anthrakia, "a live coal" (John 18:18; John 21:9)): There is no reference to mineral coal in the Bible. Coal, or more properly lignite, of inferior quality, is found in thin beds (not exceeding 3 ft.) in the sandstone formation (see GEOLOGY OF PALESTINE, under Nubian Sandstone), but there is no evidence of its use in ancient times. Charcoal is manufactured in a primitive fashion which does not permit the conservation of any by-products. A flat, circular place (Arabic beidar, same name as for a threshing-floor) 10 or 15 ft. in diameter is prepared in or conveniently near to the forest. On this the wood, to be converted into charcoal, is carefully stacked in a dome-shaped structure, leaving an open space in the middle for fine kindlings. All except the center is first covered with leaves, and then with earth. The kindlings in the center are then fired and afterward covered in the same manner as the rest. While it is burning or smoldering it is carefully watched, and earth is immediately placed upon any holes that may be formed in the covering by the burning of the wood below. In several days, more or less, according to the size of the pile, the wood is converted into charcoal and the heap is opened. The charcoal floor is also called in Arabic mashcharah, from shachchar, "soot"; compare Hebrew shechor. The characteristic odor of the mashcharah clings for months to the spot.
In Psalm 120:4, there is mention of "coals of juniper," the Revised Version, margin "broom," rothem. This is doubtless the Arabic retem, Retama roetam, Forsk., a kind of broom which is abundant in Judea and Moab. Charcoal from oak wood, especially Quercus coccifera, L., Arabic sindyan, is much preferred to other kinds, and fetches a higher price.
In most of the passages where English versions have "coal," the reference is not necessarily to charcoal, but may be to coals of burning wood. Pecham in Proverbs 26:21, however, seems to stand for charcoal: "As coals are to hot embers, and wood to fire, So is a contentious man to inflame strife." The same may be true of pecham in Isaiah 44:12 and Isaiah 54:16; also of shechor in Lamentations 4:8.
Alfred Ely Day
Easton's Bible Dictionary
It is by no means certain that the Hebrews were acquainted with mineral coal, although it is found in Syria. Their common fuel was dried dung of animals and wood charcoal. Two different words are found in Hebrew to denote coal, both occurring in Proverbs 26:21
, "As coal [Hebrews peham; i.e., "black coal"] is to burning coal [Hebrews gehalim]." The latter of these words is used in Job 41:21
; Proverbs 6:28
; Isaiah 44:19
. The words "live coal" in Isaiah 6:6 are more correctly "glowing stone." In Lamentations 4:8
the expression "blacker than a coal" is literally rendered in the margin of the Revised Version "darker than blackness." "Coals of fire" (2 Samuel 22:9
, 13; Psalm 18:8
, 12, 13, etc.) is an expression used metaphorically for lightnings proceeding from God. A false tongue is compared to "coals of juniper" (Psalm 120:4
; James 3:6
). "Heaping coals of fire on the head" symbolizes overcoming evil with good. The words of Paul (Romans 12:20
) are equivalent to saying, "By charity and kindness thou shalt soften down his enmity as surely as heaping coals on the fire fuses the metal in the crucible."
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
) A thoroughly charred, and extinguished or still ignited, fragment from wood or other combustible substance; charcoal.
2. (n.) A black, or brownish black, solid, combustible substance, dug from beds or veins in the earth to be used for fuel, and consisting, like charcoal, mainly of carbon, but more compact, and often affording, when heated, a large amount of volatile matter.
3. (v. t.) To burn to charcoal; to char.
4. (v. t.) To mark or delineate with charcoal.
5. (v. t.) To supply with coal; as, to coal a steamer.
6. (v. i.) To take in coal; as, the steamer coaled at Southampton.
Strong's Hebrew1513. gechel -- coal...
<< 1512, 1513. gechel or gacheleth. 1514 >>. coal
. Transliteration: gechel or gacheleth
Phonetic Spelling: (geh'-khel) Short Definition: coals. ...
. ... /hebrew/1513.htm - 6k
7529. retseph -- coal
... retseph. 7530 >>. coal. Transliteration: retseph Phonetic Spelling: (reh'-tsef)
Short Definition: coal. ... coal For resheph; a red-hot stone (for baking) -- coal. ...
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6352. pecham -- coal
... << 6351, 6352. pecham. 6353 >>. coal. Transliteration: pecham Phonetic Spelling:
(peh-khawm') Short Definition: coals. Word Origin from ...
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7531. ritspah -- a glowing stone
... << 7530, 7531. ritspah. 7531a >>. a glowing stone. Transliteration: ritspah Phonetic
Spelling: (rits-paw') Short Definition: coal. live coal, pavement ...
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7565. resheph -- flame
... sparks* (1). arrow, burning coal, burning heat, spark, hot thunderbolt. From
saraph; a live coal; by analogy lightning; figuratively ...
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7815. shechor -- blackness
... Word Origin from shachar Definition blackness NASB Word Usage soot (1). coal. From
shachar; dinginess, ie Perhaps soot -- coal. see HEBREW shachar. << 7814, 7815 ...
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7531a. ritspah -- a glowing stone
... << 7531, 7531a. ritspah. 7531b >>. a glowing stone. Transliteration: ritspah
Short Definition: coal. Word Origin from an unused word ...
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4730. miqtereth -- a censer
... censer. Feminine of miqtar; something to fume (incense) in, ie A coal-pan -- censer.
see HEBREW miqtar. << 4729c, 4730. miqtereth. 4731 >>. Strong's Numbers.
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