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Brass mouth/ mouth of brass

Posted by Bruce Kahl on August 02, 2000

In Reply to: Brass mouth/ mouth of brass posted by Slanter on August 02, 2000

: As a writer, I was curious as to the meaning of the name Phineas, which is "mouth of brass." What exactly does that mean?

Here is a copy / paste from Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary:

Phinehas
mouth of brass, or from old Egypt, the negro. (1.) Son of
Eleazar, the high priest (Ex. 6:25). While yet a youth he
distinguished himself at s h i ttim by his zeal against the
immorality into which the Moabites had tempted the people (Num.
25:1-9), and thus "stayed the plague" that had broken out among
the people, and by which twenty-four thousand of them perished.
For his faithfulness on that occasion he received the divine
approbation (10-13). He afterwards commanded the army that went
out against the Midianites (31:6-8). When representatives of the
people were sent to expostulate with the two and a half tribes
who, just after crossing Jordan, built an altar and departed
without giving any explanation, Phinehas was their leader, and
addressed them in the words recorded in Josh. 22:16-20. Their
explanation follows. This great altar was intended to be all
ages only a witness that they still formed a part of Israel.
Phinehas was afterwards the chief adviser in the war with the
Benjamites. He is commemorated in Ps. 106:30, 31.

From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

Brass
which is an alloy of copper and zinc, was not known till the
thirteenth century. What is designated by this word in Scripture
is properly copper (Deut. 8:9). It was used for fetters (Judg.
16:21; 2 Kings 25:7), for pieces of armour (1 Sam. 17:5, 6), for
musical instruments (1 Chr. 15:19; 1 Cor. 13:1), and for money
(Matt. 10:9).
It is a symbol of insensibility and obstinacy in sin (Isa.
48:4; Jer. 6:28; Ezek. 22:18), and of strength (Ps. 107:16;
Micah 4:13).
The Macedonian empire is described as a kingdom of brass (Dan.
2:39). The "mountains of brass" Zechariah (6:1) speaks of have
been supposed to represent the immutable decrees of God.
The serpent of brass was made by Moses at the command of God
(Num. 21:4-9), and elevated on a pole, so that it might be seen
by all the people when wounded by the bite of the serpents that
were sent to them as a punishment for their murmurings against
God and against Moses. It was afterwards carried by the Jews
into Canaan, and preserved by them till the time of Hezekiah,
who caused it to be at length destroyed because it began to be
viewed by the people with superstitious reverence (2 Kings
18:4). (See {NEHUSHTAN}.)