|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:24-30 Do we expect that God should, by his providence, keep that which belongs to us, let us, by his grace, keep that which belongs to him. Let God's honour and interest be our care; and then we may expect that our lives and comforts will be his.
Verse 27. - Twenty basons of gold, of a thousand drams (see comment on Ezra 2:69). The "basons" would be worth about £55 each. Fine copper, precious as gold. The metal intended is probably that known to the Romans as orichalchum, which is generally believed to have been brass, but which may have been a more complicated amalgam. Being rarely, and perhaps only accidentally, produced, this metal was highly valued.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Also twenty basins of gold, of a thousand drams,.... Which were upwards of 1000 pounds of our money; for Bishop Cumberland says (e), the Persian "daric", "drachma", or "drachm", weighed twenty shillings and four pence; and, according to Dr. Bernard, it exceeded one of our guineas by two grains; see Gill on 1 Chronicles 29:7.
and two vessels of fine copper, precious as gold; which perhaps is the same with the Indian or Persian brass Aristotle (f) speaks of, which is so bright and pure, and free from rust, that it cannot be known by its colour from gold, and that there are among the cups of Darius such as cannot be discerned whether they are brass or gold but by the smell: the Syriac version interprets it by Corinthian brass, which was a mixture of gold, silver, and copper, made when Corinth was burnt, and which is exceeding valuable; of which Pliny (g) makes three sorts, very precious, and of which he says, it is in value next to, and even before silver, and almost before gold; but this sort of brass was not as yet in being: Kimchi (h) interprets the word here of its colour, being next to the colour of gold.
(e) Scripture Weights and Measures, ch. 4. p. 115. (f) De Mirabilibus, p. 704, vol. 1.((g) Nat. Hist. l. 34. c. 1, 2.((h) Sepher Shorash. rad.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
27. two vessels of fine copper, precious as gold—Almost all commentators agree in maintaining that the vessels referred to were not made of copper, but of an alloy capable of taking on a bright polish, which we think highly probable, as copper was then in common use among the Babylonians, and would not be as precious as gold. This alloy, much esteemed among the Jews, was composed of gold and other metals, which took on a high polish and was not subject to tarnish [Noyes].
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