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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
(p. pr. & vb. n.) of Refine.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

re-fin'-er, re-fin'-ing: Two Hebrew words have been translated "refine": (1) tsaraph, literally, to "fuse" (Zechariah 13:9 Isaiah 48:10 Malachi 3:2, 3, etc.). The same word is rendered also "tried" (Psalm 66:10); "melt" (Jeremiah 6:29 the King James Version); "purge" (Isaiah 1:25). (2) zaqaq, literally, to "strain" or "sift." In the case of silver and gold the term probably referred to some washing process in connection with refining, as in Malachi 3:3 both tsaraph and zaqaq are used (1 Chronicles 28:18; 1 Chronicles 29:4 Job 28:1). The same word in Isaiah 25:6 referred to the straining of wine. Greek puroo, in the passive, literally, "to be ignited," is translated "refined," in Revelation 1:15; Revelation 3:18.

The ancient process of refining gold has already been described under METALLURGY (which see). Most of the Bible references are to the refining of silver (Proverbs 25:4 Zechariah 13:9 Isaiah 48:10). The silver used by the ancients was probably obtained by smelting lead sulfide ore, rich in silver (argentiferous galena). After the ore had been reduced to a metallic condition, the lead was separated from the silver by blowing hot air over the surface of the melted metal. The lead was thus changed to lead oxide which, in a powdered condition, was driven away by the air blast. The resulting lead oxide, called in the Bible silver dross, was used for glazing pottery (Proverbs 26:23), a use to which it is still put by Syrian potters. The description of refining in Ezekiel 22:18-22 may indicate that a flux (compare "as with lye," Isaiah 1:25 the American Revised Version margin) was sometimes added to the melted metal to dissolve the oxides of copper, lead, tin and iron as they formed, thus leaving the silver pure. Crude processes similar to those described above are used in the Taurus Mountains today.


In the various Bible references the refining of precious metals is used figuratively to illustrate the kind of trial God's children are called upon to go through. If they are of the right metal the dross will finally be blown away, leaving pure, clear, shining silver. If of base metal they will be like the dross described in Jeremiah 6:29, 30. The refiner may blow fiercely, but in vain, for nothing but lead dross appears.

James A. Patch

4451. purosis -- a burning, hence a refining
... a burning, hence a refining. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: purosis
Phonetic Spelling: (poo'-ro-sis) Short Definition: a burning, trial, fiery ...
// - 6k
Strong's Hebrew
6339. pazaz -- to be supple or agile
... A primitive root (identical with pazaz); to solidify (as if by refining); also to
spring (as if separating the limbs) -- leap, be made strong. see HEBREW pazaz. ...
/hebrew/6339.htm - 6k

4715. matsreph -- a crucible
... Word Origin from tsaraph Definition a crucible NASB Word Usage crucible (1), refining
pot (1). fining pot. From tsaraph; a crucible -- fining pot. ...
/hebrew/4715.htm - 6k

6884. tsaraph -- to smelt, refine, test
... root Definition to smelt, refine, test NASB Word Usage goldsmith (5), goldsmiths
(2), pure (1), refine (3), refined (5), refiner's (1), refining goes (1 ...
/hebrew/6884.htm - 6k


Now Let us Shew Briefly, if You Will, that These Things were ...
... For He doth come as the fire of a furnace and as fuller's soap: and He shall sit,
refining and purifying as it were gold and silver." But that thou mayest know ...
/.../34 now let us shew.htm

Mercy's Master Motive
... The furnace of trouble is often used as a mode of refining, but after all it is
only a means; the real refining fire is the Holy Ghost, the true purification ...
/.../spurgeon/spurgeons sermons volume 18 1872/mercys master motive.htm

The Burnt Offering a Picture and a Prophecy
... and went up to God as 'a sweet savour.' It expressed, therefore, the transformation
of the sinful human nature of the worshipper, by the refining power of the ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture k/the burnt offering a picture.htm

The Gospel Day Seen in Prophecy.
... they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness." Mal.3:2, 3. In that
day there shall be a fountain of cleansing, or a fire of refining, when hearts ...
// gospel day /the gospel day seen in.htm

Wrong Motives.
... 6:22). There is therefore need for the refining fire to go through our heart.
God must be Alpha and Omega in the matter. "For God's ...
/.../macneil/the spirit-filled life/chapter x wrong motives.htm

Spiritual Power.
... purify our tastes, lifting up and enlarging our capacities, and rousing our
energies"in one word, fusing all our life into a new form with its refining power ...
// at rugby/xviii spiritual power.htm

Love in Chastisement.
... Envy not those who are strangers to the refining flames,"who are "without chastisement;"
rather, surely, the severest discipline with a Father's love, than ...
/.../macduff/the faithful promiser/15th day love in chastisement.htm

Would that I were More Closely Bound
... And win me for Thy grateful guest. By love that will not be denied. Try me with
Thy refining fire,. Array me in Thy white attire,. Be Wisdom, Righteousness to me ...
/...// and meditations/would that i were more.htm

It was a Great Delight to Diamond when at Length Nanny was Well ...
... from the street, it is very probable she would not have been so pleasant in a decent
household, or so easy to teach; but after the refining influences of her ...
/.../macdonald/at the back of the north wind/chapter 31 it was a.htm

Flow On, Thou Fountain of My Joy,
... Get Thyself glory, O my God,. Be praised in my distress! O, let Thy true, refining
love. Its utmost pleasure see. And lift not up Thy faithful hand. ...
/.../waring/hymns and meditations/flow on thou fountain of.htm

Refining (8 Occurrences)
... n.) of Refine. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. REFINER; REFINING. ... The ancient process
of refining gold has already been described under METALLURGY (which see). ...
/r/refining.htm - 12k

Refiner (10 Occurrences)
... The process of refining metals is referred to by way of illustrations in Isaiah
1:25; Jeremiah 6:29; Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:2, 3. ... REFINER; REFINING. ...
/r/refiner.htm - 13k

Goldsmith (6 Occurrences)
... 32). The art of refining gold and shaping it into objects was probably introduced
into Palestine from Phoenicia (see CRAFTS). Examples ...
/g/goldsmith.htm - 12k

Fining (2 Occurrences)
... 3. (n.) The process of fining or refining; clarification; also (Metal.), the conversion
of cast iron into suitable for puddling, in a hearth or charcoal fire. ...
/f/fining.htm - 7k

Refines (1 Occurrence)
... Zechariah 13:9 And I have brought the third into fire, And refined them like a refining
of silver, And have tried them like a trying of gold, It doth call in ...
/r/refines.htm - 6k

Furnace (35 Occurrences)
... (3.) Hebrews kur, a refining furnace (Proverbs 17:3; 27:21; Ezek. 22:18).
(4.) Hebrews alil, a crucible; only used in Psalm 12:6. ...
/f/furnace.htm - 22k

Fire (602 Occurrences)
... The thought of John is that the Saviour would give them the Divine Sanctifier as
purifying water to wash away their sins and as a refining fire to consume ...
/f/fire.htm - 78k

Gold (429 Occurrences)
... The old workings in the gold-bearing veins of the Egyptian desert and the ruins
of the buildings connected with the mining and refining of the precious metal ...
/g/gold.htm - 57k

Pot (46 Occurrences)
... for pots," in Leviticus 11:35; "pots," Jeremiah 35:5 the King James Version, correctly
"bowls" the Revised Version (British and American); "refining pots" in ...
/p/pot.htm - 25k

Tried (96 Occurrences)
... (See JPS YLT RSV). Proverbs 27:21 The refining pot is for silver, and the furnace
for gold; And a man is tried by his praise. (See JPS ASV). ...
/t/tried.htm - 33k

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Refining: Dictionary and Thesaurus |

Bible ConcordanceBible DictionaryBible EncyclopediaTopical BibleBible Thesuarus
Refining (8 Occurrences)

Psalms 66:10
For Thou hast tried us, O God, Thou hast refined us as the refining of silver.

Proverbs 17:3
The refining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold, but Yahweh tests the hearts.

Proverbs 27:21
The refining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold; And a man is tried by his praise.

Isaiah 40:19
The graven image poured out hath a artizan, And a refiner with gold spreadeth it over, And chains of silver he is refining.

Jeremiah 6:29
The bellows blow fiercely; the lead is consumed of the fire: in vain do they go on refining; for the wicked are not plucked away.

Jeremiah 9:7
Therefore, thus said Jehovah of Hosts: Lo, I am refining them, and have tried them, For how do I do because of the daughter of My people?

Daniel 11:35
And some of the teachers do stumble for refining by them, and for purifying, and for making white -- till the end of the time, for 'it is' yet for a time appointed.

Zechariah 13:9
And I have brought the third into fire, And refined them like a refining of silver, And have tried them like a trying of gold, It doth call in My name, and I answer it, I have said, 'My people it 'is',' And it saith, 'Jehovah 'is' my God!'



Refining of Gold

Refining of Silver

Refining of the Corrective Judgments of God

Refining of the Purity of the Word of God

Refining of Wine

Related Terms

Refiner (10 Occurrences)

Goldsmith (6 Occurrences)

Fining (2 Occurrences)

Refines (1 Occurrence)

Furnace (35 Occurrences)

Fire (602 Occurrences)

Gold (429 Occurrences)

Pot (46 Occurrences)

Tried (96 Occurrences)

Zarephath (4 Occurrences)

Fiercely (8 Occurrences)

Founder (5 Occurrences)

Tests (10 Occurrences)

Tries (6 Occurrences)

Trier (5 Occurrences)

Tossing (4 Occurrences)

Testing (46 Occurrences)

Refine (9 Occurrences)

Refinement (1 Occurrence)

Refitting (2 Occurrences)


Purifying (17 Occurrences)

Bellows (1 Occurrence)


Accorded (2 Occurrences)

Artizan (7 Occurrences)

Soap (4 Occurrences)

Smelt (3 Occurrences)

Refined (26 Occurrences)

Silver (329 Occurrences)


Affliction (120 Occurrences)

Plucked (46 Occurrences)

Purified (44 Occurrences)

Proverbs (11 Occurrences)

Trying (68 Occurrences)

Crafts (2 Occurrences)

Teachers (87 Occurrences)

Separated (97 Occurrences)

Regeneration (2 Occurrences)

Baptism (76 Occurrences)

Anem (1 Occurrence)

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