Glass; Looking Glass

Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

Only once in O
T. as “crystal” (Job 28:17); N. T. “glass” mirrors were metal (1 Cor. 13:12; 2 Cor. 3:18; James 1:23; Rev. 4:6).

Concise Bible Dictionary:

Though glass was known to the Egyptians (the monuments showing their mode of glass blowing), it does not appear to be mentioned in the Old Testament. In Isaiah 3:23 the word “glasses” (gillayon) may signify small tablets of metal to serve as mirrors, such as the women used. The LXX translates it their “transparent garments.” In Ecclesiastes 38:8 it distinctly says that the laver was made of brass out of the women’s looking glasses, showing that brazen mirrors were then used. The root of the Hebrew word marah is raah, to see. In Job 37:18 it is from the same root, where the sky is compared to a molten mirror.
The MIRROR is referred to by the word ἔσοπτρον, translated “glass” (James 1:23), but the same word is applied to “glass” or a dim window through, δία, which we see obscurely, as a semi-transparent substance (1 Cor. 13:12). In the Revelation the word is ὔαός, and is called “clear,” “transparent,” and “like crystal,” which evidently refers to glass (Rev. 4:6; Rev. 15:2; Rev. 21:18,21). The sea of glass signifies fixed purity. Many specimens of glass have been discovered in the explorations at Jerusalem.

From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

1 Corinthians 13:12. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face.
Critics differ as to the meaning of the word rendered “glass” in this verse. Many suppose it means a metallic mirror, as it evidently does in James 1:23. (For an account of ancient mirrors, see note on Exodus 38:8, #139.) Such a mirror, covered with a thin veil, as was often done to protect from dust and dampness, would present a dim, shadowy reflection, causing the beholder to see “darkly,” or more literally, enigmatically. Others think that the “glass” in this text was the lapis specularis, a kind of talc of which the ancients sometimes made their Windows. Through this the indistinct outlines of an object could be seen, but the beholder was left to guess what the object might be. He was looking at an enigma; he saw “darkly.”
We have thus a beautiful illustration of the difference in clearness of vision between the present life and the future. The veil will be taken from the mirror, so that the reflection will be clear; or, the semi-transparent window will be removed, so that nothing shall obstruct the sight.

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