X It is supposed that the Hebrews used the mixture of copper and tin known as bronze. The Hebrews obtained their principal supply from the south of Arabia and the commerce of the Persian Gulf. ( Joshua 7:21 ) The great abundance of gold in early times is indicated by its entering into the composition of all articles of ornament and almost all of domestic use. Among the spoils of the Midianites taken by the Israelites in their bloodless victory when Balaam was slain were earrings and jewels to the amount of 16,750 shekels of gold, ( Numbers 31:48-54 ) equal in value to more than $150,000. Seventeen hundred shekels of gold (worth more than $15,000) in nose jewels (Authorized Version "ear-rings") alone were taken by Gideons army from the slaughtered Midianites. ( Judges 8:26 ) But the amount of treasure accumulated by David from spoils taken in war is so enormous that we are tempted to conclude the numbers exaggerated. Though gold was thus common, silver appears to have been the ordinary medium of commerce. The first commercial transaction of which we possess the details was the purchase of Ephrons field by Abraham for 400 shekels of silver . ( Genesis 23:16 ) The accumulation of wealth in the reign of Solomon was so great that silver was but little esteemed. ( 1 Kings 10:21 1 Kings 10:27 ) Brass, or more properly copper, was a native product of Palestine. ( 8:9 ; Job 28:2 ) It was plentiful in the days of Solomon, and the quantity employed in the temple could not be estimated, it was so great. ( 1 Kings 7:47 ) No allusion is found to zinc; but tin was well known. Arms, ( 2 Samuel 21:16 ; Job 20:24 ; Psalms 18:34 ) and armor, ( 1 Samuel 17:5 1 Samuel 17:6 1 Samuel 17:38 ) were made of copper, which was capable of being so wrought as to admit of a keen and hard edge. Iron, like copper, was found in the hills of Palestine. Iron-mines are still worked by the inhabitants of Kefr Hunch , in the sought of the valley of Zaharani .