The smith with the tongs
Or, "the worker of iron" F3; the blacksmith, who had a concern in making of idols, for some were made of iron, ( Daniel 5:4 ) , or in making plates to cover them, or nails to fasten them with, or instruments which the carpenter made use of in cutting down trees, and fitting the wood for an image; such as the axe or hatchet, or plane, and which some think is here meant, by the word translated "tongs", but is rendered an "axe", ( Jeremiah 10:3 ) and is used for that, or an hatchet, or a plane, by the Misnic F4 writers; so the Targum renders it,
``the smith out of iron makes an axe or hatchet:''"both worketh in the coals"; he puts his iron in the coals, and blows upon them, and so makes it soft and malleable, and then takes it out: and fashioneth it with hammers:
beats it with hammers upon the anvil, and puts it into what form he pleases: and worketh it with the strength of his arms;
uses his utmost strength to bring it into a form he is desirous of: yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth; he drinketh no water, and
he works at it with all his might and main, is earnest at it, and is eagerly desirous of finishing his work; he works till he is hungry and thirsty, and for want of food is ready to faint and sink; and yet will not give himself time to eat and drink, being so intent upon his work: or the sense is, though he is hungry and thirsty, and faints for want of provisions, yet the god he is making, or has made, cannot supply him with any: this is said to expose the folly of idol making, and of idol worship.
F3 (lzrb vrx) "faber ferri", Pagninus, Montanus; "faber ferrarius", V. L. Vitringa.
F4 Misn. Sabbat, c. 12. sect. 1. Celim, c. 29. 6.