Kevin McGeough, «Birth Bricks, Potter’s Wheels, and Exodus 1,16», Vol. 87 (2006) 305-318
It is argued here that the Hebrew word ’obnayim, which appears in Exodus 1,16 and Jeremiah 18,3 refers to either birthing equipment or equipment used in ceramic production. The particular type of birthing equipment referred to by this word is identified as a “birth brick”, which is well attested in Near Eastern literature and one of which has been uncovered in archaeological excavations at Abydos in Egypt. It is further argued that the semantic range of this word is not surprising given the conceptual link between child birth and ceramic manufacture in the ancient Near East.