International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
met'-al (chashmal; elektron; the King James Version amber; Ezekiel 8:2, the Revised Version margin "amber"): The substance here intended is a matter of great uncertainty. In Egypt bronze was, called chesmen, which may be connected with the Hebrew chashmal; the Greek elektron too has generally been accepted as an alloy of gold or silver or other metals, but this is far from certain. Professor Ridgeway (EB, I, cols. 134-36) has conclusively shown, however, that amber was well known in early times and that there is nothing archaeologically improbable in the reading of the King James Version.