What is a “sherd?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

“Sherd” is discovered twice in the King James text:

  • Isaiah 30:14: “And he shall break it as the breaking of the potter’s vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.”
  • Ezekiel 23:34: “Thou shalt even drink it and suck it out, and thou shalt break the sherds thereof, and pluck off thine own breasts: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.”

One indication that can unravel the sense of this obscure expression is found in the Isaiah verse. A “sherd” is connected to a “potter.” More specifically, a “potter’s vessel” is under consideration. In fact, a potter’s broken vessel is even more precise. When a clay pot is smashed to bits, what results? Why, now there are shards (fragments). Another term would be potsherds (see Job 2:8, Psalm 22:15, Proverbs 26:23, and Isaiah 45:9). The two verses with which we opened describe the thoroughness or extensiveness of Divine judgment or wrath on apostate (idolatrous) Israel and Jerusalem.

Also see:
» What does “pernicious” mean?
» What does “bray a fool” mean?
» What does “had in abomination” mean?