In the ancient world, broken or damaged terracotta containers were not discarded. A frugal owner would collect the pieces and repurpose them.
If an urn was broken while drawing water, a suitably shaped piece would be left near the well. The shard served as a handy water scoop for thirsty travelers.
Sturdier clay fragments were used to gather up and move hearth cinders. The glowing embers would then be used to heat and light other areas.
This scripture was written as an admonishment to the rebellious inhabitants of Judah. Isaiah compares their fate to a pulverized vessel with no salvageable remnants.
“Therefore this iniquity will be to you like a breach about to fall, a bulge in a high wall, whose collapse comes suddenly in an instant.” Isaiah 30:13
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Excerpt from Ancient Minutus