Precious stones in the Bible have an ornamental purpose and currently, only emerald, ruby, sapphire, and diamond are considered important. However, in the word the term “precious stone” shows a broader sense as shown by the sacred scriptures:
“Son of man, lift up a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord GOD: You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. In Eden, in the garden of God you were; of every precious stone was your garment; of cornerin, topaz, jasper, chrysolite, beryl, and onyx; of sapphire, carbuncle, emerald, and gold; the finery of your drums and flutes were prepared for you on the day of your creation” (Ezekiel 28:12, 13).
In this sense, gemstones differ from other minerals primarily because they are durable, rare, and beautiful. In the book of Genesis the first comment is made about a precious stone called Havilah:
“The name of the one was Piso; this is the one that surrounds the entire land of Havila, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good; there is also bdellium and onyx there” (Genesis 2:11, 12)
Meaning of precious stones in the bible
In the Bible, in the times of Solomon and Ezekiel, wealth was measured by the possession of precious stones, and these characters had many of them. In the same way, they were part of the spoils of war, since they represented a gift of great value, as can be seen in Ezekiel 28:12-13: “Every precious stone was your covering: ruby, topaz and jasper; onyx and jade chrysolite; sapphire, turquoise and emerald; and gold was the workmanship of your settings and your fittings in you “
Similarly, representative Babylon the Great was adorned with many precious stones, since these are of great interest for the high priest’s breastplate, which refers to the name received by the highest religious representative of Ancient Israel.
In the early Hebrew religion and in the days of classical Judaism, from the birth of the Israelite nation until the decline of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, the high priest of Israel was first and foremost among other Israelite priests.
The 15 most outstanding precious stones in the bible and their meaning
In the Bible there are different types of precious stones, which have a meaning:
This gemstone represents the second gem in the third row of the crucifix. It symbolizes the tribe of Asher and is part of the flint family and is made up of deposits of siliceous beds in rose holes.
This stone has different medicinal powers, it was thought that it could nullify the effect of all poisons and neutralized the infection of contagious diseases. In addition, if it was held in the hand or in the mouth, it calmed the fever.
In the book of Revelation 21:20, this precious stone represents the twelfth and last stone of the foundation of the New Jerusalem. It constitutes the third stone in the third row of the pectoral and symbolizes the tribe of Issachar.
The Greek name alludes to the belief that amethyst prevents poisoning. For this reason, the glasses were made of amethyst, and the drinkers had amulets made with this gem, thus neutralizing the effect of the wine.
In this sense, the color of the stone comes from small amounts of iron in the quartz and represents the third stone in the third row of the High Priest’s chest, as can be seen in the book of Exodus 28:19-20: “the second row, an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond; the third row, a hyacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper.
They will all be mounted in gold settings”, and the twelfth stone listed in the foundation of the New Jerusalem, as can be seen in the book of Revelation 21:20 “the fifth, onyx; the sixth, carnelian; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, hyacinth; the twelfth, amethyst”
This is the only precious stone that does not correspond to the pectoral, and it is a siliceous stone, whose name comes from Chalcedon in Bithynia, where the ancients acquired the stone. It is a type of agate and has various names depending on its color.
This is one of the precious stones in the Bible that is spoken of in many passages of the word, where its qualities are enhanced, specifically its hardness.
In the book of Jeremiah, you can appreciate the use that was attributed to this stone, and this coincides with the use that is currently given to it: “ The sin of Judah is written with an iron chisel and with a diamond tip; it is carved on the table of his heart, and on the horns of his altars” (Jeremiah 17:1).
This stone is now known as onyx and is a form of chalcedony, associated with agate, but the color of the bands is different.
6.- Jasper stone:
This is another of the precious stones in the bible. Describe the foundations, the light, and the walls of holy Jerusalem. It represented the last of the twelve stones symbolized in the twelve tribes of Israel that were mounted on the pectoral of the high priest, as can be seen in the following quote: “ the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper.
They will all be mounted in gold settings” (Ex. 28:20) In the same way when the devil was in the Garden of God, his cover had precious stones like jasper.
Amber is the primitive balm of the pines. Its color can change from golden yellow to orange brown. This precious stone is mentioned three times in the book of Ezekiel and in some versions attributes such as metal or shiny bronze or bronze are added, as can be seen in the following verses:
4 “And I looked, and, behold, a stormy wind was coming from the north, and a great cloud, with fire encircling it, and a glow around it, and in the midst of the fire something like glowing bronze.”
27 “And I saw an appearance as of glowing bronze, as an appearance of fire within her all around, from the aspect of her loins upward; and from her loins downward, I saw that she looked like fire and that she had a glow around her” (Ezekiel 1:4,27).
This gemstone belongs to a variety of beryl with a light blue or bluish-green color. Its name reflects its own color and means water and sea. This was the most widely available variety of beryl in Biblical times, while emerald, which was also a beryl, was the rarest.
The word “aquamarine” is not used by any of the Bible translators, however many scholars consider aquamarine to be the kind of beryl from the eighth stone of the New Jerusalem.
This is the eighth stone of the New Jerusalem, and Beryl is her real name, however, it is not used often. The most common beryls are emerald, which is grass green, and aquamarine, which is blue-green. These stones were well known in Biblical times, but aquamarine was the most common.
Carnelian is a variety of hard consistency, it is translucent and contains a fine grain of orange-red quartz that has been frequently used for ring stones and wax seals. This precious stone has been found in the excavations of ancient royal tombs.
The Greek term for this stone is “sardius” and it is the sixth stone of the New Jerusalem, as reflected in the book of Revelation: “ And immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne established in heaven, and on the throne, one seated. And the appearance of the one he was sitting on was like a jasper and carnelian stone; And there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance similar to an emerald” (Revelation 4: 2-3).
Chrysoprase is a type of shiny, translucent apple, or grass-green chalcedony. The green color is from nickel. It represents the most valuable and the chrysophrase constitutes the tenth stone in the foundation of the New Jerusalem. The modern word is from the Greek origin chrusoprasos which means “golden” and prason which denotes “a leek” indicating the color of the stone.
13.- The rock crystal:
Rock crystal represents a colorless, thick, and transparent crystalline quartz. Quartz is one of the most frequent minerals found in almost all parts of the world. It is very abundant and can occur in simple crystals that can weigh several tons.
Coral is a precious stone that presents a calcareous formation of calcium carbonate produced by the skeletons of millions of small marine animals.
Because it is of animal origin, it is considered a mineral. Gem-quality coral or precious coral is found in only a few places in the world, one being the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea which produce some of the finest.
As the word shows: “Aram was your customer because of the abundance of your products; They paid for your merchandise with turquoise, purple, embroidery, fine linen, corals, and rubies” (Ezakiel 27:16).
This stone is the third stone of the breastplate and symbolizes the Levi tribe. In the Middle Ages, this precious gem was thought to have the power to cure sight. These types of precious stones were highly appreciated and valued in biblical times and were very common.
One of the main known sources of emeralds was the mines along the Red Sea in Egypt. In this regard, there is reliable evidence that these mines were operational from 1650 a. C. Time in which the Hebrew people were in Egypt.
Sometime later these mines became known under the name of Cleopatra’s Mines, who was very fond of emeralds and it was reported that she wore them to further exalt their beauty. These emeralds were engraved in her likeness and given as gifts to her guests.
The term “emerald” is derived from the Greek word “smaragdos” which means “green precious stone”. This constitutes the fourth stone of the New Jerusalem.
In this sense, within the Bible, we can find two kinds of precious stones, one that was used in jewelry for rings, ornaments, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, among others, and another that was used in construction as a high-quality material. As can be seen in the word:
“It will be square and double, a span long and a span wide; and you will fill it with precious stones in four rows of stones; a row of a sardic stone, a topaz, and a carbuncle; the second row, an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond” (Exodus 28:16-18)
In this sense, the precious stones in the Bible constitute very important elements for different purposes such as decoration, construction, personal use, and gifts, among others, even the children of God are compared to precious stones, and in the book of Revelation many are named. of them, which can be seen in the New Jerusalem when Jesus Christ comes to earth for the second time to look for his chosen ones:
“and the foundations of the city wall were adorned with all precious stones.
The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, agate; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, onyx; the sixth, carnelian; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, hyacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls; each of the gates was a pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass” (Revelation 21:19-21).