Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Isaiah 38:2 indicates that King Hezekiah showed the king of Babylon all the treasures in the kingdom. Precious stones, silver and gold were listed as being in abundance in the Israelite nation.
Isaiah 40:19 mentions the silver and gold that were used to cover the idols that were worshiped by Israel. Chapter 44:9 also mentions the idols crafted by silver and gold except in this instance God reveals that they are not the true God. The idols would be destroyed. Chapter 46:6 repeats the same use of gold and silver as being used for idols.
Isaiah 54:11-12 indicates that stones, colorful gems, sapphires, rubies, and other precious stones are part of the foundation established by Israel, the foundation for all other nations who worship the Lord. Isaiah 60:6 mentions gold while verse 9 lists gold and silver. Both times the rich minerals are carried into the nation of Israel by the Gentiles and on the ships of Tarshish. Verse 17 states that silver and gold would be carried into the nation. Isaiah 61:10 refers to the nation of Israel as being adorned like a bride with jewels pleasing to the Lord who is the bridegroom of the nation.
Isaiah 10:13 The King of Assyria is forewarned by God for his stealing of the Israelite treasures.
Isaiah 13 refers to the silver and gold as pertaining to the people of the Medes.
Isaiah 28:5 describes the Lord's return with a diadem or jeweled head adornment or what we typically refer to as a crown. Verse 16 of that same chapter tells us that Israel is the cornerstone or foundation of God's plan. The foundation is a precious cornerstone.
Isaiah 30:6 is a reference back to the days Israel was in bondage in Egypt. As they left the country they carried treasures and riches from the women which became part of their wardrobe. Obviously not all treasures and riches were precious stones because the Bible does not specify exactly what was taken but certainly some of the items were fine jewels. Verse 22 mentions silver and gold as being used to cover idols. Isaiah 31:7 again states that the idols of gold and silver would be destroyed.
Overview of the Book and its message:
References to precious gems, silver, and gold are found in this book which deals with the judgment of Israel for sin in their lives. The last part of the book shows God's love for His nation with a message of comfort and hope.
Isaiah 2:7 mentions the abundance of silver and gold in the land along with numerous “treasures”. Although no precious gems or stones are mentioned specifically the implication means natural resources which could very well include numerous gems.
Verse 20 of the same chapter reveals that the people of Israel had fashioned idols of silver and gold.
Isaiah 3:18 refers to the many types of jewelry that adorned the Jewish woman. References to anklet bracelets, scarves & crescents, pendants, bracelets, veils, and headdresses are listed. Leg ornaments, headbands, perfume boxes and charms and rings also are part of the adornments that complete part of the wardrobe. Nose jewels, outer garments and purses and mirrors are also recorded as items which contained other stones.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Several stones are mentioned with reference to the King of Tyre.
In verse 13...
You were in Eden, the garden of God;
every precious stone adorned you:
ruby, topaz and emerald,
chrysolite, onyx and jasper,
sapphire, turquoise and beryl.
Your settings and mountings were made of gold;
on the day you were created they were prepared.
There are nine stones mentioned in this verse plus the brilliance of gold. At one time everything beautiful adorned man in a perfect setting. God shows how brightly his creation shines before the temptation of Adam and Eve and the move out of the garden.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Solomon had a reputation for being a very wise man with many resources. His reputation was well-known throughout the world since he gathered materials from all over for the construction of both the temple and his palace. The riches he held was greater than any king in the nation of Israel. And there was never a king afterwards who would be able to boast of the great wealth of Solomon.
I Kings 10 announces the arrival of the Queen of Sheba to the palace. She arrived in great splendor with a large group of attendants. The Queen had heard of Solomon's wealth and wanted to see for herself if what she had heard was true. As part of her gift to Solomon she brought many precious stones along with gold and silver. No one knows exactly what stones were brought but the image of stones on a surface in a glistening array of colors comes to my mind.
One other important part of this story is the Queen's reaction to Solomon and his prosperity. It is interesting to note that when she saw the magnificence of Solomon's court, she gave praise to the Lord who had provided all the blessings to Solomon. She stated “Blessed be the Lord your God”.
Although the 10 Commandments do not have 12 different stones, there are two possibilities on the material used for the tablets.
The overall weight of the stones carried up the mountain was probably no more than 10 pounds meaning that the normal image presented in paintings is simply too heavy to be carried up the mountain. The abundance of clay and shale in the region and the uncovering of artifacts with engravings gives one possibility for the actual stone that carried the handwriting of the Lord down from the mountain to the people of Israel.
On one site the author believes that the 10 Commandments were carved on a blue stone similar to sapphire. The stone is actually a lapis which is a dark color and is somewhat delicate. It could be easily engraved without breaking and is a softer mineral than the some of the other gems mentioned in the Bible.
Another source believes that the 10 Commandments were carved on an emerald stone. Rather than the green color we associate with the stone today, the more common form of the stone was a deep red color. http://rockhoundingar.com/miscellaneous/bible.html
Just think, the 10 Commandments were a directive from God that would help his people shine like a brilliant jewel in a land where others lived in darkness.
Malachi 3:16-17 Throughout the book the challenge is to make the people aware of the Lord's return so that they will be motivated to live a more Godly life (chapter 1-2). Part of the book of Malachi (chapter 3) deals with the coming of Christ. The very last chapter of the book mentions the actual events that will occur near the time of the Lord's coming.
In chapter 3 the reference to the last days forewarns the people that God is surely going to return to earth. Numerous items that need to be addressed by the people are discussed extensively in the first part of this chapter. The last part reminds the people that there will be a final recounting of the life they had lived when the book of life is opened. In that book there are the names of all saints but it is in verse 17 that God indeed describes his the people who have remained faithful. His followers are called jewels. How wonderful to know that I can be a jewel to the Lord and that his light will shine on me through his beauty. “They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, on the day that I will make them my jewels.” [NKJV].
Precious gems. Gems that are beautiful to God in spite of the problems and temptations where we have failed him. It is only in the heart that God truly sees who we are. And as a believer it is wonderful to think that I am a jewel, something glowing and lovely to the Lord.