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Stones Precious

Stones, Precious. Precious stones are frequently alluded to in the Holy Scriptures; they were known and very highly valued in the earliest times. The Tyrians traded in precious stones supplied by Syria. Ezek. 27:16. The merchants of Sheba and Raamah in south Arabia, and doubtless India and Ceylon, supplied the markets of Tyre with various precious stones. The art of engraving on precious stones was known from the very earliest times. Gen. 38:18. The twelve stones of the breastplate were engraved each one with the name of one of the tribes. Ex. 28:17–21. It is an undecided question whether the diamond was known to the early nations of antiquity. The Authorized Version gives it as the rendering of the Heb. yahalo╠ém, but it is probable that the jasper is intended. Precious stones are used in Scripture in a figurative sense, to signify value, beauty, durability, etc., in those objects with which they are compared. See Song 5:14; Isa. 54:11–12; Lam. 4:7; Rev. 4:3; 21:10, 21.