Precious stones are frequently alluded to in Scriptures; they were known and very highly valued in the earliest times. The Tyrians traded in precious stones supplied by Syria. (Ezekiel 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. (Genesis 38:18) The twelve atones of the breastplate were engraved each one with the name of one of the tribes. (Exodus 28:17-21) It is an undecided question whether the diamond was known to the early nations of antiquity. The Authorized Version gives if as the rendering of the Heb. yahalom, 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 of Solomon 5:14; Isaiah 54:11,12; Lamentations 4:7; Revelation 4:3; 21:10,21)
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