corner graphic   Hi,    
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to

Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


Resource Toolbox
Additional Links

(σάπφειρος, from מַפיר)

Sapphire is the second foundation stone of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:19), an idea probably suggested by Isaiah 54:11. Doubtless the lapis lazuli is meant (so Revelation 21:19 Revised Version margin). According to Theophrastus (Lap. 23) the sapphire is ‘as it were spotted with gold dust.’ (ὥσπερ χρυσόπαστος), and Pliny (Historia Naturalis (Pliny) xxxvii. 38) alludes to its ‘aureus pulvis,’ and again (39), ‘in iis [sapphiris] enim aurum punctis conlucet caeruleis.’ This description does not suit the stone now called sapphire, but is fully applicable to the lapis lazuli, which ‘frequently contains disseminated particles of iron-pyrites of gold-like appearance’ (Encyclopaedia Britannica 11 xvi. 199). In Exodus 24:10 the Septuagint says that under God’s feet is ὡσεὶ ἔργον πλίνθου σαπφείρου-a fine simile for the star-gemmed azure sky (cf. Ezekiel 1:26.). The modern sapphire is probably the ancient ὑάκινθος, or ‘jacinth’ (q.v. [Note: .v. quod vide, which see.] ).

Literature-C. W. King, The Natural History of Precious Stones and Gems, 1865, pp. 273-277; J. H. Middleton, The Engraved Gems of Classical Times, 1891.

James Strahan.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Sapphire'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, April 5th, 2020
Palm Sunday
There are 7 days til Easter!
Search for…
Enter query in the box:
Choose a letter to browse:
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M 
N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  Y  Z 

Prev Entry
Next Entry
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology