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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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(σάρδιον, a much better attested form in Revelation 4:3 than the Textus Receptus σάρδιος = Vulg. [Note: Vulgate.] ‘sardinus’)

The writer of the Apocalypse compares Him that sits upon the throne of heaven to a sardius (Revelation 4:3, Authorized Version ‘sardine stone’). The sixth foundation of the wall of the New Jerusalem is a sardius (21:20). This stone is doubtless the modern orange-red or golden ‘sard,’ which is a translucent quartz coloured with iron, nearly allied with the clearer and lighter-tinted carnelian. The Greeks commonly connected the word with Sardis, where the stone was said to have been first found; but it may be related to the Persian zerd, ‘yellow.’ Pliny says that the sardius of Babylonia was more highly prized than that of Sardis (Historia Naturalis (Pliny) xxxvii. 7). This stone was more frequently engraved than any other. It was used for Assyrian cylinder seals, Egyptian scarabs, and early Greek and Etruscan gems.

Literature.-C. W. King, The Natural History of Precious Stones and Gems, 1865, pp. 278-286.

James Strahan.

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

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