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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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זהב , Genesis 24:22 , and very frequently in all other parts of the Old Testament; χρυσος , Matthew 23:16-17 , &c; the most perfect and valuable of the metals. In Job 28:15-19 , gold is mentioned five times, and four of the words are different in the original:

1. סגור , which may mean "gold in the mine," or "shut up," as the root signifies, "in the ore,"

2. כתם , kethem, from כתם , catham, "to sign," "seal," or "stamp;"

gold made current by being coined; standard gold, exhibiting the stamp expressive of its value.

3. זהב , wrought gold, pure, highly polished gold.

4. פז , denoting solidity, compactness, and strength; probably gold formed into different kinds of plate, or vessels. Jerom, in his comment on Jeremiah 10:9 , writes "Septem dominibus apud Hebraeos appellatur aurum." The seven names, which he does not mention, are as follows, and thus distinguished by the Hebrews:

1. Zahab, gold in general.

2. Zahab tob, good gold, of a more valuable kind, Genesis 2:12 .

3. Zahab Ophir, gold of Ophir, 1 Kings 9:28 , such as was brought by the navy of Solomon.

4. Zahab muphaz, solid gold, pure, wrought gold, translated, 1

Kings 1 Kings 10:18 , "the best gold."

5. Zahab shachut, beaten gold, 2 Chronicles 9:15 .

6. Zahab segor, shut up gold; either as mentioned above, gold in the ore, or as the rabbins explain it, "gold shut up in the treasuries," gold in bullion.

7. Zahab parvaim, 2 Chronicles 3:6 . To these Buxtorf adds three others:

1. כתם , pure gold of the circulating medium.

2. בצד , gold in the treasury.

3. חרצז , choice, fine gold. Arabia had formerly its golden mines. "The gold of Sheba," Psalms 72:15 , is, in the Septuagint and Arabic versions, "the gold of Arabia." Sheba was the ancient name of Arabia Felix.

Mr. Bruce, however, places it in Africa, at Azab. The gold of Ophir, so often mentioned, must be that which was procured in Arabia, on the coast of the Red Sea. We are assured by Sanchoniathon, as quoted by Eusebius, and by Herodotus, that the Phenicians carried on a considerable traffic with this gold even before the days of Job, who speaks of it, Psalms 22:24 .

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Gold'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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