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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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There seems to be no doubt that crystal is intended by the Greek word in , as indeed the phrase of comparison 'clear as crystal' would seem naturally to suggest. In the Hebrew word kerach, which literally denotes ice, is employed with a similar signification. This is the more apparent when we recollect that crystal was anciently held to be only pure water, congealed by great length of time into ice harder than the common, and hence the Greek word for it, in its more proper signification, also signifies ice. From this it necessarily followed that crystal could only be produced in the regions of perpetual ice; and this was accordingly the ancient belief; but we now know that it is found in the warmest regions. Theophrastus (54) reckons crystal among the pellucid stones used for engraved seals. In common parlance we apply the term crystal (as the ancients apparently did) to a glass-like transparent stone, commonly of a hexagonal form, which, from being found in rocks, is called by mineralogists rock-crystal. It is a stone of the flint family, the most refined kind of quartz.





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Crystal'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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