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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Emerald, Nophech, a precious stone, named in ; ; ; ; in all of which places it is rendered Emerald in the Authorized Version. The Septuagint and Josephus render it by Carbuncle. This name, denoting a live coal, the ancients gave to several glowing red stones resembling live coals, particularly rubies and garnets. The most valued of the carbuncles seems, however, to have been the Oriental garnet, a transparent red stone, with a violet shade, and strong vitreous luster. It was engraved upon and was probably not so hard as the ruby, which, indeed, is the most beautiful and costly of the precious stones of a red color, but is so hard that it cannot easily be subjected to the graving-tool. The Hebrew nophech, in the breastplate of the high-priest, was certainly an engraved stone; and there is no evidence that the ancients could engrave the ruby, although this has in modern times been accomplished. Upon the whole, the particular kind of stone denoted by the Hebrew word must be regarded as uncertain.





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

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