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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Carbuncle

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is the rendering in the Auth. Vers. of the following Hebrews and Gr. words: 1. אֶקְדָּח, ekdach', only Isaiah 54:12 (Sept. κρύσταλλος, Vulg. [lapis] sculptus), some sparkling gem (from קָדִח, to inflame). 2. בָּרֶקֶת, bare'keth, only Exodus 28:17; Exodus 39:10, as the third in the first row of the high-priest's breastplate (Sept. σμάραγδος, Vulg. smaragdus, i.e. emerald); or בּ רקִת, barekath', only Ezekiel 28:13 (Sept. ὀνύχιον, Vulg. smaragdus). From the etymology (בָּרִק, to flash), we assume that a stone of a bright coruscant color is meant. Kalisch translates it smaragd, or emerald, and says it is a sort of precious corundum of strong glass luster, a beautiful green color, with many degrees of shade, pellucid and doubly refractive. Pliny enumerates twelve species of emerald. They are not rare in Egypt (see Braun. de Vest. Sacerdott. p. 517 sq.). 3. ῎Ανθραξ, lit. a coal of fire, Tobit 13:17; Sirach 32:5. 4. The carbuncle is thought by many to be denoted by the word נֹפֶךְ, no'phek ("emerald," Exodus 28:18; Exodus 39:11; Ezekiel 27:16; Ezekiel 28:13). (See EMERALD). Under the name "carbuncle" are comprehended several brilliant red stones of the clay family which resemble a glowing coal, such as the ruby, the garnet, the spinel, but particularly the almandin, that is, the noble Oriental garnet, a transparent red stone with a violet shade and strong glass luster. Probably it is not so hard as the ruby, which, indeed, is the most beautiful and costly of the precious stones of red color, but, at the same time, so hard that engravings cannot easily be made in it (Rosenmü ller, Alterth. 4:1, 34). In the present state of our knowled e respecting the ancient Hebrew mineralogy, it is impossible to determine with precision what particular gem is denoted by either of these terms, although they all evidently were precious stones of a brilliant fiery hue. (See GEM).


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Carbuncle'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/c/carbuncle.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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