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Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia


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One of the precious metals. There are six Hebrew words which denote "gold," four of which occur in Job (xxviii:15-17): (1) , the most common term, used on account of the yellow color it is generally accompanied by epithets, as "pure" (Exodus 25:11 ), "beaten," or "mixed" (IKings 10:16), "refined" (1Chronicles 28:18 ), "fine" (2Chronicles 3:5 ). (2) , "treasured," fine gold (Job 28:15 used elsewhere as an adjective with ). (3) , pure or native gold (Job 28:17 and elsewhere) the word (IKings 10:18) either is an adjective formed from or it stands for (comp. Jeremiah 10:9 and Daniel 10:5 ). (4) , gold ore (Job 22:24 ). (5) , a poetical term the meaning of which is "hidden" (Song of Song of Solomon 5:11 and elsewhere). (6) , also a poetical term, the meaning of which is "yellow" (Proverbs 8:10 and elsewhere). Gold was known from the earliest times ( Genesis 2:11 ) and was chiefly used at first for the fabrication of ornaments (Genesis 24:22 ). It is only later, in the time of the Judges, that gold is mentioned as money (Judges 8:26 ). It was abundant in ancient times (1Chronicles 22:16 2Chronicles 1:15 and elsewhere), and a great quantity of it was used to ornament the houses of the rich and more especially the temples. Both sides of the walls of the Tabernacle were covered with gold, while the Ark of the Covenant and all the other utensils were made of pure gold ( Exodus 25 -xxvii. passim ). In the Temple of Solomon even the floor and the ceiling were covered with gold (IKings 6:22,30). Gold was used also in making the garments of the high priest (Exodus 28 passim ). The crowns of kings were of gold (2Samuel 12:30 ). Solomon and certain other kings had their shields and bucklers made of gold (IKings 10:16,17 1Chronicles 18:7 ).

The countries particularly mentioned as producing gold are: Havilah (Genesis 2:11,12 ), Sheba (IKings 10:2,10), Ophir (ib. 9:28 Job 28:16 ), Uphaz (probably the same as Ophir, being a corruption of ) (Jeremiah 10:9 Daniel 10:5 ), and Parvaim (2Chronicles 3:6 ). Gold in the Bible is the symbol of purity (Job 23:10 ), of nobility (Lamentations 4:1 ), of great value (Isaiah 13:12 Lamentations 4:2 ). Babylon was called by Isaiah (xiv:4) the "golden city," and the entire empire figures in Daniel (ii:38) as a head of gold. The human head is compared to a golden bowl (Ecclesiastes 12:6 ).

E. G. H. M. Sel.

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Bibliography Information
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Gold'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901.

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