Historic Hebrew Pearl Information

Historic Hebrew pearl information from Old Testament, New Testament, & Talmud by Kunz & Stevenson.

The authorities differ in regard to Hebrew pearl information in ancient Hebrew literature; although in the Authorized Version of the Old Testament, this significance has been given to the word gabish in Job xxviii. 18, where the value of wisdom is contrasted with that of gabish. Some writers claim that this word refer to rock crystal. Other authorities are of the opinion that the word peninim in Lam. iv. 7, which has been translated as "rubies," actually signifies pearls. In Gen.ii.12, Prof. Paul Haupt has proposed to render shoham stones by pearls, since the hebrew word translated "oynx," if connected with the Asyrian sandu, might mean "the gray gem." It does not appear that they entered into the decorations of the Tabernacle and the Temple, or were largely employed in the paraphernalia of the synagogue.

Hebrew pearl information in the New Testament, however, shows that there are numerous references to the estimation in which pearls were held. In his teachings, Christ repeatedly referred to them as typifying something most precious: "The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it" (Matt. xiii.45,46); and in "casting pearls before swine," in that great Sermon on the Mount (Matt. vii.6). In picturing the glories of he heavenly City, St. John made the twelve gates of pearls (Rev. xxi.21)' and what could better serve as portals through the walls of precious stones?

In the Talmud, pearls are frequently mentioned in Hebrew pearl information, and usually as signifying something beautiful or very costly, as "a pearl that is worth thousands of zuzim" (Babbaa Batra, 146a); a "pearl that has no price" (Yerushalmi, ix. 12d); the coats which God made for Adam and Eve were "as beautiful as pearl" (Yoma, 75a). Their purchase formed one of the exceptions to the law of Ona-ah (overcharge), for the reason that two matched pearls greatly exceeded the value of each one separately (Baba Mezi'a, iv.8).

The high value attached to pearls by the ancient Hebrews is illustrated by a beautiful Rabbinical story in which only one object in nature is ranked above them. On approaching Egypt, Abraham hid Sarah in a chest, that foreign eyes might not behold her beauty. When he reached the place for paying custom dues, the collectors said, "pay us the custom"; and he re;lied, "I will pay your custom." They said to him, "Thou carriest clothes"; and he stated, "I will pay for clothes." Then they said to him, "Thou carriest gold"; and he answered, "I will pay for gold.," On this they said to him, Surely thou bearest the finest silk"; and he replied, "I will pay custom for the finest silk." They said they, "Truly it must be pearls that thou takest with thee; and he answered, "I will pay for pearls." Seeing that they could name nothing of value for which the patriarch was not willig to pay custom, they said, "It cannot be but that thou open the box and let us see what is within." So the chest was opened, and the land was illumined by the luster of Sarah's beauty. (Gen. R.xi.6 This story also exists somewhat altered in Arabic literature; see Weill's "Biblical Legends of the Musselman," New York, 1846.)


More information on pearls after Hebrew pearl information
Egyptian pearl information
Iraqi pearl information
Persian information on pearls.
Chinese information on pearls
Homepage for Karipearls

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