Saturday, August 25, 2012

Chrysolite in the Bible

Olivine gemstones from Zabargad mines were often mixed in ancient times with emeralds or topaz. The real thing was called chrysolite (Greek for gold and stone). This is one of the twelve stones in the Priestly breastplate (Pit'dah (in the masoretic text) / Topazios Exodus 28:15-19)

Chyrsolite appears in the description of the glory of city wall of new Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation 21:19-20.

Chrysolite gem is used in Catholic Bishop's ring as a symbol of purity.

Green man in Daniel 10:6?
On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank(F) of the great river, the Tigris, I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen,(I) with a belt of fine gold(J) from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like topaz, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches,his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude.

I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; those who were with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves. So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless. Then I heard him speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground.
Daniel 10:4-9 NIS
Powerful vision but does the Book of Daniel indeed suggest that His body was chrysolite greenish? That would definitely be the first mentioning of the famous green man of UFO stories (although not so small).

Masoretic text does not have the word Pit'dah for topaz/chrysolite but rather Tarsis  וגויתו כתרשׁישׁ
Also the ancient Greek translation LXX has Tharsis καὶ τὸ σῶμα αὐτοῦ ὡσεὶ θαρσις
Vulgata translates et corpus eius quasi chrysolitus

What is Tarsis? 21st Century King James Version translates it as beryl instead of the topaz/chrysolite in NIS. Also the original KJV has beryl.
That jewel names in Hebrew and Aramaic are difficult to interpret is shown by the Luther Bibel which has bluish tone! Sein Leib war wie Türkis (turquoise)

Rather than a truly out-of-this-world body color of green the tone intended by the word Tarsis might be yellowish or golden in the sense of yellow chrysolite?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your insite on this. I study mosly alone and found it helpful and thought provoking. Lillian from Indiana