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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature

Topaz

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A precious stone; one of those which were in the breastplate of the high-priest (), and the origin of which is referred to Cush (). It has been identified with the gem to which the moderns have applied that name. This is a precious stone, having a strong glass luster. Its prevailing color is wine-yellow of every degree of shade. The dark shade of this color passes over into carnation red, and sometimes, although rarely, into lilac; the pale shade of the wine-yellow passes into grayish; and from yellowish-white into greenish-white and pale green, tincal and celadon-green. It may thus be difficult to determine whether the stone in question was the yellow topaz; but that it was a topaz there is little reason to doubt.

It is clear that the stone was highly prized by the Hebrews. Job declares that wisdom was more precious than the topaz of Cush (); and as the name Cush includes Southern Arabia and the Arabian Gulf, the intimation coincides with the statement of Pliny and others, that the topazes known to them came from the Topaz Island in the Red Sea, whence they was probably brought by the Phoenicians. In , the topaz is named among the precious stones with which the King of Tyre was decked.

 

 

 

 

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Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Topaz'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature". https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/kbe/t/topaz.html.

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