Exodus 28:17
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Then mount four rows of precious stones on it. The first row shall be carnelian, chrysolite and beryl;

New Living Translation
Mount four rows of gemstones on it. The first row will contain a red carnelian, a pale-green peridot, and an emerald.

English Standard Version
You shall set in it four rows of stones. A row of sardius, topaz, and carbuncle shall be the first row;

New American Standard Bible
"You shall mount on it four rows of stones; the first row shall be a row of ruby, topaz and emerald;

King James Bible
And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Place a setting of gemstones on it, four rows of stones: The first row should be a row of carnelian, topaz, and emerald;

International Standard Version
You are to mount on it a setting for four rows of stones. The first row is to contain carnelian, topaz, and emerald;

NET Bible
You are to set in it a setting for stones, four rows of stones, a row with a ruby, a topaz, and a beryl--the first row;

New Heart English Bible
You shall set in it settings of stones, four rows of stones: a row of ruby, topaz, and beryl shall be the first row;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Fasten four rows of precious stones on it. In the first row put red quartz, topaz, and emerald.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, four rows of stones: a row of carnelian, topaz, and smaragd shall be the first row;

New American Standard 1977
“And you shall mount on it four rows of stones; the first row shall be a row of ruby, topaz and emerald;

Jubilee Bible 2000
And thou shalt fill it with four rows of stones; The order shall be a ruby, an emerald, and a chrysolite; this shall be the first order.

King James 2000 Bible
And you shall set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row.

American King James Version
And you shall set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row.

American Standard Version
And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, four rows of stones: a row of sardius, topaz, and carbuncle shall be the first row;

Douay-Rheims Bible
And thou shalt set in it four rows of stones: in the first row shall be a sardius stone, and a topaz, and an emerald:

Darby Bible Translation
And thou shalt set in it settings of stones -- four rows of stones: [one] row, a sardoin, a topaz, and an emerald -- the first row;

English Revised Version
And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, four rows of stones: a row of sardius, topaz, and carbuncle shall be the first row;

Webster's Bible Translation
And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row.

World English Bible
You shall set in it settings of stones, four rows of stones: a row of ruby, topaz, and beryl shall be the first row;

Young's Literal Translation
And thou hast set in it settings of stone, four rows of stone; a row of sardius, topaz, and carbuncle is the first row;
Study Bible
The Breastpiece
16"It shall be square and folded double, a span in length and a span in width. 17"You shall mount on it four rows of stones; the first row shall be a row of ruby, topaz and emerald; 18and the second row a turquoise, a sapphire and a diamond;…
Cross References
Revelation 21:19
The foundations of the city walls were adorned with every kind of precious stone: The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald,

Exodus 28:16
"It shall be square and folded double, a span in length and a span in width.

Exodus 28:18
and the second row a turquoise, a sapphire and a diamond;

Exodus 39:10
And they mounted four rows of stones on it. The first row was a row of ruby, topaz, and emerald;

Ezekiel 28:13
"You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz and the diamond; The beryl, the onyx and the jasper; The lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, Was in you. On the day that you were created They were prepared.
Treasury of Scripture

And you shall set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row.

thou shalt

Exodus 28:9,11 And you shall take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of …

Exodus 39:10 And they set in it four rows of stones: the first row was a sardius, …

Malachi 3:17 And they shall be mine, said the LORD of hosts, in that day when …

set in it settings of stones. Heb. fill in its fillings of stone. the first row

Ezekiel 28:13 You have been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was …

Revelation 21:19-21 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all …

a sardius or ruby. The Hebrew odem, from adam, to be red, ruddy, seems to denote the ruby; as adam does in Persian a beautiful gem, of a fine deep red colour, with a mixture of purple.

Job 28:18 No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of …

Proverbs 3:15 She is more precious than rubies: and all the things you can desire …

Proverbs 8:11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be …

Proverbs 20:15 There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge …

Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

Lamentations 4:7 Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they …

a topaz. Pitdah, is constantly rendered by the LXX and Vulgate with which agrees Josephus. The topaz is a precious stone, of a pale, dead green, with a mixture of yellow, sometimes of a fine yellow; and hence called chrysolyte by the moderns, from its gold colour

Job 28:19 The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued …

Revelation 21:20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth…

a carbuncle. Bareketh, from barak, to lighten, glitter, a very elegant gem, of a deep red colour, with a mixture of scarlet

Isaiah 54:11,12 O you afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, …

(17-19) Set in it settings of stones . . . There is always considerable difficulty in identifying ancient with modern gems, the etymologies of the words being frequently uncertain, the names (where they have survived) having sometimes changed their meaning, and the opinions of early commentators, who might seem to speak with some authority, being discrepant. In the present case, scarcely one of the twelve stones can be said to be determined with certainty. 1. The dem, identified by the LXX. and the Vulg. With the "sard," has been regarded as the ruby, the carbuncle, and the carnelian. Etymologically the word means "red," or "the red stone." The ruby is certainly wrong, since ancient engravers could not cut it. Either "sard" or "carnelian" is probably intended, both being common in Egypt. 2. The pitdah is certainly not the topaz, which could no more be cut than the ruby. If the word is derived, as supposed, from a root meaning "pale," the chrysolite, which resembles a pale topaz, but is far softer, may be meant. 3. The br?keth is rendered smaragdus, "emerald," by the LXX. and Vulg.; but neither could the emerald be cut by the ancient engravers. The word means "brightly flashing," which tells us next to nothing. "Beryl" and "a kind of corundum" have been suggested; but neither is particularly sparkling. 4. The nphek, translated ?????? by the LXX. and Josehus, may well be the "carbuncle," as is now generally supposed. It cannot, any more than the dem, be the ruby. 5. The sappir one might have supposed by its name to be certainly the "sapphire;" but this, again, is a gem which ancient engravers could not cut. It would seem that here we have one of the cases where the name has been transferred from one stone to another, the modern "lapis lazuli" being the gem which was called "sapphire" by the ancients. 6. The yah?lm is certainly not the "diamond," which is the hardest of all gems. The LXX. and Vulg. translate by "jasper" (??????, jaspis); but this seems really to have been the twelfth stone. Other renderings are mere conjectures, and the yah?lm must be regarded as unknown. 7. The leshem, rendered "ligure" by the LXX., the Vulgate, Josephus, and our translators, is probably the stone known to the ancients as lapis ligurius, but what that stone was is a matter of great uncertainty. It has been regarded as amber, as jacinth, and as tourmaline; but amber does not admit of engraving, while jacinth and tourmaline are pure conjectures. This stone, then, must also be regarded as unknown. 8. The shevo, rendered achates, "agate," by the LXX. and the Vulg., is generally allowed to have been that stone, which was well known to the ancients, and widely used for engraving. 9. The akhlmh was regarded as the amethyst by the LXX., the Vulgate, and Josephus; but it has been suggested that it may have been "malachite" (Knobel); and there is no disproving the suggestion. Still the amethyst, which is easily engraved, and was well known in Egypt, should find a place in the present list, and may well have been intended by the akhlmh. 10. The tarshish, by its name, should be a stone brought from Tarshish, which is either Tarsus or Tartessus. Some suppose it to have been the beryl, some the chrysolite, others the turquoise. There are really no sufficient grounds for identifying it with any known gem. 11. The shham has been already discussed (see Note on Exodus 28:9), and identified with the onyx, or the sardonyx. 12. The ysh'peh should, by its name, be the "jasper," which was one of the stones most used in Egypt, and which could scarcely have been absent from the present list. The LXX., however, translate "onyx," Josephus and the Vulgate "beryl;" so that here again there is uncertainty. The views of the present writer may be best presented to the reader by means of a table:--

1st Row of Gems . . .

2nd Row . . .

3rd Row . . .

4th Row . . .

Odern

(the Sard)

Nphck

(the Carbuncle)

Leshem

(uncertain)

Tarshish

(uncertain)

Pitdah

(the Chrysolite)

Sappir

(the Lapis Lazuli)

Shevo

(the Agate)

Shham

(the Onyx or the

Sardonyx)

Br?tketh

(uncertain)

Yuhlm

(uncertain)

Akhlmh

(the Amethyst)

Yush'peh

(the Jasper)

Verse 17. - Settings of stones. These were similar to those of the two shoulder stones - i.e. of filagree or cloisonne work - as appears from Exodus 39:13. The first row of the stones is said to have been composed of a sardius, or sard, a topaz, and a carbuncle. Of these names the first only would seem to be tolerably certain. The second cannot be right, since the topaz was too hard a stone to be engraved by the ancient engravers. We may conjecture that the chrysolite, a pale stone not unlike the topaz, but far less hard, was the Genesis intended. The "carbuncle" is also thought to be wrong; and the "beryl" is suggested by some; by others "a sort of precious corundum." Emerald, to which the "smaragdus" of the LXX. and Josephus would seem to point, cannot be right, since that stone is fully as hard as the topaz. And thou shalt set in it settings of stones,.... Or "fill in it fillings of stones" (d); which shows that there were in it ouches, or sockets of gold, the hollows of which were to be filled up with precious stones:

even four rows of stones; making a four square, and so filling up the measure of the breastplate:

the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle; about these stones, and those that follow, there is a great variety of interpretations of them, both among Jews and Christians; and they seem to be little known: our translators upon the whole seem to be as right as any in giving the names of them; the first of these, the "sardius", is a red stone of a blood colour, as the "cornelian" or "ruby", and which some have thought is here meant, and has its name either from the place where it has been found, Sardis or Sardinia; or rather from its red colour; for "sered" signifies red in Ezekiel 28:13 as Braunius (e) has observed from Kimchi; and so Odem, which is the word here used, signifies, and undoubtedly intends a stone of such a colour; and it is highly probable that this is the Demium of Pliny (f), which is one of the three kinds of sardius in India; and the red is so called from its redness, as the same Braunius observes. The second stone, the "topaz", had its name, according to Pliny (g), from an island in Arabia, in the Red sea, called Topazos; and the best topaz is the topaz of Cush or Arabia, as in Job 28:19. The topaz of the ancients was of a green colour; and so the three Targums call this stone Jarken or Jarketha, which signifies green; hence some have taken this to be the emerald, which is of a fine green colour: the third stone is the "carbuncle", as we render it; whatever stone is meant, it must be a bright and glittering one, like lightning, as the word signifies; wherefore some have taken it to be the emerald, so the Septuagint and Braunius (h); it being a very radiant and glittering stone, of a grass green, and very refreshing to the sight; but Danaeus (i) says, that the carbuncle is that species of the ruby, which of all is most beautiful and excellent, and darts out light like lightning to those that look at it at a distance, and shines in the middle of the night and darkness, so that it enlightens places near it, as if it were a sun:

this shall be the first row; now upon these three stones were engraven the names of Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, as both the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem agree.

(d) "et implebis in eo plenitudinem lapidis", Montanus; "vel eum impletione lapidis", Pagninus; "implebis in eo impletione lapidis", Drusius. (e) De Vestitu Sacerd. Heb. l. 2. c. 8. sect. 10. p. 639. (f) Nat. Hist. l. 37. c. 7. (g) Ibid. l. 6. c. 29. (h) Ut supra, (De Vestitu Sacerd. Heb. l. 2.) c. 10. sect. 4. p. 653. (i) Apud De Dieu in loc. 28:15-30 The chief ornament of the high priest, was the breastplate, a rich piece of cloth, curiously worked. The name of each tribe was graven in a precious stone, fixed in the breastplate, to signify how precious, in God's sight, believers are, and how honourable. How small and poor soever the tribe was, it was as a precious stone in the breastplate of the high priest; thus are all the saints dear to Christ, however men esteem them. The high priest had the names of the tribes, both on his shoulders and on his breast, which reminds us of the power and the love with which our Lord Jesus pleads for those that are his. He not only bears them up in his arms with almighty strength, but he carries them in his bosom with tender affection. What comfort is this to us in all our addresses to God! The Urim and Thummim, by which the will of God was made known in doubtful cases, were put in this breastplate. Urim and Thummim signify light and integrity. There are many conjectures what these were; the most probable opinion seems to be, that they were the twelve precious stones in the high priest's breastplate. Now, Christ is our Oracle. By him God, in these last days, makes known himself and his mind to us, Heb 1:1,2; Joh 1:18. He is the true Light, the faithful Witness, the Truth itself, and from him we receive the Spirit of Truth, who leads into all truth.
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