Sunday, July 10, 2011

12 Gemstones of the Bible...And Birth Stones.

As I do my research on the Properties, Histories and Myths of Gemstones, I am met, more often than not, with a phrase that reads “One of the 12 Stones of the Bible”.  Or something to that effect.
And Every time I see that phrase, I tell myself, "I am going to find out what that means”

Well, guess what. I finally did.

I wonder if anyone will ever really, TRULY, know which 12 Stones were listed in the Bible?  With translations of translations of translations, I was able to find at least 6 different list of the Stones, but here goes my best attempt.

The Stones we are talking about are from Aaron’s Breastplate of Judgement (or Decision, again depending on your translation).  Aaron was the brother of Moses and father of 12 sons, each becoming heads of the 12 Tribes of Israel.

Aaron was instructed by God to create a Breastplate of very specific dimension, and using very specific materials.  4 rows with 3 Gemstones in each to be worn over the Heart, each inscribed with the name of one of his sons.

                                   “Whenever Aaron enters the holy Place, he will bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breast piece of decision as a continuing memorial before the LORD.” Exodus 28:29

Gemstones of Biblical times were often named by the color alone of the stones, or the Country of Origin of the Stones.  This alone would make identification of the stones much more difficult.
I am going to go with the New International Version’s list-for no particular reason other than it was the first of many that I looked at.

Row1 Ruby, Topaz, Beryl
Row2 Turquoise, Sapphire, Emerald
Row3 Jacinth, Agate, Amethyst
Row4 Chrysolite, Onyx, Jasper

Some Scholars have gone so far as to say that the Stones of Aaron’s Breastplate are the basis for our 12 Birthstones...Interesting, I see some of the same stones, but how do you make that leap? Well, I will tackle that one for you as well.

The Descendants of Aaron, the High Priests, would communicate with God thru his appointed Gem. Over time each stone was imbued with specific properties, and individuals started to wear a Gem on his breast to receive their own Heavenly Blessing. Whether it was Peace and Tranquility, Strength and Courage, or Protection from Disease or Illness, Common man was able to be Blessed directly.

Just as our Birthstones rain down their Blessings on us, the Gemstones of the Bible did so from God...

1 comment:

  1. The 12 tribes are from the 12 sons of Jacob, not Aaron. However, the 12 tribes are actually 10 sons of Jacob and 2 sons of Joseph. Joseph didn't get any land but his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh did, and Levi didn't get any land either because he was the priestly tribe.