8. A precious stone of a fine green color, found anciently in Ethiopia, but in modern times only in South America, Ex 28:18; Eze 27:16; 28:13. Josephus, however, and the Seventy make it a gem like a burning coal-the Indian ruby.
Heb nophek (Ex 28:18; 39:11); i.e., the "glowing stone", probably the carbuncle, a precious stone in the breastplate of the high priest. It is mentioned (Re 21:19) as one of the foundations of the New Jerusalem. The name given to this stone in the New Testament Greek is smaragdos, which means "live coal."
First in the second row on the high priest's breast-plate (Ex 28:18). Nophek, "the glowing stone," the carbuncle according to Kalisch (Ex 39:11). Tyre imported it from Syria (Eze 27:16). One of New Jerusalem's foundations (Re 21:19). Image of the rainbow round the throne (Re 4:3).
In the O.T. the word thus translated is nophek, but it is uncertain to which of the precious stones this refers. Some think it is the carbuncle. Ex 28:18; 39:11; Eze 27:16; 28:13. In the N.T. it is ?????????, which signifies 'live coal,' and is supposed to refer to some stone with prismatic crystals. Re 4:3; 21:19.
a precious stone of a rich green color, upon which its value chiefly depends. This gem was the first in the second row on the breastplate of the high priest.
It was imported to Tyre from Syria,
was used as a seal or signet, Ecclus. 32:6, as an ornament of clothing and bedding,
and is spoken of as one of the foundations of Jerusalem.
Tob. 13:16. The rainbow around the throne is compared to emerald in
EMERALD, ????, Ex 28:19; Eze 27:16; 28:13; ?????????, Re 21:19; Ecclesiastes 32:6; Tobit 13:16; Judith 10:21. This is generally supposed to be the same with the ancient smaragdus. It is one of the most beautiful of all the gems, and is of a bright green colour, without the admixture of any other. Pliny thus speaks of it: "The sight of no colour is more pleasant than green; for we love to view green fields and green leaves; and are still more fond of looking at the emerald: because all other greens are dull in comparison with this. Beside, these stones seem larger at a distance, by tinging the circumambient air. Their lustre is not changed by the sun, by the shade, nor by the light of lamps; but they have always a sensible moderate brilliancy." From the passage in Ezekiel we learn that the Tyrians traded in these jewels in the marts of Syria. They probably had them from India, or the south of Persia. The true oriental emerald is very scarce, and is only found at present in the kingdom of Cambay.