A well-known valuable metal, found in many parts of the world, and obtained anciently in Ophir, Job 28:16; Parvaim, 2Ch 3:6; Sheba, and Raamah, Eze 27:22. Job alludes to gold in various forms, Job 22:24; 28:15-19. Abraham was rich in it, and female ornaments were early made of it, Ge 13:2; 24:22,35. It is spoken of throughout Scripture; and the use of it among and ancient Hebrews, in its native and mixed state, and for the same purposes as at present, was very common. The Ark of the Covenant was overlaid with pure gold; the mercy seat, the vessels and utensils belonging to the tabernacle, and those also of the house of the Lord, as well as the drinking-vessels of Solomon, were of gold.
(4.) Heb betzer, "ore of gold or silver" as dug out of the mine (Job 36:19, where it means simply riches).
Gold was known from the earliest times (Ge 2:11). It was principally used for ornaments (Ge 24:22). It was very abundant (1Ch 22:14; Na 2:9; Da 3:1). Many tons of it were used in connection with the temple (2Ch 1:15). It was found in Arabia, Sheba, and Ophir (1Ki 9:28-10:1; Job 28:16), but not in Palestine.
In Da 2:38, the Babylonian Empire is spoken of as a "head of gold" because of its great riches; and Babylon was called by Isaiah (Isa 14:4) the "golden city" (R.V. marg., "exactress," adopting the reading marhebah, instead of the usual word madhebah).
Emblem of purity (Job 23:10), of nobility (La 4:1). Zaahaab, "yellow gold," as geld from gel, yellow. Sagur, "treasured gold " (1Ki 6:20). Paz, "native gold" (Job 28:17; Song 5:15). Betser, "gold earth," i.e. raw ore (Job 22:24). Kethem, figuratively (Job 37:22 margin) "golden splendor"; but Maurer literally, "gold is to be found in northern regions, but God cannot, be found out because of His majesty" (compare Job 28). Charuts, "dug out gold" (Pr 8:10).
It was not coined in ancient times, but is represented on Egyptian tombs as weighed out in the form of rings of fixed weight (Ge 43:21). Simon Maccabeus (1 Maccabees 15) was the first who coined Jewish money. Arabia, Sheba, and Ophir, Uphaz, and Parvaim (used for "gold" in Job 22:24), were the gold producing countries. It is no longer found in Arabia. The Asiatics have always possessed more gold in ornaments than in money.
The well-known precious metal. It was discovered very early. Ge 2:11-12. It was purified by fire. Pr 17:3; Zec 13:9; and we read of 'choice gold,' 'fine gold,' 'pure gold.' Precious things are compared with gold to show their value. Ps 119:72,127. It was extensively used in the tabernacle and in the temple; some things being made of gold, and others being overlaid with it. For fabrics the gold was beaten into thin plates and cut into wires to be woven with the blue, the purple, and the fine twined linen. The heavenly Jerusalem is also described as of 'pure gold.' 21/18'>Re 21:18,21. Being the most costly metal it is regarded as symbolical of what pertains to God, and as signifying divine righteousness. The Lord Jesus counselled the poor Laodiceans to buy of Him 'gold tried in the fire,' that they might be rich. Re 3:18.
Gold was known from the very earliest times.
It was at first used chiefly for ornaments, etc.
Coined money was not known to the ancients till a comparatively late period; and on the Egyptian tombs gold is represented as being weighed in rings for commercial purposes. Comp.
Gold was extremely abundant in ancient times,
but this did not depreciate its value, because of the enormous quantities consumed by the wealthy in furniture, etc.
The chief countries mentioned as producing gold are Arabia, Sheba and Ophir.
GOLD, ???, Ge 24:22, and very frequently in all other parts of the Old Testament; ??????, Mt 23:16-17, &c; the most perfect and valuable of the metals. In Job 28:15-19, gold is mentioned five times, and four of the words are different in the original:
1. ????, which may mean "gold in the mine," or "shut up," as the root signifies, "in the ore,"
2. ???, kethem, from ???, catham, "to sign," "seal," or "stamp;" gold made current by being coined; standard gold, exhibiting the stamp expressive of its value.
3. ???, wrought gold, pure, highly polished gold.
4. ??, denoting solidity, compactness, and strength; probably gold formed into different kinds of plate, or vessels. Jerom, in his comment on Jer 10:9, writes "Septem dominibus apud Hebraeos appellatur aurum."
The seven names, which he does not mention, are as follows, and thus distinguished by the Hebrews:
1. Zahab, gold in general. 2. Zahab tob, good gold, of a more valuable kind, Ge 2:12. 3. Zahab Ophir, gold of Ophir, 1Ki 9:28, such as was brought by the navy of Solomon. 4. Zahab muphaz, solid gold, pure, wrought gold, translated, 1Ki 10:18, "the best gold." 5. Zahab shachut, beaten gold, 2Ch 9:15. 6. Zahab segor, shut up gold; either as mentioned above, gold in the ore, or as the rabbins explain it, "gold shut up in the treasuries," gold in bullion.
7. Zahab parvaim, 2Ch 3:6. To these Buxtorf adds three others: 1. ???, pure gold of the circulating medium. 2. ???, gold in the treasury.
3. ????, choice, fine gold. Arabia had formerly its golden mines. "The gold of Sheba," Ps 72:15, is, in the Septuagint and Arabic versions, "the gold of Arabia." Sheba was the ancient name of Arabia Felix.
Mr. Bruce, however, places it in Africa, at Azab. The gold of Ophir, so often mentioned, must be that which was procured in Arabia, on the coast of the Red Sea. We are assured by Sanchoniathon, as quoted by Eusebius, and by Herodotus, that the Phenicians carried on a considerable traffic with this gold even before the days of Job, who speaks of it, 22:24.