A precious stone of wine-yellow color, with occasional pale tinges of green or red. It was one of the twelve gems in the high priest's breastplate, Ex 28:17; 39:10, and was a highly prized product of Cush, or Southern Arabia, Job 28:19; Eze 28:13.
Heb pitdah (Eze 28:13; Re 21:20), a golden yellow or "green" stone brought from Cush or Ethiopia (Job 28:19). It was the second stone in the first row in the breastplate of the high priest, and had the name of Simeon inscribed on it (Ex 28:17). It is probably the chrysolite of the moderns.
From pitdah (Hebrew) by transposition. One of the hyaline corundum stones, bright yellow. Second in the first row of the high-priest's breast-plate (Ex 28:17; 39:10), ninth foundation stone of the wall of New Jerusalem (Re 21:20). Job (Job 28:19) represents it as from Ethiopia,; so Strabo (xvi. 770), Diodorus (iii. 39), and Pliny (xxxvii. 32). The king of Tyre wore it; among the nine of the 12 jewels of the high priest's breast-plate; as type of antichrist who shall usurp Christ's king priesthood (Eze 28:13). Septuagint, Vulgate, and Josephus identify the Greek topaz with the Hebrew pitdah; and Smith's Bible Dictionary identifies the topaz as our chrysolite and the ancient chrysolite as our topaz. Pliny (H. N. 37, section 8) speaks of "the green tints of the topaz," meaning our chrysolite.
The Hebrew word is pitdah, and has been supposed to be derived from an island in the Red Sea called Topazos. This would account for the ancient versions calling it 'topaz,' but the gem is supposed to agree with our chrysolite. Job 28:19 speaks of 'the topaz of Ethiopia.' It was one of the jewels in the breastplate, Ex 28:17; 39:10; and is included in the prophetical description of the symbolical 'king of Tyrus.' Eze 28:13. In the N.T. ???????? points to the same stone. Re 21:20. It is a silicate of magnesia and iron, and being comparatively soft has to be worn with care.
one of the gems used in the high priest's breastplate,
one of the foundations also of the New Jerusalem, in St. John's description of the city.
The topaz of the ancient Greeks and Romans is generally allowed to be our chrysolite, while their chrysolite is our topaz. Chrysolite is a silicate of magnesia and iron; it is so son as to lose its polish unless carefully used. It varies in color from a pale-green to a bottle-green. It is supposed that its name was derived from Topazos, an island in the Red Sea where these stones were procured.
TOPAZ, ????, Ex 28:17; 39:10; Job 28:19; Eze 28:13; ????????, Re 21:20; a precious stone of a pale dead green, with a mixture of yellow; and sometimes of fine yellow, like gold. It is very hard, and takes a fine polish. We have the authority of the Septuagint and Josephus for ascertaining this stone. The oriental topazes are most esteemed. Those of Ethiopia were celebrated for their wonderful lustre, Job 28:19.