Beryl (Heb. Tarshish)

Exodus 28:20  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
The name of this stone in the Hebrew, is precisely the same as that of the place Tarshish; and it is supposed to be derived from a root, signifying "to break or subdue.'
The hands of the bridegroom, in the Song of Solomon, are compared to gold rings set with the beryl. The chariot wheels of swiftness and power, terrible for their size, and rolling in unswerving majesty in every direction connected with the Cherubim of glory, in Ezek. 1:1616The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the color of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel. (Ezekiel 1:16), and 10: 9, are described as of the color of the beryl. These uses of the beryl in the passages quoted, seem to indicate that it is a stone emblematic of mighty subduing power; and the name of Dan, or judgment, was engraved on it.
This began the fourth and last row of the stones on the breast-plate. Praise stood at the commencement; Judgment headed the three last tribes of the camp: judgment which was to extend in two directions. For Dan was to judge his people. He was also to be as a lion's whelp, leaping on the prey from Bashan. Gen. 49:1616Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. (Genesis 49:16); Deut. 33:2222And of Dan he said, Dan is a lion's whelp: he shall leap from Bashan. (Deuteronomy 33:22).
A double judgment is also committed to the children of God: a present exercise of discipline within the house of God: (" Do not ye judge them that are within?" 1 Cor. 5: 12) and a future place of authority and rule. (" Know ye not, that the saints shall judge the world?... Know ye not, that we shall judge angels."1St. Cor. 6:2, 3.)This first exercise of internal judgment is grounded on the fact of all being brethren under the one Lordship of Christ; and it is therefore the exercise of brotherly supervision, according to the mind of the Lord as Head of the church, expressed in His Word. Where Dan is spoken of as judging his people, it is " as one of the tribes of Israel;" not as exalted above them, or set over them, but one amongst them.
But, with regard to the future, the saints will judge the world, by reason of their kingly standing. " To him that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers; even as I received of my Father." Rev. 2:26,2726And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. (Revelation 2:26‑27). " To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne: even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne." Rev. 3:2;12Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. (Revelation 3:2)
2Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. (Revelation 1:2)
What a sudden leap, as of a lion's whelp, will that be, when the Lord Himself, as the Judge, comes forth with the armies of heaven, the assembled saints, gathered round Him as joint executors of His judgments, and surprises in a moment this slumbering world, with the sudden outpouring of His vengeance. Rev. 19:1414And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. (Revelation 19:14); 2 Thess. i. 7, 8. In Rev. 5 the Church seems to be in symbol presented in two aspects; as the throned elders, and the living creatures. As elders, admitted into the counsel of God. Robed in white, and therefore priests unto Him. Seated on thrones, and thus kings, holding authority to rule and judge. Crowned as conquerors, who have fought and overcome; who have run, and have obtained the prize. In the symbols or the living creatures, we behold executive power delegated to them, to accomplish in " the world to come," the counsels of God. Thus are the saints seen in vision, as seated on thrones of judgment, ruling under the King or Kings and Lord of Lords.
But if our place hereafter, as the saints of God, is to judge the world; and if it be a responsibility already resting on us collectively, to exercise vigilant yet gracious judgment within the body; does not also the name of Dan, or Judge, attach to us individually? Are we not to exercise a rigid and constant self-judgment, in order that we may the better be able to help and exhort our brethren around us? In 1 Cor. xi., the saints are directed to judge themselves, and to examine themselves. The result of this must always be the discovery of our own shortcomings, infirmities, and corruption: which necessarily tends to cast us again upon the grace of God; upon the precious blood of Christ, and upon His living intercession. We shall be humbled by every fresh review of our own helplessness and sinfulness; and then the remembrance of Him will be true and blessed. We shall discern with increased reality the Lord's body, eat His flesh and drink His blood by faith, so as to be strengthened, as well as comforted and refreshed. Is not every exercise of conscience, which ends in self-abasement, a result of the constant work of our great High Priest, who upholds us on His breast before God; and who, by the Holy Spirit, through the Word, keeps the heart alive and awake to a sense of its own weakness and unworthiness, and to a constant feeling of dependence on Himself.