Stones

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 8
PRECIOUS STONES were much valued in Palestine. They were used in the breastplate of the high priest, Solomon garnished the temple with them, and they also abound in the description of the New Jerusalem in the Revelation. As the most costly things on earth they are selected to typify the graces of Christ as reflected in His saints (Ex. 28:17-2017And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. 18And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. 19And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. 20And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings. (Exodus 28:17‑20); 1 Chron. 29:22Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for things to be made of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and the brass for things of brass, the iron for things of iron, and wood for things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colors, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance. (1 Chronicles 29:2); Rev. 21:18-2118And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. 19And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; 20The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. 21And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. (Revelation 21:18‑21)).
MEMORIAL STONES. Large stones, or heaps of stones, were often raised to commemorate an event, or to be a witness of some compact (Gen. 28:1818And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. (Genesis 28:18); Gen. 31:45-4645And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. 46And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there upon the heap. (Genesis 31:45‑46); Josh. 7:2626And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the Lord turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day. (Joshua 7:26); Josh. 15:66And the border went up to Beth-hogla, and passed along by the north of Beth-arabah; and the border went up to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben: (Joshua 15:6); 1 Sam. 6:1515And the Levites took down the ark of the Lord, and the coffer that was with it, wherein the jewels of gold were, and put them on the great stone: and the men of Beth-shemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices the same day unto the Lord. (1 Samuel 6:15); 1 Sam. 7:1212Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Eben-ezer, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us. (1 Samuel 7:12)). In the exploration of Palestine many large stones have been found, which apparently had been erected as memorial stones. Heaps of stones are also found where some enemy was defeated, and if the circumstances are known to the Arabs, every passerby is expected to add a stone.
BUILDING STONES. For the foundation of the temple Solomon ordered “great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones.” As Jerusalem was built on two or three hills, to obtain a level place for the temple much stonework had to be erected on the shelving rock, before any part of the temple itself could be commenced. Some of such stonework is still to be seen in situ. Some are “great stones,” one measures 38 feet 9 inches. They are so beautifully squared that they need no cement between them; they have a narrow draft cut along the edges. There is a quarry under Jerusalem, from which much stone had anciently been taken. See JERUSALEM.
Stones were also used for other purposes. In early days they were made into weapons; circumcision was practiced with sharp stones (Ex. 4:2525Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. (Exodus 4:25); Josh. 5:2-32At that time the Lord said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time. 3And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins. (Joshua 5:2‑3)). The law was engraven on stones (Ex. 24:1212And the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. (Exodus 24:12); Josh. 8:3232And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel. (Joshua 8:32); 2 Cor. 3:77But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: (2 Corinthians 3:7)). Stones were cast upon land to spoil it for agriculture (2 Kings 3:19,2519And ye shall smite every fenced city, and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree, and stop all wells of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones. (2 Kings 3:19)
25And they beat down the cities, and on every good piece of land cast every man his stone, and filled it; and they stopped all the wells of water, and felled all the good trees: only in Kir-haraseth left they the stones thereof; howbeit the slingers went about it, and smote it. (2 Kings 3:25)
). They were used in the punishment of stoning (John 10:31-3331Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. (John 10:31‑33)). And given as a token of approval, as the white stone in (Rev. 2:1717He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. (Revelation 2:17)).