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. 28:17-20; 1 Chron. 29:2; Rev. 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. 28:18; Gen. 31:45-46; Josh. 7:26; Josh. 15:6; 1 Sam. 6:15; 1 Sam. 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. 4:25; Josh. 5:2-3). The law was engraven on stones (Ex. 24:12; Josh. 8:32; 2 Cor. 3:7). Stones were cast upon land to spoil it for agriculture (2 Kings 3:19,25). They were used in the punishment of stoning (John 10:31-33). And given as a token of approval, as the white stone in (Rev. 2:17).
Metaphorically stones represent hardness, strength, firmness: as the “stony heart” (Ezek. 11:19; Ezek. 36:26). The Lord Jesus is the “stone” which the Jewish builders refused, but He became the head stone of the corner (Matt. 21:42). He is also the “living stone,” to whom the saints come as “living stones,” and are built up “a spiritual house” (1 Pet. 2:4-5).