•  1 min. read  •  grade level: 9
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 28:1919The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold. (Job 28:19) speaks of “the topaz of Ethiopia.” It was one of the jewels in the breastplate (Ex. 28:1717And 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. (Exodus 28:17); Ex. 39:1010And they set in it four rows of stones: the first row was a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this was the first row. (Exodus 39:10)); and is included in the prophetical description of the symbolical “king of Tyrus” (Ezek. 28:1313Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. (Ezekiel 28:13)). In the New Testament τοπάζιον, points to the same stone (Rev. 21:2020The 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. (Revelation 21:20)). It is a silicate of magnesia and iron, and being comparatively soft has to be worn with care.