Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
Bible History

Naves Topical Bible Dictionary

sapphire Summary and Overview

Bible Dictionaries at a GlanceBible Dictionaries at a Glance

sapphire in Easton's Bible Dictionary

Associated with diamonds (Ex. 28:18) and emeralds (Ezek. 28:13); one of the stones in the high priest's breastplate. It is a precious stone of a sky-blue colour, probably the lapis lazuli, brought from Babylon. The throne of God is described as of the colour of a sapphire (Ex. 24:10; compare Ezek. 1:26).

sapphire in Smith's Bible Dictionary

(Heb. sappir), a precious stone, apparently of a bright-blue color, set: #Ex 24:10| the second stone in the second row of the high priest's breastplate, #Ex 28:18| extremely precious, #Job 28:16| it was one of the precious stones that ornamented the king of Tyre. #Eze 28:13| The sapphire of the ancients was not our gem of that name, viz. the azure or indigo-blue, crystalline variety of corundum, but our lapis lazuli (ultra-marine).

sapphire in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

SAP'PHIRE . This was one of the precious stones of the high priest's breastplate, and of the foundations of the Apocalyptic city, Ex 28:18; Rev 21:19, and is often mentioned in the O.T. It was certainly of a blue color. Ex 24:10; Eze 1:26; Dan 10:1. But it is generally agreed that the ordinary sapphire of the ancients was our lapis-lazuli, an opaque mineral of a dark azure hue. Some scholars still hold that the Bible references require a transparent, hard, and valuable gem like the true sapphire. This stone is next to the diamond in lustre, beauty, and hardness. It differs only in color from the Oriental ruby, varying from the deepest to the lightest blue, and even to pure white. See Stones, Precious.

sapphire in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

One of the hyaline corundums; deep blue, hard, brilliant, and costly. Representing the hue of the divine throne. On the high-priest's breast-plate (Exodus 28:18); some think the lapis lazuli is meant (Exodus 24:10). Ezekiel 1:26; Ezekiel 10:1; Job 28:6; Job 28:16; Song of Solomon 5:14, sapphire, sparkling in the girdle round Him; Isaiah 54:11; Lamentations 4:7, "their polishing was of sapphire," they were like beautifully cut and polished sapphires. The sapphires represent the blue veins of a beautiful person (Ezekiel 28:13). The best sapphires came from Persia. Our sapphire is the azure or indigo blue, crystalline corundum; but the Latin and Greek sapphire was "refulgent with spots of gold, azure, never transparent, not suited for engraving when intersected with hard crystalline particles" (Pliny, H. N. 37:9); i.e. the lapis lazuli. The Hebrew lapis lazuli is transparent and suited for engraving; probably our sapphire.