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Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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Stones, large and long, but not high, are the characteristic of Jewish architecture (Mark 13:1). Robinson mentions one 24 ft. long by six broad, and only three high (Res. 1:233, note 284). Flint stones were used as knives for circumcising (Exodus 4:25; Joshua 5:2-3 margin). Stones were consecrated as memorials to God by anointing, as that at Bethel (Genesis 28:18). The Phoenicians similarly called "meteoric stones" baetylia , and worshipped them. Isaiah 57:6, "among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion" (i.e. thy gods, Psalms 16:4-5). Gesenius translated "in the bore places of the valley," but what follows confirms KJV, "even to them hast thou poured a drink offering"; compare Leviticus 26:1, "image of stone," margin figured stone.

The "white stone" in Revelation 2:17 is a glistering diamond, the Urim ("light" answering to "white") borne by the high priest within the "breast-plate" (choshen ) of judgment, with the twelve tribes' names on the twelve precious stones, next the heart. None but the high priest knew the name written upon it, perhaps "Jehovah." He consulted it in some divinely appointed way. In our Christian dispensation the high-priest's peculiar treasure, consultation of God's light and truth, belongs to all believers as spiritual priests. If the reference be to Greek ideas, the white conveys the idea of acquittal, the stone that of election. In Zechariah 12:3 "I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone ... all that burden themselves with it shall be cut to pieces," alluding to the custom of testing youths' strength by lifting a massive stone (Matthew 21:44). The Jews "fell" on Messiah "the rock of offense and were broken"; the rock shall fall on antichrist who "burdens himself with it" by his assault on the restored Jews, and "grind him to powder" (Zechariah 13; 14). Christians are "living stones" built up as a spiritual temple on Christ "the chief corner stone" (Ephesians 2:20-22; 1 Peter 2:4-8).

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Stones'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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Stones, Precious
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