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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Stone; Stones

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stōn , stōnz :

1. Hebrew and Greek Words:

(1) Chiefly אבן , 'ebhen , and λίθος , lı́thos ; but also, occurring rarely, אשׁך , 'eshekh ( Leviticus 21:20 ); צוּר , cūr (Job 22:24 ), usually "rock"; צרור , cerōr (2 Samuel 17:13 ); πέτρος , pétros (John 1:42 ); ψῆφος , psḗphos (Revelation 2:17 ). For סלע , ṣela‛ , usually "cliff," "crag," "rock," the King James Version, in Psalm 137:9 ; Psalm 141:6 , has "stone," but the Revised Version (British and American) "rock." For the King James Version "stones," חרשׂ , ḥeres (Job 41:30 ), the Revised Version (British and American) has "potsherds." See SELA .

2. Literal Usage:

The word is used of great stones (Genesis 29:2 ); of small stones (1 Samuel 17:40 ); of stones set up as memorials (1 Samuel 7:12 , "Eben-ezer," "stone of help"); of precious stones (Exodus 35:9 , etc.); of hailstones (Joshua 10:11 ).

3. Figurative Usage:

Of hardness: "I will take the stony heart out of their flesh" (Ezekiel 11:19 ); of one smitten: "(Nabal's) heart died within him, and became as a stone" (1 Samuel 25:37 ); of weight: "A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty" (Proverbs 27:3 ); of dumbness: "Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise!" (Habakkuk 2:19 ); of Jerusalem: "I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all the peoples" (Zechariah 12:3 ); of the corner-stone as a figure of high position:

"The stone which the builders rejected

Is become the head of the corner" (Psalm 118:22 ).


(2) Used also anatomically of the testicles (Leviticus 21:20 ; Deuteronomy 23:1 ; Job 40:17 , פּחד , paḥadh , the Revised Version (British and American) "thighs").

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Stone; Stones'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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