Monday, 23 August 2021
the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. Revelation 21:20
John continues the list of the gemstones that comprise the foundations of New Jerusalem, next noting “the fifth sardonyx.” It is a stone mentioned only this one time in Scripture, sardonux. It comes from two words, sardion and onux (a gem). It is believed it could be either a type of agate or a red sard mixed with white onyx. However, others place it as reddish yellow and nearly orange.
Next, it mentions “the sixth sardius.” This is the Greek sardion that was just used as the root of the sardonux. It was seen in Revelation 4:3 and now this is its second and last use. The sardius is generally accepted as corresponding to carnelian, and thus it is a red stone. It is reddish to blood red and is used in engravings.
After that is “the seventh chrysolite.” It is only found this once in the Bible. The Greek is chrusolithos, coming from chrusos (gold) and lithos (stone). Therefore, it refers to yellow topaz, amber, or golden jasper.
Next is “the eighth beryl.” Again, it is a word found only here, bérullos. It is a precious stone coming in various colors, the most common is sea-green in color. This is followed by “the ninth topaz.” This stone is also only mentioned here in Scripture, topazion. It is what is known as the golden topaz. At times it comes in a greenish-gold tone.
Following that is “the tenth chrysoprase.” It is another stone only seen here, chrusoprasos. Albert Barnes, via Robinson’s Lexicon, notes that “It is derived from χρυσὸς chrusos, ‘gold,’ and πράσον prason, ‘a leek,’ and denotes a precious stone of greenish golden color, like a leek; that is, ‘apple-green passing into a grass-green.’” It is quite probably referring to a variety of the quartz family which is apple-green and translucent. However, it could also be a type of chalcedony with a sea-green color.
After that is noted “the eleventh jacinth.” Again, as is so common with these stones, this is its only use in Scripture, huakinthos. Thus, it is also known as hyacinth. It ranges in color from bluish to bluish-purple somewhat similar to a sapphire. It could be referring to the zircon.
Finally, it says, “and the twelfth amethyst.” This last stone is also only seen here, amethustos. It is glassy-type quartz which is clear purple, violet, or related color. It is a compound word, coming from alpha (the negative particle) and methuó, meaning “to be drunk.” As such, Strong’s notes that it is “(a kind of rock crystal: the best specimens are the color of unmixed wine, whence perhaps the name), believed to stave off drunkenness.”
Life application: As can be seen, there is little agreement on several of these stones, and scholars do their best to identify them based on the original Greek. Being dogmatic about what the stones is ridiculous. John used words he was aware of to describe what was before him, and that is what matters. Many commentaries have made unfounded suppositions because they are dogmatic about what is being presented.
The important point is that the colors and materials will be as John saw them, and they will be marvelous to behold. All of this beauty and variety will be wonderfully stunning to the eyes and a delight to the mind as we contemplate the purity of the foundations that are on display. It will be a flawless, radiant wonder that will provide a suitable foundation for the walls of the city where the King of kings rules His people throughout eternity.
For us, what a glorious wonder we will behold! All of the beauty and majesty of the things we will see will be a delight, but in comparison to the Lord, their beauty will hardly matter. In the New Jerusalem, we will see the Source of all of it. We will see JESUS!
Glorious God, precious stones are found in the world today, but they inevitably contain imperfections and flaws. Not only because of the nature of the stones, but because of the imperfection of the stone cutters. However, what You are preparing for the foundations of the heavenly city will be perfect and flawless. How we long to see Your glory radiating through, and reflected by, them! May that day be soon. Hallelujah and Amen!