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“They had palms in their hands. The leaves of the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) were used as symbols of gladness after victory. “With these Israel was commanded to cover their booths in that most joyful of all their feasts, the feast of tabernacles, when they were to ‘rejoice before the Lord seven days' (Lev. xxiii. 40). With the figures of these the gold of 'the holiest' was carved (1 Kings vi. 29), and the 'wall of the house round about' (2 Kings vi. 29), and 'the two doors' of the temple (2 Kings vi. 32), and “the ledges and borders of the bases' (2 Kings vii. 36), and the golden 'ceiling of the greater house' (2 Chron. ïïi. 5). On all parts of Ezekiel's temple, which is in reserve for the day of Israel's glory, the palm-tree is seen-on the

posts' (xl. 16), on the southern gate (xl. 26), on the eastern gate (xl. 34), on the northern gate (xl. 37), on the doors and windows everywhere (xli. 18, 19, 20, 25, 26). For great and marvellous will be the triumph of that day. It was 'branches of palms' that the people took, when bidding welcome to the King of Zion (John xii. 13). And with this same emblem the triumphant multitude appears—'I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and PALMS IN THEIR HANDS. See under Exod. xv. 27, and John xii. 13.

The visions of the resurrection and the great day of judgment pass away from the rapt gaze of the seer. The new heavens and the new earth are fully realized. John hears a great voice out of heaven proclaiming—"Behold the tabernacle of God is with men.' He is then taken to get a full view of “the bride, the Lamb's wife:"-"And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper-stone, clear as crystal" (xxi. 10, 11). The glory of the foundations, walls, and gates of the holy city, are then described :—“And the building of the wall of it was of jasper : and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; the 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. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls ; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street

Fig. 195.

of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass” (ver. 18–21). Most of the precious stones mentioned in Scripture have been noticed under Gen. ii, 12; Exod. xxiv. 10; xxviii. 17, 18; Lam. iv. 7; and Rev. iv. 3—which see. The “crystal named in verse 11 was no doubt pure rock crystal, or perfectly transparent quartz, with hues like the finest jasper. The original meaning of the Greek krystallos was ice, and the popular belief regarded rock crystal as water permanently frozen. In verse 19 the third foundation is stated to have been “a chalcedony” (Gen. ii. 12). The absence of agate from this list might lead us to expect some reference to it under another name. Chalcedony proper is a translucent, highly crystalline variety of quartz, generally of a yellowish grey colour. Some of the finest have different shades of yellow, laid down in bands, as shown in fig. 193. Many-coloured chalcedonies are known as agates. The oriental

Bicoloured Chalcedony. agate is in colour milk-white, tinged with yellow, and generally in structure like the accompanying cut. When the second colouring matter is orange, the stone is named sardonyx, when green it becomes a chrysoprasus, when a dash of red is laid on the ground hue it is called sardius. The “chrysolite” may be best understood if it be likened to the highly crystallized variety of quartz known generally in Britain as “cairngorum.”

The twelve gates were twelve pearls. “The pearl,” Heb. gāvish, Gr. margaritēs, is only once directly named in the Old Testament. Job says

“No mention shall be made of coral or of pearls:
For the price of wisdom is above rubies" (xxviii. 18).

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Bochart and others will have “rubies” (pěninim) in this passage to mean "pearls” but the scope of the verse, were there nothing else, is against this. Rubies can buy pearls; but wisdom is better than rubies, therefore let no mention be made in this contrast between wisdom and the choicest gems of earth. The Hebrew word (gavish), moreover, points to something like small hail. This has led our translators rightly to render it pearls. This jewel has been referred to also under Gen. xi. 12—which see.

The pearl of commerce is obtained from the shell of one of the Aviculido, or wing-shelled family of molluscs, the pearl-oyster (Avicula margaritifera) represented on Plate XVIII., fig. 1, as Margarita margaritifera. This shell yields the well-known “mother of pearl" which is much used for ornamenting furniture, articles of luxury, &c. The play of the sunlight on this was sufficient to suggest it to John in the description of the gates of the Holy Jerusalem. The vision is gloriously bright. The foundations are exposed, and seem to him like all “mauner of precious stones”-congregated gems of a lustre and size which the wealth of the world could not purchase. The wall is of jasper, the appearance of the whole like pure gold, gleaming before the eye like glass. The twelve gates were twelve pearls. They seemed like the nacre of the pearly shells when bright light strikes on it. There is no good ground for the popular opinion, that the pearl jewel is the result of disease. Injury done to the nacreous mass of these shells, does undoubtedly lead to concretions which go to form pearls proper, but they are generally found in circumstances in which nothing like injury to the general layer can be affirmed. When a section is made in a pearl, a number of laminæ, or thin plates, are arranged over each other like the layers of the onion. The layers are always of the same kind with those which constitute the mother of pearl itself. As far as is yet known, then, pearls are simply the result of a superabundance of the nacreous matter which goes to form the shell. “Perhaps the only species operated on by man is the famous Chinese pearl mussel (Barbala plicata). The people of the Celestial Empire produce artificial pearls in this shell, by introducing wire and other foreign bodies under the mantle of the animal. In the British Museum specimens may be seen where pearls of a fine lustre have been thus produced, as well as a series of little ‘josses,' made of metal, and which, having been introduced under the mantle while the animal was alive, have gradually become quite coated with pearly matter.”

The genus Barbala belongs to the family Unionido, or river mussels.

In addition to those already noticed, other five passages contain references to the pearl. When instructing his disciples in the sermon on the mount, our Lord urged to prudence and discrimination in the exercise of their spiritual gifts. It was not enough that they detected sin and had hearts to rebuke offenders, they needed also to judge both of the persons and circumstances met by them in fulfilling their ministry. They might meet men on whom reproof would be thrown away, and the word of God itself brought into contempt; such, for example, as would be seen were a sober man to lecture a drunkard on the evils of drunkenness when in a state of intoxication. “ Cast not your pearls before swine."

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