(Hebrew חִשׁמִל, chashmal', Eze 1:4,27; Eze 8:2) is a yellow or straw- colored gummy substance, originally a vegetable production, but reckoned to the mineral kingdom. It is found in lumps in the sea and on the shores of Prussia, Sicily, Turkey, etc. Externally it is rough; it is very transparent, and on being rubbed yields a fragrant odor. It was formerly supposed to be medicinal, but is now employed in the manufacture of trinkets, ornaments, etc. (Penny Cyclopaedia, s. v).

In the above passages of Ezekiel, the Hebrew word is translated by the Sept. ἤλεκτρον, and Vulgate electrum, which signify not only "amber," but also a very brilliant metal, composed of silver and gold, much prized in antiquity (Pliny, 33, 4, p. 23). Others, as Bochart (Hieroz. 2, p. 877), compare here the mixture of gold and brass, aurichalcum, of which the ancients had several kinds; by which means a high degree of lustre was obtained; e.g. oes pyropum, ces Corinthium, etc. (Smith's Dict. of Class.

Bible concordance for AMBER.

Antiq. s.v. Bronze). Something similar to this was probably also denoted by the difficult term χαλκολίβανον, "fine brass," in Re 1:15 (comp. Ezr 8:27). SEE BRASS. The Hebrew word chashmal probably signifies smooth (i.e. polished) brass. SEE METAL.

Definition of amber

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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