(י שׁפֶה,yashepheh', prob. polished or glittering, ἴασπις), a gem of various colors, as purple, cerulean but mostly green like the emerald, although duller in hue (Plily, Nat. Hist. 37:8, 9; Epiphaluius, De Gemmis, § 6; Braun, De Vest. Sacerdot. 2, 19). "It was the last of the twelve inserted in the high-priest's breastplate (Ex 28:20; Ex 39:13), and the first of the twelve used in the foundation of the new Jerusalem (Re 21:19): the difference in the order seems to show that no emblematical importance was attached to that feature. It was the stone employed in the superstructure (ἐνδόμησις): of the wall of the new Jerusalem (Re 21:18). It further appears among the stones which adorned the king of Tyre (Eze 28:13). Lastly, it is the emblematical image of the glory of the divine Being (Re 4:3). The characteristics of the stone, as far as they are specified in Scripture (Re 21:11) rare that it was.' most precious,' and 'like crystal' (κρυσταλλίζων); not exactly 'clear as crystal,' as in the A.V., but of a crystal hue: the term is applied to it in this sense by Dioscorides (5. 160: λίθος ἰάσπις ὁ μὲν τίς ἐστι σμαραγδιζων ὁ δὲ κρυσταλλóδης). We may also infer from Re 4:3 that it was a stone of brilliant and transparent light." The ancient jasper thus appears to have been frequently translucent, but the modern is opaque. A brown variety existed in Egypt. The jasper of the ancients, therefore, comprehended various precious stones not readily identifiable (Rosenmüller, Bibl. Alterthum, IV, 1, 42; Moore's Anc. Min. p. 163). What is now properly called jasper by mineralogists is a sub-species of rhomboidal quartz, of several varieties, mostly the common, the Egyptian, and the striped; of different colors-whitish; yellow, green, reddish, etc., sometimes spotted or banded; occurring either in masses or loose crystals, and susceptible of a fine polish (see the Lond. Encyclopedia, s.v.). SEE GEMI.

Bible concordance for JASPER.

Definition of jasper

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