THE SCIENCE OF CORRESPONDENCES
PRECIOUS AND COMMON STONES,
THEIR MEANING IN SCRIPTURE.
A GENERAL ACCOUNT OF THE STONES MENTIONED IN THE SACRED
SCRIPTURES, THE PURPOSES TO WHICH THEY WERE APPLIED,
AND THEIR VARIOUS SIGNIFICATIONS.
By Robert Hindmarsh, 1851.
IN the Sacred Scriptures mention is frequently made of rocks and stones, rough or unwrought stones, wrought or hewn stones, artificial stones or bricks, corner-stones, mill-stones, chalk-stones, and also of precious stones, gems, and pearls ; by which are spiritually understood either genuine truths, apparent truths, or perverted truths, which latter are more properly called falsities. And it is from the use or application of the expressions, that we learn to know when to refer them to one signification and when to another. For it is to be well observed, not only with respect to stones, but to many other substances in nature, that the same term carries with it, on different occasions, very different meanings ; and that, in some cases, it bears a sense directly the reverse of what it elsewhere conveys, which is always determined by the nature of the subject treated of. For example ; when the Lord himself is called a Rock, as in Ps. xviii. 2, 31, 46 ; or a Stone, as in Matt. xxi. 42 ; Ps. cxviii. 22 ; Isa. viii. 14 ; it is plain, that the term is to be understood in its genuine sense, as significative of divine truth. But when, on the other hand, mention is made of the Rock of the perverted Church, as in Deut. xxxii. 31, 32 ; the dumb stone, as in Hab. ii. 19 ; or of committing adultery with stones, as in Jer. iii. 19 ; or of taking up stones to stone Jesus, as in John x. 31 ; it is equally plain, that the term, in such cases, denotes false principles of doctrine and of life, which are entirely opposed to the divine truth of the Word.
Among the various purposes to which stones, both common and precious, are assigned in the Sacred Scriptures, in consequence of the signification which they obtained in the earliest ages of the world, the following are particularly distinguishable, viz. :
- Stones for altars, pillars, witnesses and memorials.
- Tables of Stone for the Ten Commandments.
- Stones for temples and other buildings.
- Stones for idols, etc.
- Precious stones for the breast-plate of Aaron, and for the foundations of the New Jerusalem. Hence we read in different parts of the Word,
- Of the Stone of Israel. Gen. xlix. 24.
- Of the Rock of Israel. 2 Sam. xxiii. 3.
- Of the Rock of salvation. Deut. xxxii. 15; 2 Sam. xxii. 47;Ps. xviii. 2, 31, 46.
- Of a stone rejected by the builders, which yet became the headstone of the corner, on which whosoever falleth, shall be broken ; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. Ps. cxviii. 22 ; Matt. xxi. 42, 44 ; Mark xii. 10, 11 ; Luke xx. 17, 18.
- Of a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, over which both the houses of Israel and the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall stumble, and fall, and be broken. Isa. viii. 14, 15.
- Of a stone cut out of a mountain without hands, which smote the image of Nebuchadnezzar, and brake it in pieces, and which afterwards became a great mountain (or rock), and filled the whole earth. Dan. ii. 34, 35, 45.
- Of a stone with seven eyes, said to be the eyes of Jehovah, which run to and fro through the whole earth. Zech. iii. 9 ; iv. 10.
- Of the head-stone of the temple, which shall be brought forth with shoutings, while the cry of grace, grace, is raised unto it. Zech.iv. 7.
- Of great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, for the foundation of the house or temple of Jehovah, and for other parts of the building. 1 Kings v. 17, 18; vi. 7, 36; Hag. ii. 15, 18; Matt. xxiv.1,2; Mark xiii. 2 ; Luke xxi. 5, 6.
- Of the same for Solomon s house, and for the house of Pharaoh’s daughter. 1 Kings vii. 8-12.
- Of the stones of Zion, in which her children take delight. Ps.cii. 14.
- Of the two tables of testimony, tables of stone, on which the commandments were first written with the finger of God, and afterwards broken by Moses. Ex. xxiv. 12 ; xxxi. 18 ; xxxii. 15, 16, 19 ; Deut. iv. 13; v. 22; ix. 9-17.
- Of the two tables of stone, which were renewed by Moses. Ex.xxxiv. 1, 4, 27-29; Deut. x. 1-5; 1 Kings viii. 9.
- Of altars of stone, and rocks, for the worship of Jehovah. Ex.xx. 24, 25 ; Deut. xxvii. 5, 6 ; Josh. viii. 30, 31 ; Judg. vi. 20, 21 ; xiii. 19, 20; 1 Kings xviii. 31, 32, 38.
- Of the stones of the altar becoming as chalk-stones. Isa.xxvii. 9.
- Of stones and heaps of stones for pillows, pillars, memorials and witnesses. Gen. xxviii. 18, 22; xxxi. 45-48, 52; xxxv. 14, 20; Ex. xxiv. 4; Josh. iv. 1-9, 20-24; vii. 26; viii. 29; xxii. 10-34; xxiv. 26, 27 ; 1 Sam. vii. 12; 2 Sam. xviii. 18.
- Of stones for land-marks. Deut. xix. 14; xxvii. 17.
- Of twelve stones, which the Israelites took out of the midst of Jordan, when they passed over it, for a memorial. Josh. iv. 2-8 20-24.
- Of other twelve stones, which Joshua set up in the midst of Jordan, where the feet of the priests stood, who bare the ark of the covenant. Josh. iv. 9.
- Of great stones plastered with plaster, on which the words of the law were to be written. Deut. xxvii. 2-4.
- Of Moses sitting upon a stone, with his hands lifted up, while the Israelites and the Amalekites were engaged in battle. Ex xvii 12.
- Of Moses being put into a clift of the rock, and covered with the hand of Jehovah, while his glory passed by. Ex. xxxiii. 21, 22.
- Of Moses smiting the rock, on which Jehovah stood, with his red, so that water came out of it in abundance. Ex. xvii. 6 ; Num. xx. 10, 11 ; Ps. Ixxviii. 15, 16, 20; cv. 41; cxiv. 8; Isa. xlviii. 21.
- Of speaking to the rock, that it may give forth water. Num.xx. 8.
- Of sucking honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock. Deut. xxxii. 13.
- Of great stones for covering the mouth of wells Gen xxix 2, 3, 8, 10.
- Of brick, instead of stone, for building the city and the towers of Babel. Gen. xi. 3.
- Of altars of brick. Isa. Ixv. 3.
- Of the stones of the sanctuary. Lam. iv. 1.
- Of stones of fire. Ezek. xxviii. 14, 16.
- Of stones of emptiness. Isa. xxxiv. 11.
- Of gravel-stones. Lam. iii. 16.
- Of smooth stones of the stream. Isa. Ivii. 6.
- Of stones for bread. Matt. iv. 3 ; vi. 9 ; Luke iv. 3; xi. 11.
- Of the dumb stone. Hab. ii. 19.
- Of the stone crying out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber answering it. Hab. ii. 11.
- Of committing adultery with stones, and with stocks. Jer.iii. 9.
- Of a stony heart. Ezek. xi. 19 ; xxxvi. 26.
- Of seed falling on stony places. Matt. xiii. 5, 20 ; Mark iv. 5,16 ; Luke viii. 6, 13.
- Of raising up children to Abraham out of stones. Matt. iii. 9 ; Luke iii. 8.
- Of the stones being ready to cry out, in case the disciples of Jesus had been silent on the occasion of his entry into Jerusalem. Luke xix. 40.
- Of building the church upon a rock. Matt. xvi. 18.
- Of a stone laid in Zion, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a sure foundation. Isa. xxviii. 16.
- Of a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth, save he that receiveth it. Apoc. ii. 17.
- Of five smooth stones, which David took out of a brook, and with one of which he smote Goliath the Philistine in his forehead, and then slew him. 1 Sam. xvii. 40, 49, 50.
- Of sharp stones for circumcision. Ex. iv. 25.
- Of hail-stones, great stones cast down from heaven. Ex. ix. 23, etc. ; Josh. x. 11 ; Ezek. xiii. 11, 13 ; Ps. xviii. 12, 13 ; Apoc. xvi. 21.
- Of mill-stones. Deut. xxiv. 6 ; Isa. xlvii. 2 ; Jer. xxv. 10 ; Matt, xviii. 6; Luke xvii. 2; Apoc. xviii. 21, 22.
- Of stoning men with stones. Ex. xvii. 4; Lev. xxiv. 10-16; Num. xiv. 10 ; xv. 32-36 ; Deut. xiii. 10 ; xvii. 5 ; xxi. 18-21 ; Josh, vii. 25; 1 Sam. xxx. 6; 1 Kings xii. 18; xxi. 10, 13-15; Ezek. xvi. 40 ; xxiii. 47 ; Matt. xxi. 35 ; xxiii. 37 ; Mark xii. 4 ; Luke xiii. 34 ; xx. 6 ; John viii. 5-7 ; x. 31-33.
- Of dashing the foot against a stone. Ps. xci. 12; Matt. iv. 6; Luke iv. 11.
- Of clashing the little ones of the daughter of Babylon against the stones. Ps. cxxxvii. 9.
- Of judges being overthrown in stony places. Ps. cxli. 6.
- Of sons being as plants, and daughters as corner-stones. Ps. cxliv. 12.
- Of the rock, the holes of the rocks, the caves of the earth, the clefts of the rocks, and the tops of the ragged rocks, into which the wicked shall go, for fear of Jehovah. Isa. ii. 10, 19, 21.
- Of the wicked calling upon the mountains and rocks to fall on them, and hide them from the divine presence. Apoc. vi. 16.
- Of slaying men on rocks and stones. Judg. vii. 25; ix. 5, 18.
- Of taking up stones to cast at Jesus. John viii. 59 ; x. 31 33 ; xi. 8.
- Of gathering stones out of a vineyard. Isa. v. 2.
- Of building a house upon a rock. Matt. vii. 24, 25 ; Luke vi. 48.
- Of Jehovah as a rock. Dent, xxxii. 4, 15, 18, 30, 31 ; 1 Sam. ii. 2 ; 2 Sam. xxii. 2, 32, 47 ; Ps. xviii. 2, 31, 46 ; xxxi. 2, 3 ; xl. 2 ; xlii. 9 ; Ixi. 2 ; Ixii. 2, 6, 7 ; Ixxviii. 35 ; Ixxxix. 26 ; xcii. 15 ; xciv. 22 ; xcv. 1 ; Isa. xxxii. 2.
- Of false gods as a rock. Deut. xxxii. 31, 37.
- Of images or idols of stone. Lev. xxvi. 1 ; Deut. iv. 28 ; xxviii. 64; xxix. 17; Judg. xvii. 3, 4; xviii. 14-21, 30, 31; 2 Kings xvii. 41 ; xviii. 4 ; xix. 18 ; xxiii. 14, 24 ; Ps. Ixxviii. 58 ; xcvii. 7; cvi. 36, 37; Isa. x. 19 ; xxi. 9; xliv. 9, 10, 15, 17; xlv. 17, 20 ; xlvi. 1 ; xlviii. 5 ; Dan. v. 4, 23 ; Micah i. 7 ; Nahum ii. 14 ;
Hab. ii. 18; Apoc. ix. 20; xiii. 14, 15; xiv. 9, 11 ; xv. 2; xix. 20: xx. 4.
- Of the body of Jesus being laid in a new tomb hewn out of the rock, and a great stone rolled to the door of the sepulchre, and sealed. Matt, xxvii. 60, 66 ; xxviii. 2 ; Mark xv. 46 ; xvi. 3, 4 ; Luke xxiii. 53 ; xxiv. 2 ; John xix. 41, 42 ; xx. 1, etc.
- Of an angel rolling back the stone from the door of the sepulchre, and sitting upon it. Matt, xxviii. 2 ; Mark xvi. 3, 4.
- Of a paved work of sapphire-stone under the feet of the God of Israel, resembling the body of heaven for clearness. Ex. xxiv. 10 ; Ezek. i. 26 ; x. i.
- Of the appearance of the wheels, seen by Ezekiel, like unto the color of a beryl-stone. Ezek. i. 16 ; x. 9.
- Of two onyx-stones on the shoulders of the ephod, having the names of the children of Israel engraven on them. Ex. xxv. 7 ; xxviii. 9-12; xxxv. 9, 27; xxxix. 6, 7.
- Of the precious stones called Urim and Thummim, for the breast-plate of Aaron. Ex. xxv. 7 ; xxviii. 17-21 ; xxxv. 9, 27 ; xxxix. 8-14.
- Of precious stones presented by the queen of Sheba to Solomon. 1 Kings x. 10.
- Of precious stones brought to Solomon from Ophir, in the navy of Hiram, king of Tyre. 1 Kings x. 11.
- Of precious stones for the foundations, the windows, the gates, and the borders of the church to be established among the Gentiles. Isa. liv. 11, 12.
- Of precious stones for the clothing of the king of Tyrus. Ezek. xxviii. 12-16.
- Of precious stones for the adorning of the whore of Babylon. Apoc. xvii. 4 ; xviii. 16.
- Of precious stones for the wall and foundations of the New Jerusalem. Apoc. xxi. 18-20.
In all the cases above enumerated stones denote, as before observed, truths, either genuine, or apparent, or perverted ; which will sufficiently appear from the observation now following on some of the passages already referred to.