One of the precious metals. There are six Hebrew words which denote "gold," four of which occur in Job (xxviii. 15-17): (1) , the most common term, used on account of the yellow color; it is generally accompanied by epithets, as "pure" (Ex. xxv. 11), "beaten," or "mixed" (I Kings x. 16), "refined" (I Chron. xxviii. 18), "fine" (II Chron. iii. 5). (2) , "treasured," fine gold (Job xxviii. 15; used elsewhere as an adjective with ). (3) , pure or native gold (Job xxviii. 17 and elsewhere); the word (I Kings x. 18) either is an adjective formed from or it stands for (comp. Jer. x. 9 and Dan. x. 5). (4) , gold ore (Job xxii. 24). (5) , a poetical term the meaning of which is "hidden" (Cant. v. 11 and elsewhere). (6) , also a poetical term, the meaning of which is "yellow" (Prov. viii. 10 and elsewhere). Gold was known from the earliest times (Gen. ii. 11) and was chiefly used at first for the fabrication of ornaments (Gen. xxiv. 22). It is only later, in the time of the Judges, that gold is mentioned as money (Judges viii. 26). It was abundant in ancient times (I Chron. xxii. 16; II Chron. i. 15; and elsewhere), and a great quantity of it was used to ornament the houses of the rich and more especially the temples. Both sides of the walls of the Tabernacle were covered with gold, while the Ark of the Covenant and all the other utensils were made of pure gold (Ex. xxv.-xxvii. passim). In the Temple of Solomon even the floor and the ceiling were covered with gold (I Kings vi. 22, 30). Gold was used also in making the garments of the high priest (Ex. xxviii. passim). The crowns of kings were of gold (II Sam. xii. 30). Solomon and certain other kings had their shields and bucklers made of gold (I Kings x. 16, 17; I Chron. xviii. 7).

The countries particularly mentioned as producing gold are: Havilah (Gen. ii. 11, 12), Sheba (I Kings x. 2, 10), Ophir (ib. ix. 28; Job xxviii. 16), Uphaz (probably the same as Ophir, being a corruptionof ) (Jer. x. 9; Dan. x. 5), and Parvaim (II Chron. iii. 6). Gold in the Bible is the symbol of purity (Job xxiii. 10), of nobility (Lam. iv. 1), of great value (Isa. xiii. 12; Lam. iv. 2). Babylon was called by Isaiah (xiv. 4) the "golden city," and the entire empire figures in Daniel (ii. 38) as a head of gold. The human head is compared to a golden bowl (Eccl. xii. 6).

E. G. H. M. Sel.
Images of pages