~ How Many Times Are Pearls Mentioned in the Old Testament? ~
In Biblical times pearls were considered very valuable.
The following is an excerpt from a book.
In Eastern lands the most costly gems were reserved for royalty. Only the king was allowed to wear the finest. In this parable we will find that the one pearl of great price is purchased for the One who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
The word pearl is used sparingly in the Bible and is not even mentioned in the Hebrew Old Testament. The Old Testament exception in English translations is when the word is found in the Authorized Version (King James) where we read “of coral, or of pearls” (Job 28:18). The context is a listing of items of value including gems and gold. These precious items are contrasted to wisdom, which is seen to be of even greater value. The conclusion is that the fear of the Lord is wisdom and to depart from evil shows understanding (Job 28:28). Many newer translations more accurately render this passage using another word in place of pearl (such as crystal, quartz, or jasper).
~ from “ONE PRECIOUS PEARL: God’s Design for His Church, pgs 21-22 (ISBN:9780741462329)
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