GOLD in the Bible

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Gold is mentioned very early in the Bible. The Garden of Eden had a river flowing out of it that fed four other major waterways (the Pishon, Gihon, Tigris and the Euphrates - Genesis 2:10 - 14). The river named Pishon flowed into a land called Havilah, where there was great quantities of the valuable mineral.

10. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it was divided and became four heads. 11. The name of the first is Pishon, which surrounds all the land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12. And the gold of that land is good. There is also bdellium and the onyx stone (Genesis 2:10 - 12, HBFV throughout)

In the Bible there are seven Hebrew words (seven is a number that symbolizes perfection) used to refer to gold. The first and most common word used is Zâhâb (Strong's Concordance #H2091). It is from a root word that literally means to shimmer or shine.

The second word is pâz (Strong's #H6337), which refers to pure or refined gold and sometimes refers to spiritual purity and glory. The word betser (Strong's #H1220), found only in Job 22, refers to the metal when it is broken up. Chârûts (Strong's #H1220) is used to reference to the metal when it is chopped or cut off in pieces or parts. Kethem (Strong's #H3800) refers to the precious metal that it is in a state as pure as originally mined. Sâgar (Strong's #H5462), found only in Job 28, references the metal as a solid. Lastly, Dehab (Strong's #H1722), which occurs only in the books of Daniel and Ezra, is yet another reference.

Scripture lists at least six places in ancient times where this precious metal was known to be found. They are Havilah (Genesis 2:11 - 12), Ophir (1Kings 9:28; 10:11; 1Chronicles 29:4; 2Chronicles 8:18; Job 22:24), Parvaim (2Chronicles 3:6), Sheba (1Kings 10:10; 2Chronicles 9:9; Psalm 72:15), Tarshish (2Chronicles 9:21, Isaiah 60:9) and Uphaz (Jeremiah 10:9).

What is a talent worth?

Generally speaking, gold in God's word was many times valued by weight using a unit of measure known as a Talent. A talent weighed about 75 U.S. pounds or 34.3 kilograms, which is equivalent of 1,094 troy ounces. If we assume a modern price of $1,500 per troy ounce of the metal, a talent in today's money would be worth $1,639,500. At $1,750 per troy ounce, a talent would be worth $1,912,750 (close to two million dollars)!

Biblical weights and measures
What does Scripture teach about bankruptcy?
How does the Jubilee Year relate to financial freedom?

Golden facts

According to the World Gold Council, the best estimates available suggest the total amount of the precious metal mined in human history (to the year 2009) is approximately 165,600 metric tons (182,491 U.S. tons).

Although in antiquity it was relatively easy to obtain geologically, 75% of all gold ever mined has been extracted since 1910 A.D. One-hundred million people around the globe depend on it for their livelihood. The largest stash of gold in the United States is not at Fort Knox, but at the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of New York, who holds 7,000 metric tons (7,716 tons) of bullion in its underground vault in Manhattan.

Golden Prophecy

The prophetic book of Revelation refers to gold or something that is golden no less than twenty-two times! It will play a major role in the prophetic End Time events that will occur before the return of Jesus.

According to the Bible, God will someday create a NEW heavens and a NEW earth. He will personally make a new Jerusalem, complete with streets of pure gold, and lower it from heaven unto a new earth so that he can dwell with mankind forever (see Revelation 21).

Additional Study Materials
What does God's word say about gambling?
Does God forbid charging loan interest?
How did King Solomon get his gold?
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