Gold in the Bible!

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Where is gold mentioned in the Bible? What does it symbolize? Where was it found? How will it fulfill prophecy?

´╗┐God's word mentions gold very early within its pages. 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). Pishon flowed into a land called Havilah, where there was great quantities of high quality gold (verse 11).

The English word gold is recorded 391 times in the Old Testament and 26 times in the New Testament for 417 total in the King James. It is found the most in the book of Exodus (96 times) followed by 2Chronicles (47) then 1Kings (44).

Surprisingly, there are several Hebrew words related to gold. Zahab (Strong's Concordance #H2091) is the most common word used for the precious metal. Paz (#H6337) references the mineral in a refined state.

Betser (#H1220), found only in Job 22:24, refers to gold when it is broken up. Betsar (#H1222), also only used in Job, is another name for the precious substance. Ophiyr (#H211) refers to the metal found in the region of Ophir.

Kethem (#H3800), a word which means, "carved out" references the metal as originally mined. The phrase zahab sagar tachath (#H2091, #H5462 and #H8478), written in Job 28:15, references the purest gold possible. Dehab (#H1722), which occurs only in the books of Daniel and Ezra, is the Aramaic (Chaldean) word for the mineral.

Gold, in the New Testament, is referred to by chrusos (#G5557) which is anything like a coin or ornament made of the metal. Other Greek words used as synonyms for the precious mineral include chrusion (#G5553), chruseos (#G5552) and chrusodaktulios (#G5554).

Where Was It Located?

Scripture lists at least six places, in ancient times, where gold 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).

Gold, in Biblical times, 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 price of $1,500 per troy ounce, a talent would be worth $1,641,000.

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. According to the council, 75% of all this metal ever mined has been extracted since 1910 A.D.

Role In Prophecy

Amazingly, the prophetic book of Revelation refers to gold no less than twenty-two times! It will play a major role in End Time events. Seven lampstands made from the metal are referred to three times (1:12, 1:20 and 2:1).

Jesus, in a vision, revealed the book's prophecies to John clothed in a girdle or band made of this precious metal (1:13). Other references in this prophetic book include Revelation 4:4, 5:8, 8:3, 9:7, 9:20, 14:14 and 17:3 - 5 (which references a woman riding a beast).

Lastly, the final use of gold in the Bible occurs when God creates a new heavens and a new earth. He will personally make a New Jerusalem, complete with streets composed of the rare mineral, and lower it from heaven onto a new earth so that he can dwell with mankind forever (Revelation 21).

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