What does the Bible say about gold?

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

The Bible 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).

There are seven Hebrew words (seven is a number that symbolizes perfection) in the Old Testament used to refer to gold. The most common word used is Zahab (Strong's Concordance #H2091). It is from a root word that means to shimmer or shine. Paz (#H6337), refers to the mineral in its pure or refined state and sometimes refers to spiritual purity and glory. Betser (#H1220), found only in Job 22, refers to gold when it is broken up.

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Charuts (Strong's #H1220) is used to reference to gold when it is chopped or cut off in pieces. Kethem (#H3800) refers to the metal that it is in a state as pure as originally mined. Sagar (#H5462), found only in Job 28, references the metal as a solid. Lastly, Dehab (#H1722), which occurs only in the books of Daniel and Ezra, is yet another reference to gold.

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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).

Gold, in Bible 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 gold price of $1,500 per troy ounce, a talent would be worth $1,639,500.

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.

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 the 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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What does Proverbs say about wealth?
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