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.
And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it was divided and became four heads. The name of the first is Pishon, which surrounds all the land of Havilah, where there is gold.
And the gold of that land is good. There is also bdellium and the onyx stone. (Genesis 2:10 - 12, HBFV).
A Frequent Topic
The English word "gold" is recorded 417 times in 361 King James Bible verses. The Old Testament possesses 391 out of the 417 times the word is used while the New Testament contains the remaining 26 occurrences. 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.
But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding? . . . It cannot be gotten for gold (zahab sagar tachath), neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. (Job 28:12, 15, KJV).
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). This word means anything like a coin or ornament made of the metal. Other Greek words used as synonyms for this 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. Additionally Jesus, who revealed the prophecies of the book to the Apostle John, wore a golden breastplate in the vision he gave him.
And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me; and when I turned, I saw seven golden lampstands.And in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of man, clothed in a garment reaching to the feet, and girded about the chest with a golden breastplate. (Revelation 1:12 - 13, HBFV, see also verse 20 and 2:1)
Other references in this prophetic book to gold 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).
The New Jerusalem
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!
And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each of the gates respectively was a single pearl; and the street of the city was pure gold, as transparent as glass. (Revelation 21:21, HBFV).