Jacinth in the Bible

Question?   -   Newsletter   -   New!
Gemstones in the Bible
Amethyst   -   Beryls   -   Diamond
Emerald   -   Jasper   -   Lapis Lazuli
Onyx   -   Ruby   -   Sapphire   -   MORE!
Jacinth is the first stone mentioned in the Bible in the third row of the priest's breastplate (Exodus 28:19). It is derived from the Hebrew word leshem (Strong's Concordance #H3958). Both Strong's and the BDB lexicon define this word as a jacinth or ligure stone. This word is also rendered as this precious stone in eight of the ten Bible versions used for comparison in this series. The other two versions of Scripture, the HBFV and the KJV, render the word as "opal" and "ligure."

The eleventh of twelve precious stones used in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:20) is called in the Greek huakinthos (Strong's #G5192). Strong's states the word can be translated as either "jacinth" or "hyacinth." Thayer's lexicon equates the Greek word to "hyacinth."

Huakinthos is also translated as this precious stone in Revelation 9:17 where two hundred million horsemen are stated to have breastplates that partly look like, or have in them, this gemstone.

And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. (Revelation 9:17, KJV).

There is a difficulty, however, in determining what the Jacinth of Scripture looked like due to conflicting definitions regarding the color of the gemstone.

Tiara made with Jacinth Gemstones
Tiara Made of Jacinth

Both Strong's and the BDB lexicon do not define the coloration of the stone mentioned in Exodus 28:19. Strong's, however, does define the jacinth (hyacinth) gemstone mentioned in Revelation 21:20 as deep blue. Thayer's says the stone in Revelation 21 is "dark blue verging on black."

And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;

The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. (Revelation 21:19 - 20, KJV).

Keil and Delitzsch's Commentary declares the jacinth found in Exodus 28:19 is "a transparent stone chiefly of an orange color, but running sometimes into a reddish brown, at other times into a brownish or pale red, and sometimes into an approach to a pistachio green."

Easton's Bible Dictionary defines this gemstone as being a reddish blue or deep purple color. Both Fausset's and Smith's Bible dictionary states the stones are a red variety of zircon. Gill's Exposition of the Scriptures says the stone is either purple or violet.

Mindat.org, a popular mineral site, states that this stone (the reference of which is synonymous to hyacinths) can range in color from yellow-red to red-brown. The United States Geologic Survey site defines hyacinths as coming in yellow, orange, red and brown colors.


Amulets containing Jacinth were thought to protect travelers against the plague and any wounds or injuries they would otherwise experience during their trip. The stone was also thought to insure a warm reception at any inn he visited along the way and even protect the wearer from being hit by lightning (Curious Lore of Precious Stones, pages 81 - 82).

Recommended Articles
Why Does Purple Symbolize Royalty?
What Does Yellow Symbolize?
What Kind of Relationship Does God Want?
What Were the Plagues of Egypt?
Should We Be Baptized in Jesus' Name?
Is It a Wrong to Have a Blood Transfusion?
What Is the Golden Rule?
Is Ebola an Old Testament Plague?

Biblical Gemstones
Agate    -    Carbuncle    -    Carnelian
Chalcedony    -    Chrysolite     -     Chrysoprase
Coral     -     Pearl    -    Peridot
Rock Crystal    -    Topaz     -     Turquoise
High Priest Breastplate Gems
New Jerusalem Gemstones