From the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, written by L. Frank Baum (1900).
The Emerald City we all remember from Oz gave the illusion of being green. But it was neither Emerald nor green. Neither was it bright and glorious. However, in God's Heavenly City, mentioned in Revelation 21:19, the Emerald foundation is truly Emerald and truly green. The New Jerusalem is built on a strata of twelve precious stones, the Emerald being the fourth foundation (See The Minerals of Revelation). It is also brilliantly bright and profoundly glorious radiating the Shekhinah of God.
The Lush Green Color of the Emerald
Reflects the Shekhinah Glory of God
Reflects the Shekhinah Glory of God
Emerald is found in the Bible five times. In the New testament it is the Greek word "smaragdinos" in Revelation 4:3 and "smaragdos" in Revelation 21:19. Smaragdinos means "made of Emerald" and is derived from smaragdos which translates "a transparent precious stone noted especially for its light green color."
In the Old Testament, however, there is some confusion. The Hebrew word "bareqeth" is sometimes interpreted as Emerald (NKJV, NLT), sometimes Carbuncle (KJV) and sometimes Beryl (NIV) in Exodus 28:17 when referencing the third stone in the first row of the priestly Breastplate. An Emerald is essentially a transparent green Beryl but a Carbuncle is more likely a red Garnet. In the KJV the Hebrew word "nophek," from an unused root meaning to glisten, is used to describe the fourth stone in the High Priest's Breastplate and is translated Emerald. Nophek is translated as Turquoise in the other three Bible versions. As the third stone, Emerald would represent Levi by birth order or Zebulon by the order of the camp. As the fourth stone of the Breastplate it represents the tribe of Judah (by birth) or Reuben. The more appropriate position seems to be the third stone.
The Emerald, with a transparency and beauty that does not change, signifies John the Evangelist. He soothes the soul dejected by sin with his doctrinal writings, lending strength to our faith. The Emerald, bearing the color of life, represents the Apostle who enjoyed the longest life.
An Emerald is a transparent light green stone, a variety of the mineral Beryl (Be3Al2(SiO3)6) colored by trace amounts of Chromium and sometimes Vanadium. Structurally, it is a transparent hexagonal crystal with a brilliant reflecting color. The Emerald is highly polished and is found in metamorphic rocks, granites, and mica schist. Although claims have been made that the ancients knew nothing of the Emerald; this is clearly refuted by Pliny, Theophrastus and others even though the name may possibly have been used to refer to other stones. The ancients could have obtained the stone from Egypt or India.
The Emerald signifies the glories of God and His saints, the fresh, flourishing essence of life, growth and integrity. Its rich lush medium green color glitters brilliantly in the light. In the Middle Ages miraculous healing powers were attributed to the Emerald, among them the power to preserve or restore sight. Its green color represents increase, prosperity, immortality and incorruptibility.
Psalms 57:10-11 (NIV) - For great is Your love, reaching to the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies. 11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Your glory be over all the earth.
1 Corinthians 10:31 - So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Revelation 21:23-24 (NIV) - The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.