I am a Christian. I believe in the God of the Bible, in God the Father, in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit. I believe in Genesis 1:1 - "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (NIV)" I am a biochemist and a pharmacist by education. As such I have a desire to understand nature. I am writing this blog as my way to express the facts of true science as I understand them, from the perspective of one who believes that all things were created by God, for God and for His purposes.

Feel free to comment, to offer your perspective, or to give suggestions for subjects.
Please take a minute to "Like" us on Facebook.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Jasper - A Diamond in the Rough?

Jasper - what is it? Today it is classified as an opaque, impure variety of silica from the family of quartz. It can come in almost any color but most commonly as red, yellow, brown or green. It can be found worldwide. But what about in biblical times? Jasper is known to have been a favorite gem in the ancient world; its name can be traced back in Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, Assyrian, Greek and Latin. Probably the jasper of the ancients included stones which would now be considered chalcedony, and the emerald-like jasper may have been akin to modern-day chrysoprase.

Two different Hebrew words are translated as jasper in the bible, "yashĕpheh" and "iaspis." Yashĕpheh was the term in Exodus 28:20 and 39:13 for describing the last or twelfth jewel in the Breastplate of Aaron, the High Priest. This stone signified the Tribe of Benjamin (from birth order) the last of the twelve sons of Jacob, or Naphtali from the order of the camp (found in Numbers 2:1ff); scholars don't agree on how to match up the sons and the stones. The stones of the breastplate have also been ascribed to the Apostles, with the yashĕpheh given to Peter.

Literally translated, yashĕpheh means "to polish" and was a precious stone of different colors. The word yashĕpheh probably designated a green jasper. The odem, the first stone on the High Priest's breastplate, may have been a red jasper and tarshish, the tenth stone, may have been a yellow jasper.


Jasper is the Last Stone on the
Breastplate of the High Priest
And the First Foundation of the New Jerusalem


Iaspis is considered as a derivative of yashĕpheh, albeit the feminine form. It is a Phoenican word signifying a translucent stone of various colors, especially that of fire, as in the appearance of the Lamb of God sitting on His throne in Revelation 4:3. It is used in our quoted verses, Revelation 21:19-20 (NIV), as well as in Revelation 21:11 (NIV) - the light of the New Jerusalem - "clear as crystal" and in Revelation 21:18 (NIV) - the wall of the City - "like unto clear glass."

These references to being "crystal clear" have led some to think that a diamond is referenced here, but it is not the same word as used in Exodus (28:18 and 39:11) when describing the diamond in the High Priest's breastplate. The diamond was in the second row, the sixth stone and signified the Tribe of Naphtali (birth order) or Gad (Numbers 2:1ff). The word used for diamond is yahalom, which refers to the hardness of the stone - diamond is the hardest substance known to man. However, the characteristics of the jasper stone as far as they are specified in Revelation, that it "was most precious," and "like crystal," and that is was a stone of brilliant and transparent light seem to uphold the theory that the diamond may more adequately fit the description for the foundation.

Most biblical scholars agree that the color of the stone in the breastplate was green. Many also assign green to jasper in the foundation of the New Kingdom. However there is a school of thought that both jaspers may actually be red. The breastplate stones were probably spoils from Egypt and Egyptian jasper was known to be only one of three colors — brown, yellow, or red, but not green. Also, the appearance of Jesus sitting on His throne in Revelation 4:3 is described as "to look upon like a jasper and a sardius stone.” The sardius stone is a red carnelian and the reference is equating the two stones as looking very similar. Jesus is elsewhere described as having fire in His eyes (Revelation 1:14 - "His eyes like a flame of fire") and He shed His blood for our salvation (Matthew 26:28). Red jasper is found in "bloodstone." Bloodstone is dark to medium green with small spots of red jasper scattered throughout. Many early Christians wore it to remind themselves of Christ's sacrifice. Legend maintains that the red formed when drops of Christ's blood landed on green jasper at the foot of the Cross although bloodstone originated in India long before Christ's birth.

Jasper symbolizes the glory of God; His splendor, brightness, magnificence and beauty. It symbolizes the blood atonement we have through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the passing over of God’s judgment. It also represents royalty, prosperity, prestige, and valiance. Just as jasper was known for its highly polished finish, in the same way we should be known for our high moral standards and the character brought forth in us by obedience to God. In no way does this imply we are sinless, just hopefully meek enough to recognize our weaknesses and willing enough to take the actions necessary to overcome them.

Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV) - Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

35 comments:

  1. You have a well structured, professionally informative, and worth while blog. Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks and keep up the very interesting work.

      Delete
  2. Yahushua (wrongly called Jesus), was a reddish brown man...that's what was seen on the thrown, a dark skinned man that whose skin tone resembled the very earth from which the original man was formed.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can see why Jasper would be bloodstone, good idea!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I read a viewpoint based on biblical research that the jasper mentioned in Revelation was likely referring to clear quartz which is a cryptocrystalline jasper. This resonates with me because of the purity, light reflection and frequent rainbow effects that clear quartz possesses.

    A rainbow is present around God's throne in Revelation 4:3 and Ezekiel 1:28 references a rainbow again to symbolically describe the brightness of God's appearance. Revelation 21:11 describes the New Jerusalem as "descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal." Revelation 21:23 says the glory of God will illuminate the New Jerusalem and that the Lamb will be its light in place of the sun and moon. I think all of this points to a truly clear stone, not a colored one, in order to illuminate with pure light, which is the perfect metaphor for God. (All scripture NKJV)

    I found this jasper=clear quartz theory under the category 'The Stones' in a blog about an artist's project called http://therevelationpainting.wordpress.com/. I value all of your insightful observations relating to stones and the Bible, especially 'Chalcedony - The Secret Stone'. Thanks for your scripturally-guided insights.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you so much for your insights! I am researching Revelation 4:3 for art/worship purposes and this article has given me food for thought and prayer.
    Also I want to thank the poster above me for sharing your thoughts and the link!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love the free use of this site, open to anyone seeking truth.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love the free use of this site, open to anyone seeking truth.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Maybe diamonds are not what we think maybe they are just glass; silica. Maybe the REAL diamond is Jasper we all diamonds in the sky aka stars

    ReplyDelete
  9. All I can say is I am grateful for the explanations given and know that when we arrive there to live eternally we can look for these and say what we thought and then see whether we were close to the right answer to our curiosity or not. But by then it won't matter. Thankyou for the opportunity to see the colors and to read up on the differing opinions on the colors.

    ReplyDelete
  10. All I can say is I am grateful for the explanations given and know that when we arrive there to live eternally we can look for these and say what we thought and then see whether we were close to the right answer to our curiosity or not. But by then it won't matter. Thankyou for the opportunity to see the colors and to read up on the differing opinions on the colors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Look at the rock now and see God. Get you some

      Delete
    2. First description of Christ in Revelation this is Him as Glory entering as all power Truth Vanishing all Lies magnificent to behold our Almighty God Omnipotent Father.

      Delete
  11. Are you still blogging? You have a perspective of science and faith, that I also have; The two CAN go hand in hand, if Father gets the credit for all the fascinating things we figure out using, science.

    ReplyDelete
  12. whatever the walls and gates are made of, they will be perfect as made by the Almighty

    ReplyDelete
  13. Certainly appreciate the article. It’s sad the art of using things in nature; stones, gems, water, herbs, etc. was lost but it seems people are starting to take interest again. There’s so much beauty around us if we’d only stop, listen & really focus on what we’re looking at.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Very fun to read thank you very much

    ReplyDelete
  15. While researching jasper, chalcedony and carnelian which I have found in the fields of my grandmother's farm in North Dakota, I came upon your biblical references; and I can see in the fractures of a small carnelian from the field a face, with fire in its eyes. It has sat on my desk for several years, and its subtle beauty has enchanted me. Now, I am determined to read the book of Revelations for the first time in my long life. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  16. How great and perfect is the works of our God

    ReplyDelete
  17. Grateful for your information. I've been searching these stones for 7 years.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am a dreamer. I heard the Lord calling me in a dream 'Jasper,' I have been searching and searching for the revelation behind it. If anyone has foresight, I would be interested. Your sight is very noteworthy.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I came across a prophecy today that was given to me back in 2005.
    I was called Jasper, I didn't know what that meant so I have googled it and found your information as well as other information.
    I am so emotional about this as last week my marriage of 25 years fell apart. As we know there are no accidents in God, so to find this prophecy today has given me some strength and now to find out the meaning of being called Jasper has given me an answer to something I was asking God about last night.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting information like this up

    ReplyDelete
  20. I am interested in the jasper stone, as I own a black one. It has been a sense of curiosity as to what it really mean. I was obliged to get this very large stone, which I use as a necklace, from a find at a yard sale. It is a great conversation starter. I am glad to have found your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Time for me too do a lot more research on stones in the scriptures ... Holy Ghost got us searching for our Fathers face. Gregory L Jones. watts C A.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm a lapidary trying to piece together a few puzzles regarding stones in Scripture. This was very informative and greatly appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thank you for all this awesome information! To learn "the rest of the story" and get the bigger picture, read Revelation chapter 4. It describes our holy, holy, holy God whose appearance is like jasper. Let's worship Him in His beauty and His holiness! Worthy, worthy, worthy is the Lamb of God, who was slain for us. Jesus is our Redeemer, who created all things for His pleasure, including all the beautiful gem stones in the world. Let's worship Him!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Each ethnic group represents a stoe/color/star for the final construct of the glorified body reoresented by the rainbow. The appearance of God is a clear jasper stone similar to a sardine stone & appearing as a diamond, producing a full spectrum of light coming from His Body ...even so we shall shine in various colors to replace the stars in the new heaven.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank you very much God told me to look up Jasper an this blog has helped me learn

    ReplyDelete
  26. Came across your site as I was studying Revelation chapter 4, thank you for the helpful and detailed information!

    ReplyDelete