gold in the Bible

Gold was known from the earliest times (Genesis 2:11). It was principally used for ornaments (Genesis 24:22). It was very abundant (1 Chronicles 22:14; Nahum 2:9; Dan. 3:1).

Many tons of it were used in connection with the temple (2 Chronicles 1:15).

In Daniel 2:38, the Babylonian Empire is spoken of as a “head of gold” because of its great riches; and Babylon was called by Isaiah (Daniel 14:4) the “golden city” (Revised King James Version marginal note, “exactress,” adopting the reading marhebah, instead of the usual word madhebah).

Hebrew words translated as “gold”

  1. Hebrew: zahab, so called from its yellow color (Exodus 25:11; 1 Chronicles 28:18; 2 Chronicles 3:5).

  2. Hebrew: segor, from its compactness, or as being enclosed or treasured up; thus precious or “fine gold” (1 Kings 6:20; 7:49).

  3. Hebrew: paz, native or pure gold (Job 28:17; Psalm 19:10; 21:3, etc.).

  4. Hebrew: betzer, “ore of gold or silver” as dug out of the mine (Job 36:19, where it means simply riches).

  5. Hebrew: kethem, i.e., something concealed or separated (Job 28:16, 19; Psalm 45:9; Proverbs 25:12). Rendered “golden wedge” in Isaiah 13:12.

  6. Hebrew: haruts, i.e., dug out; poetic for gold (Proverbs 8:10; 16:16; Zechariah 9:3).

Sources of gold mentioned in Scripture

It was found in Arabia, Sheba, and Ophir (1 Kings 9:28; 10:1; Job 28:16), but not in Israel.

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Article Version: August 18, 2021