marble in the Bible

Marble is as a mineral, consisting of carbonate of lime, its texture varying from the highly crystalline to the compact.

In Esther 1:6, there are four Hebrew words which are rendered as “marble.”

  1. Shesh, “pillars of marble”—But this word probably designates dark-blue limestone rather than marble.
  2. Dar, some regard as Parian marble. It is here rendered “white marble.” But nothing is certainly known of it.
  3. Bahat, “red marble,” probably the verd-antique or half-porphyry of Egypt.
  4. Sohareth, “black marble,” probably some spotted variety of marble.

“The marble pillars and tesserae of various color of the palace at Susa came doubtless from Persia itself, where marble of various colors is found, especially in the province of Hamadan Susiana.”

The marble of Solomon’s architectural works may have been limestone from near Jerusalem, or from Lebanon, or possibly white marble from Arabia.

Herod employed Parian marble in the temple, and marble columns still exist in great abundance at Jerusalem.

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