What is a…

Hebrew: gabish (Job 28:18 KJV)

Greek: margarites (Matthew 7:6 KJV; Matt. 13:46 KJV; Rev. 21:21 KJV)

The pearl oyster (a mollusk) in Biblical times were found in the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and other parts of the Indian Ocean.

Its shell is called “mother of pearl,” which is of value for ornamental purposes (1 Timothy 2:9 KJV; Rev. 17:4 KJV).

“For thousands of years, seawater pearls were retrieved by divers in the Indian Ocean in areas such as the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Mannar. Evidence also suggest a prehistoric origin to pearl diving in these regions.”1

  1. Robert Carter, “The History and Prehistory of Pearling in the Persian Gulf” (2005)

    “History of the Discovery and Appreciation of Pearls - the Organic Gem Perfected by Nature,” internetstones.com (December 6, 2015)

    K.M. De Silva, Volume 2 of History of Ceylon, History of Ceylon: History of Sri Lanka, (Peradeniya: Ceylon University Press, 1995), p. 56. ISBN 978-955-589-004-5.

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Article Version: July 18, 2021