Precious Stones and Birds – Introduction

Sapphire Flycatcher (Ficedula sapphira) ©WikiC

I am currently attending a Bible study class on Heaven. It is very interesting, and of course, when the mention of the various precious stones, with their beautiful colors came up, birds fluttered to mind. I have been accused of having a “bird brain.” [Always thinking about things in relation to birds.]

A huge question came to mind. Wonder if I could find birds whose names or colors closely reflected the names of those stones? Sounds like a simple idea. Right? Not so fast, as I am finding out.

Asian Emerald Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx maculatus) by Nikhil Devasar

Asian Emerald Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx maculatus) by Nikhil Devasar

Here are some of the verses from Revelation Chapter 21:

“10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. (KJV)  [Yes, pearls are not stones]

Things go well with Gold, Jasper, Sapphire, Emerald, Topaz, Jacinth?, and Amethyst. What about chalcedony, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolyte, beryl [maybe], and chrysoprasus? Have you ever heard of them?

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) ©WikiC

In the King James Study Bible  for Revelation 21:9–21. “These verses describe the beauty and glory of the holy Jerusalem. It is called Christ’s bride (cf. v. 2), a reference perhaps to the church as the city’s principal inhabitant. It is an expression of the glory of God. The wall shows its security and protection. Its gates show accessibility. Saved Israel is also present. It has dimensions of approximately 1,500 miles cubed. The gold and precious stones may be earthly materials glorified (cf. 1 Cor. 15:50–54). They depict the glory, beauty, and eternal quality of the city. Jasper is green, sapphire is blue, chalcedonyis green, emerald is green, sardonyx is red and white, sardius is bloodred, chrysolyte is yellow or gold, beryl is green, topaz is greenish gold or yellow, chrysoprasus is green, jacinth is bluish purple, and amethyst is purple quartz. The effect is a magnificent city of brilliant gold adorned with gems of every color. There appears to be only one street (cf. 22:2), also made of pure, radiant gold.”

That quote is giving the possible colors for the different stone names.

Amethyst-throated Sunangel (Heliangelus_amethysticollis) ©WikiC

Stones, Precious
“Precious stones are frequently alluded to in Scriptures; they were known and very highly valued in the earliest times. The Tyrians traded in precious stones supplied by Syria. Ezekiel 27:16. The merchants of Sheba and Raamah in south Arabia, and, doubtless, India and Ceylon, supplied the markets of Tyre with various precious stones. The art of engraving on precious stones was known from the very earliest times. Genesis 38:18.
The twelve stones of the breastplate were engraved, each one, with the name of one of the tribes. Exodus 28:17-21…
Precious stones are used in Scripture … to signify value, beauty durability, etc., in those objects with which they are compared. See Song of Solomon 5:14; Isaiah 54:11-12; Lam. 4:7; Rev. 4:3; Rev. 21:10; Rev 21:21. [Definition from of Precious Stones in the Smith’s Bible Dictionary]

Golden Tanager (Tangara arthus) ©WikiC

The Bible Knowledge Commentary says this of Revelation 21:19-21″

“The decorations of the foundations (with the apostles’ names inscribed on them) include 12 stones involving different colors. The color of the jasper is not indicated. The sapphire was probably blue; the chalcedony comes from Chalcedon, Turkey and is basically blue with stripes of other colors. The emerald is a bright green; the sardonyx is red and white; and the carnelian, called a “sardius” in the NASB, is usually ruby-red in color, though it sometimes has an amber or honey color. In Rev_4:3 the carnelian stone is coupled with the jasper to reflect the glory of God. The chrysolyte is a golden color, probably different from the modern chrysolyte stone which is pale green. The beryl is a sea green; the topaz is a transparent yellow-green; the chrysoprase is also green; the jacinth is violet in color; and the amethyst is purple. The stones together provide a brilliant array of beautiful colors. The gates resemble huge, single pearls, and the street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass (cf. Rev 21:18).
While the beauty of the city may have symbolic meaning, no clue is given as to the precise interpretation. Since it is reasonable to assume that the saints will dwell in the city, it is best to take the city as a literal future dwelling place of the saints and angels.”

There are some difficult words in some of those quotes, but the idea is that not everyone agrees on the color of the stones. The Bible was written in Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic, and we are reading it in English, almost 2,000 years later. Words sometimes change meaning over time.

Pearl-spotted Owlet (Glaucidium perlatum) Breeding Room by Lee

Pearl-spotted Owlet (Glaucidium perlatum) Breeding Room by Lee

As you can see, it is going to take a while to figure out some of these colors to find possible matching bird colors and names. A friend mentioned that the colors were maybe the same as the ones in the rainbow. Sounds reasonable. When the Lord created the birds, He knew about the rainbow that was going to be given as a promise after the flood. He also knew the colors of the foundations of the New Jerusalem. So, why would he not use those colors in birds when He created them?

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:1-3 KJV)

Stay Tuned!

Wordless Toucan

Birds of the Bible – Foundation – The Ark

Ernesto Carrasco's Noah's Ark Model

Ernesto Carrasco’s Noah’s Ark Model –  Noah’s Ark Model

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (Hebrews 11:7 KJV)

We will continue on with the Birds of the Bible – Foundation series.

If you have not read the previous blogs:
Foundation #1 Updated  –  Foundation #2 Updated –  Foundation #3 Updated – Foundation #4 Updated

(These articles are being updated because they were written back in 2009 and needed a little dusting off. The Truths are the same, just updating the photos, etc.) This article about the Ark is a new one. It needs to go between #4 and #5, but I didn’t want to call it #4.5.

Ark with Animals ©CreationWiki

Ark with Animals ©CreationWiki

What this Foundation article is about, is the Ark itself. We read about the birds going into and out of the ark in the other Birds of the Bible Foundation articles. But what about the Ark?

Noah's Ark © SketchPort

Noah’s Ark © SketchPort

How did Noah, his family, the animals and our birds all fit in the ark? Was it like you see depicted many times in drawings with of a small boat with a giraffe sticking his head out?

Girrafe at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee

Giraffe at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee

If it was a small ark, as some suppose, it is because they do not believe God’s Word. God said He was going to destroy all flesh except those on the Ark.

And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. (Genesis 6:17-20 KJV) (emphasis mine)

They don’t believe those verses. They think that it was only a local flood. If it were, why did the birds have to come on board? They could have just flown off to some other part of the earth. So, for those that only believe in a partial flood, a small ark with a giraffe sticking out is sufficient.

But, did those verses not say that “flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh” and “every thing that is in the earth shall die”?  Is God a liar? The exception, of course, are those with Noah in the Ark.

Ark Model at Creation Museum ©Flickr Daniel Tuttle

Ark Model at Creation Museum ©Flickr Daniel Tuttle

And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry. (Genesis 8:13 KJV)

So, we need a big Ark, one that the Giraffes and birds don’t have to hang out the windows. Right? So, how big was the Ark?

“Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.” (Genesis 6:14-16 NKJV)

The reason for this article is that, today, there is construction of a life size Ark underway. It is being built by the Answers in Genesis organization. The Ark Encounter, as the location will be known as, is in Williamstown, Kentucky. The planned opening is July 7, 2016. We will be going to Indiana this summer and are planning to visit the Ark during the trip.

Here are two videos showing the ark under construction. They have all those men and great technology. Noah took 120 years. During that time he was preaching and trying to get others to join him and his family.

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I trust those videos will give you a new perspective of how large the Ark actually was. There was even more room for more people to be saved, had they only believed God’s Word. We have the same issue today. John 3:16 is right before our eyes almost daily. Even ball games have banners reminding people of this promise of salvation. If they would only believe.

That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:15-19 KJV)

If I took verse 19 and changed it thus; “And this is the condemnation, that AN ARK WAS come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19) (My paraphrase) This is why they didn’t seek to join Noah. That is the same reason sinners refuse to be saved today.

Gospel Message

Continue to Birds of the Bible – Foundation #5 (Updated version coming soon)

Some links to some informative articles about the flood and the Ark:

Gospel Message

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