(Ex. 28:17; 39:10; Ezek. 28:13). Heb. barkath; LXX. smaragdos;
Vulgate, smaragdus; Revised Version, marg., "emerald." The
Hebrew word is from a root meaning "to glitter," "lighten,"
"flash." When held up to the sun, this gem shines like a burning
coal, a dark-red glowing coal, and hence is called
"carbunculus", i.e., a little coal. It was one of the jewels in
the first row of the high priest's breastplate. It has been
conjectured by some that the garnet is meant. In Isa. 54:12 the
Hebrew word is "'ekdah", used in the prophetic description of
the glory and beauty of the mansions above. Next to the diamond
it is the hardest and most costly of all precious stones.