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Ch. 7: Religious Use of Gems

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other and better known meanings, such as "hope," "faith," and "resurrection."
For the tribe of Judah we have the ruby, and here the meaning of the name, "praised," fits in well with the dignity of the rare and glowing ruby. This noble gem has always been a favorite adornment for royal crowns and from Judah sprang the royalty of Israel. The blessing given to this tribe declares that "the sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come." This is often taken to signify the consummation of the Kingdom of Israel in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Issachar, signifying "reward," or "the rewarded," sug­gests as symbolic meanings of the tribal stone lapis lazuli, ' ' success ' ' and ' ' fruition. ' ' This stone, the sapphire of the ancients, was typical of heaven, probably owing to the appearance of the specimens most highly valued in olden times, those in which a number of golden spots are scat­tered over the blue surface of the stone, which thus figure both the blue of heaven and the hosts of the stars.
The tribal name Zebulon signifies "exaltation," and to this tribe is assigned a dwelling-place by the sea bordering on the domains of the rich Phenician seaport, Sidon. We could thus see in the gem of Zebulon, the onyx, a symbol of dominion and authority. This could serve to offset some of the old superstitions regarding the onyx, which was some­times charged with bringing discord and dissension.
Of the tribe Joseph, we are told that it was to be in­creased, and this meaning is contained in the name itself, which is rendered : ' ' May God add. ' ' To Joseph were prom­ised "blessings of heaven above," and "blessings of the deep that lieth under." The sapphire, probably the tribal stone of Joseph, was known in ancient times by the name hyacinth and was a stone of good omen, bringing increase
Ch. 7: Religious Use of Gems Page of 485 Ch. 7: Religious Use of Gems
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