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AMBER (ăm'bêr, Heb. hash-mal, meaning unknown). Only in description of color of divine glory (Ezek.1.4, Ezek.1.27; Ezek.8.2; niv “glowing metal”). LXX has ēlektron, allied with ēlektōr, “the beaming sun,” designating a compound of silver and gold.

AMBER, a yellow translucent fossil tree resin which through loss of volatile constituents, oxidation and polymerization has attained a stable state. Burial time needed to reach this state may be millions of years and as “fossil” implies prehistoric life, the resin must have been exuded from a tree at least before recorded history. It occurs as irregular modules or droplike shapes in all shades of yellow with aspects of orange, brown and, rarely, red (Ezek 1:4, RSV gives “bronze,” NEB gives “brass”). Deeply colored translucent to transparent varieties are prized as gem material and have been used, since prehistoric times, for ornaments.

See also

  • Precious Stones