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Blue

BLUE תְּכֵ֫לֶת, H9418: a color extracted from the mollusk Helix Ianthina (LXX, ὑάκινθος, G5611). Pliny (Nat. Hist. XXI, 45) calls it amethyst, but this represents some confusion on his part (Forbes, Studies in Ancient Technology, IV, 119). It is a color derived by varying the process of extraction (ibid., p. 119). No specifications of intensity by which to define colors are or were available, most of the dyes being secrets of individual families (ibid., p. 100). The exact color on the fringe of every Heb. garment (Num 15:38) thus cannot be defined. There is also no indication of how the dye was made. However, the usu bablah or bulah (see below) occurs from Egypt to India and no doubt the Israelites during the bondage had learned to make the blue extract from the bark (ibid., p. 112).