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English Bible Dictionary

Stones

 

Besides the ordinary uses to which stones were applied, we may mention that large stones were set up to commemorate any remarkable event. (Genesis 28:18; 35:14; 31:45; Joshua 4:9; 1 Samuel 7:12) Such stones were occasionally consecrated By anointing. (Genesis 28:18) Heaps of stones were piled up on various occasions, as in token of a treaty, (Genesis 31:47) or over the grave of some notorious offender. (Joshua 7:26; 8:29; 2 Samuel 18:17) The "white stone" noticed in (Revelation 2:17) has been variously regarded as referring to the pebble of acquittal used in the Greek courts; to the lot cast in elections in Greece to both these combined; to the stones in the high priest's breastplate; to the tickets presented to the victor at the public games; or, lastly, to the custom of writing on stones. The notice in (Zechariah 12:3) of the "burdensome stone" is referred by Jerome to the custom of lifting stones as an exercise of strength, comp, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. Ecclus. 6:21; but it may equally well be explained of a large corner-stone as a symbol of strength. (Isaiah 28:16) Stones are used metaphorically to denote hardness or insensibility, (1 Samuel 25:37; Ezekiel 11:19; 36:26) as well as firmness or strength. (Genesis 49:24) The members of the Church are called "living stones," as contributing to rear that living temple in which Christ, himself "a living stone," is the chief or head of the corner. (Ephesians 2:20-22; 1 Peter 2:4-8)

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