Marble

Marble [N] [S]

as a mineral, consists of carbonate of lime, its texture varying from the highly crystalline to the compact. In Esther 1:6 there are four Hebrew words which are rendered marble:,

  • Shesh, "pillars of marble." But this word probably designates dark-blue limestone rather than marble.
  • Dar, some regard as Parian marble. It is here rendered "white marble." But nothing is certainly known of it.
  • Bahat, "red marble," probably the verd-antique or half-porphyry of Egypt.
  • Sohareth, "black marble," probably some spotted variety of marble. "The marble pillars and tesserae of various colours of the palace at Susa came doubtless from Persia itself, where marble of various colours is found, especially in the province of Hamadan Susiana." The marble of Solomon's architectural works may have been limestone from near Jerusalem, or from Lebanon, or possibly white marble from Arabia. Herod employed Parian marble in the temple, and marble columns still exist in great abundance at Jerusalem.

    These dictionary topics are from
    M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
    published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

    [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
    [S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary

    Bibliography Information

    Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Marble". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .

  • Marble. [N] [E]

    The Hebrew shesh , the generic term for marble, may probably be taken to mean almost any shining stone. The so-called marble of Solomons architectural works may thus have been limestone. There can be no doubt that Herod both in the temple and elsewhere employed Parian or other marble. The marble pillars and tesserae of various colors of the palace at Susa came doubtless from Persia. ( Esther 1:8 )


    [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
    [E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary

    Bibliography Information

    Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Marble'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary". . 1901.

    MARBLE

    mar'-b'-l (shayish, shesh, 'abhne shayish, "stones of marble" (1 Chronicles 29:2); ritspath bahat wa-shesh we-dhar we-cochareth, "a pavement of red, and white, and yellow, and black marble," or, according to the margin, "a pavement of porphyry, and white marble, and alabaster, and stone of blue color" (Esther 1:6); `ammudhe shesh, "pillars of marble" (Esther 1:6; Song of Solomon 5:15); compare shesh, the King James Version margin "silk" or the Revised Version (British and American) "fine linen" (Genesis 41:42; Exodus 25:4, etc.); shoshannim, "lilies" (Song of Solomon 2:16, etc.), apparently from a root signifying "white"; marmaros, "marble" (Revelation 18:12)):

    Marble is properly crystalline limestone, usually pure white or veined with black, the former being in demand for statuary, while the latter is used in architecture, especially for floors and pillars. True marble is not found in Palestine, but is obtained from Greece or Italy. Much of the stone described as marble is non-crystalline limestone capable of being smoothed and polished. White or yellow stone of this character is abundant in Palestine. Non-crystalline rocks of other colors are also sometimes called marble. In the passage from Esther cited above (compare margin), it is a question whether the reference is to marble and other stones or to marble of different colors. In 1 Chronicles 29:2, "marble stones" are mentioned among the materials brought together by David for the building of the temple. In Esther 1:6, pillars and a pavement of marble are features of the palace of Ahasuerus. In Song of Solomon 5:15, the various parts of the body of the "beloved" are likened to gold, beryl, ivory, sapphire, and marble. In Revelation 18:12, marble occurs in the list of the merchandise of Babylon. All these references imply a costly stone, and therefore probably one imported from other countries, and make it likely that true crystalline marble is meant.

    Alfred Ely Day


    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.

    Bibliography Information
    Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'MARBLE'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.