In the passages cited and in Jeremiah 17:1, where it is rendered "diamond" the word shamir evidently refers to a hard stone. The word adamant ("unconquerable") is used in the early Greek writers for a hard metal, perhaps steel, later for a metal-like gold and later for the diamond. The Hebrew shamir, the Greek adamas (from which word "diamond" as well as "adamant" is derived) and the English adamant occur regularly in figurative expressions. All three are equally indefinite. Adamant may therefore be considered a good translation for shamir, though the Septuagint does not use adamas in the passages cited. There is a possible etymological identification of shamir with the Greek smyris (smeris or smiris), emery, a granular form of corundum well known to the ancients and used by them for polishing and engraving precious stones. Corundum in all its forms, including the sapphire and ruby, is in the scale of hardness next to the diamond. In English Versions of the Bible Isaiah 5:6; 7:23-25; 9:18; 10:17; 27:4; 32:13, shamir is translated "brier". See also STONES, PRECIOUS.
Alfred Ely Day
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