And the third row, a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst.
] The first of these stones, the ligure or lyncurius, is said to be so called from the congealed urine of the lynx F14, but rather from the spots of that creature; for, according to Danaeus F15, it is the same stone with that called "stellina", from having many specks like stars spread about in it. Braunius F16 takes the "jacinth" stone to be here meant, and so does Ainsworth; see ( Revelation 21:20 ) , the second stone, the agate, is well known; and though now of little account, was formerly in great esteem, as Pliny F17 asserts, and therefore may well be thought to have a place among these stones. Pyrrhus king of Epirus had a very famous one, in which, not by art, but by nature, were seen the nine Muses, and Apollo holding an harp; the word for it here is "shebo", which comes from a word which signifies to captivate; because, as De Dieu observes, this stone is easily captivated under the hand of the artificer; there being no stone which so easily admits of engravings as this. The last of this row is the "amethyst"; which stone has its name either from its being of the colour of wine; or, as others, from its being a preservative from drunkenness: the Hebrew word "achlamah" seems to come from a word which signifies to dream; and this stone is supposed to cause persons to dream, as Aben Ezra, from one of their wise men, relates. On these three stones, according to the Jerusalem Targum, were written the names of the tribes of Dan, Naphtali, and Gad; but, according to the Targum of Jonathan, Gad, Asher, and Issachar, which is much better, for a reason before given.
F14 Vid. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 37. c. 3.
F15 Apud De Dieu in loc.
F16 Ut supra, (De Vestitu Sacerd. Heb. l. 2.) c. 14. sect. 9. p. 699.
F17 Nat. Hist. l. 37. c. 10.