Syria was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of the
wares of thy making
Which they took off of their hands, and for them brought the following things: they occupied in thy fairs with emeralds;
precious stones of a green colour: Jarchi renders it "carbuncles", other precious stones of a different colour; and so the word is translated by Pagninus, Montanus, Grotius, the French, and Diodate; sometimes called "carchedonies", and which the Apostle John calls the "chalcedony", ( Revelation 21:19 ) , the same with rubies; and so the word here used is rendered by Luther; and, by Abarbinel, precious stones of great value; see ( Proverbs 3:15 ) , from whence the Syrians had these to trade with at Tyre cannot be easily said; the modern rubies, which are thought to be the true and genuine carbuncles of the ancients, seldom exceed the weight of twenty carats; yet some say the Emperor Rudolphus the second had a ruby as big as a little hen's egg, bought at sixty thousand ducats, and supposed to be worth more; and that Regulus Decan had one of thirty four carats, bought at six minas of gold, that is, a hundred and ninety two pounds of gold; and that the great Mogul had one, which cost a million four hundred and twenty five thousand florins; and that there are some which exceed the weight of fifty carats F6; but there were few, if any of these, that came to the market of Tyre; however, no doubt, some valuable ones were here sold. Purple, and broidered work, and fine linen;
cloth of purple colour, raiment of needlework curiously embroidered, and linen of the best sort. So the Targum,
``purple clothes, and wrought with a needle, and linen of different colours;''and of such they made their sails, tilts, and tents; see ( Ezekiel 27:7 ) . And coral, and agate;
the first is a sea plant.
``This opinion is now so well established, that all other sentiments seem almost precluded. P. Kircher supposes entire forests of it at the bottom of the sea; and M. Tournefort, that able botanist, maintains, that it evidently multiplies by seed, though neither its flower nor seed be known. However, the count de Marsigli has discovered some parts therein, which seem to serve the purpose of seeds and flower, it vegetates the contrary way to all other plants; its foot adhering to the top of the grotto, and its branches shooting downwards, there are properly but three kinds of coral, red, white, and black; the white is the rarest and most esteemed; but it is the red that is ordinarily used in medicine; the places for fishing it are the Persian gulf, Red sea, coasts of Africa towards the bastion of France, the isles of Majorca and Corsica, and the coasts of Provence and Catalonia F7.''Perhaps the Syrians might have theirs from the Red sea, or the Mediterranean. The other, the "agate", is a precious stone, the same with the "achates", first found in Sicily, as Isidore says F8, by a river of the same name; is of a black colour, according to him, having in the middle black and white circles joined and variegated; but they are of different colours, and of different degrees of transparency. The word is variously rendered; by some the ruby; by others the carbuncle; by others the chalcedony; and by others crystal; it is hard to say what is meant. Now the Phoenicians or Tyrians were so deeply engaged in trade with the Syrians, that it became a common proverb, the Phonicians against the Syrians F9; when like are set against like, as the Egyptians against the Egyptians, ( Isaiah 19:2 ) .
F6 Vid. Braunium de Vestitu Sacerdot. Hebr. 1. 2. c. 11. p. 669.
F7 Chambers's Cyclopaedia in the word "Coral".
F8 Origin, l. 16. c. 11.
F9 Vid. Reinesium de Lingua Punic. c. 2. sect. 12.