No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom [is] above rubies.
Syria [was] thy merchant by reason of the multitude of the wares of thy making: they occupied in thy fairs with emeralds, purple, and broidered work, and fine linen, and coral, and agate.
Related Topics and Bible Verses
Heb. ramoth, meaning "heights;" i.e., "high-priced" or valuable
things, or, as some suppose, "that which grows high," like a
tree (Job 28:18; Ezek. 27:16), according to the Rabbins, red
coral, which was in use for ornaments.
The coral is a cretaceous marine product, the deposit by
minute polypous animals of calcareous matter in cells in which
the animal lives. It is of numberless shapes as it grows, but
usually is branched like a tree. Great coral reefs and coral
islands abound in the Red Sea, whence probably the Hebrews
derived their knowledge of it. It is found of different colours,
white, black, and red. The red, being esteemed the most
precious, was used, as noticed above, for ornamental purposes.
(Heb. peninim), only in plural (Lam. 4:7). The ruby was one of
the stones in the high priest's breastplate (Ex. 28:17). A
comparison is made between the value of wisdom and rubies (Job
28:18; Prov. 3:15; 8:11). The price of a virtuous woman is said
to be "far above rubies" (Prov. 31:10). The exact meaning of the
Hebrew word is uncertain. Some render it "red coral;" others,
"pearl" or "mother-of-pearl."
The sea so called extends along the west coast of Arabia for
about 1,400 miles, and separates Asia from Africa. It is
connected with the Indian Ocean, of which it is an arm, by the
Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb. At a point (Ras Mohammed) about 200
miles from its nothern extremity it is divided into two arms,
that on the east called the AElanitic Gulf, now the Bahr
el-'Akabah, about 100 miles long by 15 broad, and that on the
west the Gulf of Suez, about 150 miles long by about 20 broad.
This branch is now connected with the Mediterranean by the Suez
Canal. Between these two arms lies the Sinaitic Peninsula.
The Hebrew name generally given to this sea is _Yam Suph_.
This word _suph_ means a woolly kind of sea-weed, which the sea
casts up in great abundance on its shores. In these passages,
Ex. 10:19; 13:18; 15:4, 22; 23:31; Num. 14:25, etc., the Hebrew
name is always translated "Red Sea," which was the name given to
it by the Greeks. The origin of this name (Red Sea) is
uncertain. Some think it is derived from the red colour of the
mountains on the western shore; others from the red coral found
in the sea, or the red appearance sometimes given to the water
by certain zoophytes floating in it. In the New Testament (Acts
7:36; Heb. 11:29) this name is given to the Gulf of Suez.
This sea was also called by the Hebrews Yam-mitstraim, i.e.,
"the Egyptian sea" (Isa. 11:15), and simply Ha-yam, "the sea"
(Ex. 14:2, 9, 16, 21, 28; Josh. 24:6, 7; Isa. 10:26, etc.).
The great historical event connected with the Red Sea is the
passage of the children of Israel, and the overthrow of the
Egyptians, to which there is frequent reference in Scripture
(Ex. 14, 15; Num. 33:8; Deut. 11:4; Josh. 2:10; Judg. 11:16; 2
Sam. 22:16; Neh. 9:9-11; Ps. 66:6; Isa. 10:26; Acts 7:36, etc.).