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Digital Subscriptions > Rock&Gem Magazine > January 2019 > MINERALS AND METALS OF THE BIBLE


Brimstone, Salt, Copper, and Clay
Rock salt from Jebel Usdum near the Dead Sea, a deposit that was first mined about 1000 B.C.

The Bible references minerals and metals more than 1,700 times, using such familiar phrases as “fire and brimstone,” “pieces of silver,” “copper from the rock,” “salt of the Earth,” and “jars of clay.” It is interesting to consider these minerals and metals not in their scriptural contexts, but from the perspectives of history, geology, and biblical archaeology.

Glass was a valuable material in biblical times and even served as a semiprecious gemstone.

Biblical archaeologists study ancient cultural sites and artifacts to gain insight into the Bible’s Old and New Testaments. Combining archaeology with scriptural interpretation provides a clearer understanding of life as it was and the events that occurred during the biblical period, which extends more than three millennia from 3300 B.C. to the first century A.D.

Biblical archaeologists understandably focus on the Holy Land, the region between the Jordan Rift Valley and the Mediterranean Sea that now includes the State of Israel and the Palestinian territories, along with parts of Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. Their interest also extends to adjacent areas of biblical relevance from Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula in the south to Turkey in the north and Iraq in the east.

Archaeologists divide biblical history into three general periods based on the dominant material used in tools and weapons: the Stone Age (Neolithic), the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age. The late Stone Age includes the Chalcolithic Period, a transitional subperiod in which stone and copper were used simultaneously. These cultural periods occurred at different times in different regions. In the Holy Land, the Bronze Age began about 3300 B.C.; the Iron Age started about 1200 B.C.

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Rock & Gem January 2019, Examining Biblical Minerals Connections, Collecting Stalactites, And More.....