Gold in the Bible 

There are both positive and negative mentions of gold in the Bible, beginning with the first mention of the natural, yellow precious metal in Genesis 2:11-12: “The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.” (King James Version of the Bible, KJV).

Positive Mentions of Gold in the Bible

The Bible, in fact, speaks very positively about gold as a natural resource and a store of financial value, even in such ancient times. For example, in the wisdom book of Proverbs, the Bible compares a “wise rebuker” (someone who rebukes another person with truth and wisdom) is compared to an earring and ornament of fine gold in Proverbs 25:12: “As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.”

In such cases, there are direct mentions of jewelry, earrings, and gold in the Bible, and so we can correlate such verses to the Bible not forbidding wearing a gold cross in our day and age as a general equivalent.

There are many positive admonitions of gold in the Bible, especially when it comes to personifying the character trait of wisdom and comparing it to, in this case, another precious metal, silver: “If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;” (Proverbs 2:4).

In fact, both King Solomon’s house (his personal abode) as well as the temple of God which God built through the king was overlaid with fine gold. 1 Kings 6:21-22 says:

“So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold. And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house: also the whole altar that was by the oracle he overlaid with gold.”

Likewise, when it came to the temple of God, many of the holy vessels, including the golden candlestick, the ark of the covenant and even the statues of the cherubim next to the mercy seat were overlaid with pure solid gold. This is depicted in 1 Kings 6:35:

“And he carved thereon cherubims and palm trees and open flowers: and covered them with gold fitted upon the carved work.”

Also in Exodus 25:18, God gives Moses instructions for constructing the cherubim of gold: “And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.”

Clearly, the Bible is not against gold and God utilizes the precious metal in a positive fashion to symbolize the purity, holiness, worth and value of His own temple, which is a mere representation of His real throne room in heaven.

God even blessed the patriarchs with great wealth. “And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold” (Genesis 13:2).

Negative Mentions of Gold in the Bible

While gold is depicted very positive in many instances, such as in the temple, Solomon’s house and compared to wisdom, the precious metal is also relegated to its proper place as a symbol of worldly treasure, rather than heavenly.

Most succinctly, Proverbs 119:127, the longest Psalm in the Bible, declares: “Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold” (Psalm 119:127).

Jesus rebuked the Jewish Pharisees in Matthew 23:17: “Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?” And God says in Proverbs 8:19: “My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.”

While gold is temporal, the riches to be discovered in God and His Word are eternal; most famously, in Matthew 6:19-20: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:”

Perhaps Job puts all of this in greater perspective for us, in always being sure to put God first, above worldly riches, in Job 31:24-28:

“If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; If I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much; If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand: This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.”

Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God

Gold, as a precious metal, is neither good nor evil. Like many things, it is what we do with it. While the Bible makes both positive and negative mentions of gold in the Bible, it is clear that the focus of our life should be God and our longterm goals should include an eternal perspective.

While the gold of that land is good, we should strive to come into alignment with the words of Jesus, in Matthew 6:33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Category: Cross Jewelry, Gold Jewelry, Jewelry History, Jewelry in the Bible

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