Deep Sea News

Coral References In the Bible

Given the comments on the last post, I thought it time to give almost-a-religion-major Craig a work out.

The origin of the word coral is traced to Greek korllion and Latin coralium probably both derived from the early Hebrew goral meaning “small pebble”. In the Torah goral occurs in reference to small stones used in casting lots (Num. 33:54; Jonah 1:7). The word also may have denoted “a portion or an inheritance (Josh. 15:1; Ps. 125:3; Isa. 17:4), and a destiny, as assigned by God (Ps. 16:5; Dan. 12:13).”

In English translations the specific word coral also occurs:

Ezekiel 27:16 (text from NIV, text varies per translation)

‘Aram did business with you because of your many products; they exchanged turquoise, purple fabric, embroidered work, fine linen, coral and rubies for your merchandise.

Job 28:18 (text from NIV, text varies per translation)

Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention; the price of wisdom is beyond rubies.

Lamentations 4:7 (text from New American Standard, but occurs in the Amplified Bible as well)

Her consecrated ones were purer than snow,They were whiter than milk;They were more ruddy in body than corals,Their polishing was like lapis lazuli.


  1. #1 wrpd
    April 27, 2008

    This obviously proves that everything else in the bible is true.

  2. #2 DD
    April 27, 2008

    This is a cool post: etymology, history, and a bit of science. I bet the bible passeges could be put into exact historical context (when and where were the respective passages written, would those people have had direct access to the riches of the sea?) I bet this could be researched more in depth. How and where did ancient civilizations get their corals?

  3. #3 Peter
    April 27, 2008

    This is interesting and completely unexpected! I agree. Other historical references to coral include Pliny the Elder in “Natural History” and Ovid in “Metamorphosis”.

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