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Sacred Stones of Southern Africa

So in this one, we will continue the previous post on Clean Garments, and look deeper into the clothes worn by the Priests. And, we will particularly look into the stones on the Breastplate as worn by the Priests as they entered into holy worship. You see, we believe these stones have healing qualities both to human surroundings and a person's electric energy field. Sounds airy fairy for some, but good enough for the Bible, certainly good enough for us. There are great benefits for you as a person, if you can, source some of these stones and place them in your house or at the place of prayer. The Ambiance should change pretty much immediately and will help clear away perhaps dark spots in auras and other unclean things clinging to your environment, or worse to you as a person. Give it a try!

Now this will be a deep dive into African Gemology, so bear with us through all the nomenclature (names) of different stones. We are just trying to find the right ones, as we believe the modern and (obvious) faulty placement of ancient and Biblical Israel, is of course going to affect what stone the ancient sources were indeed talking about. As well, we believe the corresponding stone would be from the area of the Representing Tribe, we think or at the very least in an area not far from each Tribe and their respective lands.

That being said, we can easily deduce that the Ancient Hebrews at the height and grand epitome of Solomons power, would have access to pretty much any Gemstone. And when they left Egypt in the Exodus, it is written that they took the Gemstones with them (Exodus 22,35-36). Furthermore, they obtained them from neighboring countries such as Babylon, Egypt, and even India (Ancient Persia). And from places such as Havilah and Ophir, which were full of all kinds of minerals and gold (I Kings 9,26-22):

"26 King Solomon built a fleet of ships at Ezion-Geber, which is near Eloth on the Shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom. 27 Hiram sent his servants with the fleet, sailors who were familiar with the sea, together with the servants of Solomon. 28 They went to Ophir, and imported from there 420 talents of gold, which they delivered to King Solomon."

Adding to references to modern collectibles like gold, we find plenty of references to gemstones and other precious minerals through our Scriptures. We also find wordings like The Treasure of the King of Tyre (Ezekiel 28), and stones mentioned as being the foundation of The New Jerusalem (Book of Tobit & Book of Revelation). Now there were 12 stones on the breastplate and then two stones on the shoulder pieces, considered just as precious as the twelve or even more. Now at the time of the translation of the Greek Scriptures (Septuagint), we find that the ancient Hebrew names no longer apply to fully identify the right stones. So therefore the translators used various Greek words, some times it simplifies, while other times its the cause of great confusion. We will try to clear up, mainly by using stones that are indigenous to the African continent and readily available in Southern Africa. And we know there is no lack of blessings and minerals in this ground. Miners will tell you, the ground is littered with gemstones.

Now, ancient texts do not classify the gemstones as we do today, by analyzing the composition and crystalline form. Names were rather given for color and perhaps where they were located in the ground itself. So we must try to do the same. Now get caught up in the technical name, but rather focus on the color and hints given by other ancient Greek authors. They can't all be wrong, so we will include the most unlikely ones to lie or give a political opinion, rather than just an objective observation. And some Greeks will supply you with just that.

Now there are several mentions in the Bible of the sacred attire worn by the High Priests of Ancient Israel. We see that in the Book of Exodus, the breastplate of judgment/watchtower (hoseni mispa), found in Exodus 28,15:

15 You shall make a breast-piece of judgment (watchtower), in skilled work, you shall make it in the style of the Ephod; of gold, of blue and purple crimson years, and of fine twisted linen you shall make it. 16 It shall be square and doubled, a span in length and a span in width."

 Raises more questions than they answer really, at least for us. So without further ado lets get into the meat now, no more milk. Lets dive !

 Now when reading about these sacred attires and breastplates as described in Exodus, its hard not to imagine the style looking like the same style as with the woman you can find below, in her beautiful traditional attire. The ancient old Traditional Healers would have an attire not too far removed from the Ephod (Tunic) of sacred stones, like the ones we find in the image below. Now according to the priestly breastplate descriptions in Exodus, it was a demonstration of masterfully skilled work. African artwork, for those who know, can be very skilled but more importantly spiritual at the same time. Further in describing this attire - we find the plate of gold attached to a tunic or a vest-like garment most likely made out of the finest threads of linen, called an Ephod (modern Hebrew not ancient Hebrew). This Vest or long Tunic would have had gold chains/strands tied to gold rings on the shoulder straps, and a blue ribbon (TziTzi) tied to the gold rings at the belt of the Ephod. Defining the four garments of one's robe. And we remember the bleeding woman, she touched the corners of Christ's garment, and she was healed. Now Wikipedia and Google would like you to believe it looked something like the above. We think it would have looked more like the beaded version (in our previous post for those that need images) combined with the one very old Zulu attire coming even further below. Here we will show you a literal literal vest with stones sewn into it. Not medieval-looking like above, but deeply African like these examples. Royalty. Just think African Royalty.

 Now this lady on the left has the attire of a traditional healer (yes you can call her a Sangoma). The beadwork and colors are not there by chance and tell a story well beyond the confines of this realm. The attire and stories are of a deeply Spiritual nature. We want you to try to think somewhere along the lines of this as the type of attire for the Priests of Ancient Israel. Use these images and the information we find in our Bible, then and only then are we on the right track. We have a private photo taken at AmmaZulu Palace in Durban (Kloof), and we hope the owners of all these ancient relics will not judge us too harshly for sharing it. Now there is one particular item from that palace, which is almost like a museum for ancient Zulu history. This one item we think represents the Priestly Garments closely (included here it as a main piece). Combine it with the Xhosa dress above, we are close.

 So then, starting again with the description of the Ephon High Priest garment, keep looking to your right and use your ancient old archives in your prayers, some of your ancestral lineage may have been wearing these in the Temple. A tunic-like garment, with gold chains tied to gold rings on the shoulder straps, with a blue ribbon tied to the gold rings at the belt of the Ephod. Furthermore, the descriptions in the Bible tell us that the breastplate was made from the same material as the Ephod (material not known, we suspect linen although the material on the piece to the right is raw cowhide, Eland, and or Kudu). The Ephod was to be 1/3 of a cubit, two layers thick with 4 rows of engraved gems embedded in golden plates, where the stones would rest. Further, it says that the squared breastplate was to be formed from one rectangular piece of cloth (linen) 1/3 of a cubit by 2/3 of a cubit, folded in a pouch that held Urim and Thummim (whatever they truly were back in the day). Some say these were just one black and one white stone that were used to cast lots, the truth is we don't rightly know and too much guesswork has been made of these in our opinion. The Hebrew word for the Breastplate was Hoseni / Hosen, means simply foldable. The attire we see in the image from Old Zulu culture is certainly foldable.

 On the left we see more examples of African beadwork, the patterns and the colors all tell stories from hundreds even thousands of years back. Past struggles and wars, what to always remember and never forget what your ancestors did. Not many can discern the stories from these vests and what some of them have to tell just from the last century, that knowledge is slowly and sadly dying out. Being forgotten by the youth. Perhaps all they wanted their children to remember, most of all is that We are One, as SoNiNi is One. If we can agree on that. Everything changes in a heartbeat. We have prayed to SoNiNi that there might be someone out there who has a good hand and can draw what will be shown to those who follow Him, in terms of what the Priestly Garments used to look like. Please head the calling, draw it and send it to us. We will publish it here, with or without credits, or whatever the artist wishes. The images could come in the form of a dream or vision. Do not hesitate to write to us.

Sacred Stones

 Now moving on to the concept of Jewels and sacred stones. We should have cut this article in two pieces, but hey reading is healthy. If you can't read an article 15 minutes long, how will you ever get through the full length of the Bible? Anyways, reading creates a healthy mind, that makes its own images. So after much ado here we have decided to include a modern image AND interpretation of the gems found on the breastplate. However, we believe some of these modern interpretations are not correct. Hence there are some stones with some other names than what they would be known in ancient times. We will try to give the Africans stones below.

 So the Jewels in the breastplate were each made from specific earthly minerals (all different). Each one was described as representing a specific tribe, whose name was also inscribed on the stone itself (with a very hard object). Now this is what we can say with a degree of surety because the Bible tells us this. The rest becomes interpretation and conjectural, as for the listing and order of the names. Jerusalem Targum (later works mind you), say they appeared in the order they were born. Others again have different views. Like 6 sons of Leah arranged one after another on one stone (with Juda first), followed by Rachels sons with concubine sons in between the two sons of Rachel. Or, the simplest explanation is they were arranged after when they were born OR after the land allotment in Genesis. Hard to say, but not really important (yet).

  After the arrangement of The 12 Tribes, there were two onyx stones placed on the shoulders of the High Priest. And you see here we mention onyx, because well the stones and rubies on the vest become hard to identify. This is because ancient Hebrew very few people now know how to pronounce it as it was written (probably Proto or Paleo Hebrew). So then, we have to put more of our trust in not the Masoretic (Hebrew) text, but the Septuagint. The Greek Scriptures. And, although they are at times more clear on some subjects, researchers feel as if the Stones and various gems obviously may changed meaning from ancient times up until now. It's not that far-fetched especially when Ancient Israel is even no longer thought to be on the Continent. Therefore we will go through each stone below, and theorise which stone it may have been, and what it may have looked like with its accompanying tribe.

 Now this is a comprehensive study in its own right, to get to the gemstone correctly in type and order. And it goes without saying that these are of course a subject of great disagreements among Christians and other denominations. Gemology. Go there you open another door and who knows what or who you will find there. Well-meaning people? Sure, people with knowledge of ancient African jewels. Unlikely. So we take it upon ourselves, with Scripture and SoNiNi as our guide, and at least some wisdom will form from that. Siyabonga uBawo.

 Firstly some Scriptures to substantiate these claims, so below follows the gemstones and we are sticking to the Greek for now, although we will have to include ancient Hebrew and Latin to further explain these (Exodus 28,17-20):

"17 You shall set in it four rows of stone.
A row of Carnelian, chrysolite, and emerald shall be the first row; 18 and the second row a turquoise, sapphire, and a moonstone; 19 and the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; 20 and the fourth row a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper; they shall be set in gold filigree. 21 There shall be twelve stones with names corresponding to the names of the Sons of Israel; they shall be like signets, each engraved with its name, for twelve Tribes."

Odem in Hebrew - Sardios in Greek

 Now both these base text languages give us some form of the color red. And, in our Scriptures, this stone is connected to Adam in the Bible. This raises a few questions, as we will support with more Scriptures - was Adam red? What color is SoNiNi, would they not look the same?

 This stone seems to be rather a common stone at least from the writings of the classical cultures (Greeks and other explorers that at least traveled in Africa). Therefore we feel quite confident that this is the actual stone mentioned in our Scriptures. Now this stone, from both the Koine Greek and ancient Hebrew, seems to liken carnelian and jasper, a flesh-like color, said to be blood red. In Antiquity, it was a valued stone said to stop bleeding and a very common artifact among the other African peoples in Egypt, Babylonia, and Assyria (all on the African continent). Now see the descriptions of SoNiNi Himself in Revelation and other places... What stone is He compared to? Go ahead and read Revelation 4,3, you can see SoNiNi is likened to the color of this very stone Carnelian and a combination of Jasper (Jasper is included further down as it seems to denote more than one color).

Polished Carnelian Stone with inclusions

Now, it is the African opinion in general that SoNiNi is black in complexion, like all of The Twelve Tribes. That may very well be, because Africa does not have to be red people like this except for some South Americans, and Native Americans but there are Northern African people. Imhlope He is certainly not and as for Redskin, it is another fittingly suppressive and derogatory term. Whatever that may be, we don't like these terms much, but they exist. And as much as a black man can call another man black, mind you there are Africans, especially in xenophobic South Africa that say things like northern Africans (the Red People) are not to be considered true Africans. Like it's somehow a competition for purity of complexion by now. Keeping their bloodline pure, as one African lady said. How is that not Black Supremacy? We know white supremacy exists, but do black people really have to go the same way? Thinking we are better than those people, or worse than these other ones. Creating nicknames like maparas or zama-zamas, or are they not our brothers and sisters? Sheesh, people with a divisive and racial mindset have such a long way to go. Christ will smash these beliefs, as we are all One in Him. Aint no tribe or color with Christ.

Anyways, back to The Old One and His Color. Now is it not interesting that as a contemporary source cartoons have been saying for years that the devil is red? We won't extrapolate too much on this here but it sure should be provoking to put their Scriptures together. So We leave this one for the discerning mind to think about. What Color is SoNiNi naNiNi? Look at this most beautiful Banded Carnelian Agate stone below. Makes you think - ain't it...?

Banded Carnelian Agate

Carnelian is the first gemstone out and is said to represent The Tribe of Reuben, and it was said to be plentiful in the ancient City of Sardes where ancient sources say it was first found. This stone is very beautiful to look at and has anything from veins to clouds growing inside of it, with delicate veins of light red or white, that look like agate structures at times. However, the finest Carnelian stones are found in the East Indies, some distance from the Continent. So even this stone, is not set in stone. Remember this stone will give you SoNiNis color and quite possibly the very make of Adam. Now before you go too deep into this, people remember the Commandment, not to make an image out of Him, even if you may know His color, don't imagine Him. He is so much more than a human mind can take. Remember none shall see me and live. Even Moses only saw his backside. But the descriptions of those that have glazed in the direction of the Most High, all mention this stone. Alright, let's get back to stones. The next one is truly an African stone.

Pithda in Hebrew - Topazios in Greek

 Now already on the second stone things start to get complicated and rather contradictory. Even though the stone below might certainly belong to another tribe or may not even be one of the 12 Stones included on the breastplate. We will include it just to show what diverse beauties lie deep and shallow in the African soil. Such geological wonders they are. Now Topaz is a relatively new word and seems to be either of two ancient stones as discussed by various commentaries. And we will let the region and other ancient descriptions help determine what rock this may have been.

Namibian Pietersite Cabochon

 Most theories go for the yellow color topaz as a mineral stone from Topazos Island, we think this is not it. Others suggest a pure yellow or green stone. All these become even less likely when reading Job 28,19 which talks about the Topaz of Ethiopia, which according to Pliny was tinted Green (Natural Histories 37,8). So the Pithda would be neither topaz nor chrysolite. Now think about this, what Ethiopia is Job talking about, certainly not modern Ethiopia and Cush. Then we have to ask where was ancient Ethiopia, some say Cush would be in the very same area as Arabia. And we know that Arabia would have been the areas of Namibia, parts of Angola, and perhaps Botswana. So we are going to offer a very different theory of this particular stone. It could be this one in the photos found in Namibia, not easy to come by and ranges in color from also being brownish red, to Blue and Grey and Yellow.

Polished Pietersite Sphere

We think it could be closer to a Namibian Pietersite Cabochon, for your average rock lover. And yes, it would validate Job's comment on these, as they are exceptionally rare, found in Namibia and China (Only). And are in their finest form as rare as gold, perhaps even more. Now this stone was said to represent The Tribe of Simeon, or Somoni. And we can find more comments of this stone being rarer than Gold if we study the ancient Hebrew. Plays on words on treasure and native gold, often found in river washings and nuggets, which was the purest form. Another wording (כֶּחֶם) is more of a poetical form of a name, used for Gold with extreme purity (Song of Solomon 5,11). But Job uses all these forms on the play of word (סָגוּר), whose root is yellow (זהב), to say none of these gemstones are worth more than wisdom. Either way or whatever this stone did look like, it was a rare one and more precious than gold.

Bareket in Hebrew - Smaragdos in Greek

 Now the third stone is something that means Lightning flash, shimmery or just plain old shiny, in Hebrew. Therefore it seems scholars are happy to call this one a Green Emerald, as it fits their descriptions. But far from it, this one seems to be a tricky one and the Greek does not help as this Smaragdos is applied for a number of different Gemstones, not just the Green Emerald which in fairness would fit better with descriptions as Stone number Two (Namibian Pieterisite).

High carat Emerald Jewellery

 That being said, what is good about the Green Emerald is that it is found in Africa and specifically in Egypt, supposedly loved by Cleopatra among other Egyptian rulers. So if it was loved as it was by such a famous ancient ruler, it must have been quite flashy and definitely a head-turner. If we go to the Hebrew text, it does not help us either, as no color is denoted in the Masoretic text. In Ezekiel 28,13 we find Bareket rendered as Onyx which raises more questions than answers. Onyx and Onychion mean fingernails, more specifically human fingernails. Very far from Green then. However, from the image above we can see that there appear to be some lightning strikes in this polished and carat-rich example of a Green Emerald. You could see an African ruler like Cleopatra wanting to desire this piece around her neck.

Modern polished black onyx

 If we go to some ancient sources, we can find some in Origens Hexapla, who writes (κεραύνιος), literally means thunderbolt. Bareket is related to barak (lightning) as we find it in Exodus 28,17. If we go to Jerome, translator of the Latin Scriptures (Roman language), he said it meant Onyx. Not much help here, as Green Emerald certainly looks very different from Onyx. Therefore we included images of them both. And as you can see the Onyx is a very different stone altogether, comes in all colors really. Black is the most dramatic as it does have these inclusions and intrusions that seem to follow this stone. We will also offer another theory here that this stone may actually have been a Fluorite, available in South Africa, and as beautiful as they come.

Flourite with rainbow inclusions

 So whatever this gemstone actually looked like, this is the stone said to represent the Tribes of the Priests The Tribe of Levi, and the fourth foundational stone said to be in the celestial Jerusalem. Again the sequence of these is not 100%, same with the stones. Whichever theory you go for, this stone is mentioned in many places in our Scriptures and in different texts and Bible translations. The Hebrew root word is lightning or glitter. Now the debate goes on if this really was a Green Emerald, multi-colored onyx (diamond-like stone) or just a Fluorite. Pliny seems to think it was Green Emerald the same with Theophrastus. The Green Emerald was said to also have healing abilities, among them preserving and aid problems with eyes. With all this being said on stone number 3, we are not certain of this one at all.

 Nofekh in Hebrew - Anthrax in Greek

 Moving on to what they call the second Row of stones (3 stones in each row), and this is the 4th stone. This Gem is something that when translated from ancient Hebrew simply means coal or the color of burning coal. The Latin reads Carbunculus, which is a different stone again (Carbuncle is red). It's important to decide whether it is referring to coal in the process of burning or after it has been burnt. After burning it would simply be black. While burning, it would look like hot coal. Now there seems to be agreement among many of the ancient Historians, like Philo of Alexandria, who said it was Red. Josephus also said it was red. Now the Egyptian word mfket, meant malachite or the color turquoise, both look kinda green and blue. That's far from the color of burning coal.

Now if Christ was of the Tribe of Juda, this Stone was said to represent the Tribe of Juda. Meaning it would be a specially eye-catching gemstone. The Red Ruby was the eight stone mentioned in the riches of The King of Tyre and was said to not necessarily be native. We think that is not entirely true and all stone would be found in the Southern areas of Africa. Now Theophrastus said it was anthrax and Pliny said Carbuncle, Petronius said Chardchedonius.... Arabs called it ardjouani, which would translate mostly as red glittery stone. The oriental Ruby seems likely, but it exists in Africa as well. Theophrastus description seems to give the most away: "Its color is red and of such a kind that when it is held against the sun it resembles a burning coal."

The gemstone we see images of here is a red garnet from Mozambique. And we believe we are close on this one, they are as rare as they come but available in Southern Africa. So this rock or gem may have been a Garnet or what is also called a Ruby (more like a crystal) looking stone. Nevertheless, some ancient authors (Babylonian Targum) still feel this stone was actually green in color. So we not out of the woods yet. Still many ancient authors seem to be in unison, that it was red, and this stone fits location-wise. However Calling it Carbuncle, although we can get that name from our Bibles, we feel it is not specific enough. Carbuncles are named differently according to place of origin. Like Pliny would cite the Indian Carbuncle, very much different from the African Carbuncle.

 Sapir in Hebrew - Sapphiros in Greek

Then we come to stone number 5 - called Sapir in Hebrew and Sapphiros in Greek. Now historically the Sapphire we know today was rather unknown back in Roman times and the Greek text appears to be more a literal copy and transliteration of the ancient Hebrew.

 Therefore we are not going to bring in the theory of the traditional Blue Sapphire. Instead, we are going for the mineral stone known as Sodalite, plentiful in Southern Africa especially in Namibia. Now others will pinpoint this stone as being what is known as Lapis Lazuli, we admit it is a good candidate as they look very much alike. However we are looking for something readily available in Southern Africa, and then this stone is the much better candidate. You can travel to the Northern Cape and you will find this stone without even looking that hard for it. This stone, Sapir - was said to have been gifted to Akhenaten from Babylon, according to ancient sources. Now again we are going to use Theophrastus quotes as he said it was dark in color and had the color of verdigris and speckled with gold. So we might be of on this one, still.

This stone if called a Sodalite, was said to Represent the Tribe of Isaka (Issachar), and was called the second foundational stone in Jerusalem. This stone often was described as having intrusions in it, explaining Theophrastus's quotes of the Gold hidden in the rock (shining pyrites). Now some of you may not know Theophrastus, but he seems to be reliable when it comes to ancient sources. The successor to Aristotle and a native of Eresos in Lesbos on the African continent. Now, the Sodalite we think he described has been found as massive crystals, found as a Euhedral in northern Namibia and in Italy.

 Yahalom in Hebrew - Beryllios in Greek

Now this stone is also called Iaspis (in the Septuagint) and Beryllios in other Greek sources and that causes a little confusion. However, the Hebrew text says Yahalom, which means strike hard. That's a major hint. This is stone number 6 and we are at the end of the second row of stones. The Hebrew root (hallamish) means flint, referring to a precious and very hard stone, that was possibly white in color or an insignificant color. Like pink? Could this be a diamond?

Rough Pink Diamond from Tanzania

Running with the idea of this being a Pink Diamond, the Greeks might have been calling diamonds for Onyx (Onychion) back in the day. Onyx was derived from the Greek fingernail, on account of the pink-white veining and color of the human fingernail. The repeated reference to hardness and the often translation of Onyx, seems to denote that this stone could have been a Diamond. This stone was said to be the 8th stone of the foundation of the New Jerusalem. Now going into the etymology here, we are not going to get much wiser. There are differences everywhere, and we end up calling this a Jasper (Isaspis), as Greek Jasper and Latin Jasper certainly are not the same. The same with Greek and Latin Beryllus.

Tanzanian Imperial Circon

Now we will get nowhere in arguing what composition this stone may have had. If we rather go to the oldest etymology we have, we see that Yahalom may indeed have denoted another type of stone. We can find these stones, more honeycomb, and certainly striking and extreme brilliance. So could all the modern translators be wrong? Well, of course. From Hebrew to Greek, things can easily get lost. And the main translation of this stone seems to be Onyx, which is a form of diamond. But we include the Tanzanian Imperial Circon to show what kinds of beauties do lie in the African soil. Just look at this and wonder if this was not the shoulder pieces to represent Levi? Could just be. We are taking a chance and saying this stone was related to the Tribe of Manasseh, but that is certainly up for interpretation.

Lesem in Hebrew - Ligurios in Greek

So we have come to the third row and stone number 7. This was called Lesem in Hebrew and Ligurios in Greek (this seems to refer to places called Leshem and Liguria). Now Theophrastus mentions Amber as being fossilised pine resin, called Liggourrion (lyngurium). Amber is also talked about and referred to by Dioscorides and Aëtius. In Greek Antiquity, this stone was believed to be the solidified urine of the lynx (a type of cat, perhaps like Caracal). Bearing this color in mind, its not to hard to imagine, and the name might be derived from Lykos ouron, meaning white urine.

African Amber with inclusions

Now if we consult Pliny, he seems to say many interesting things, like the stone had electrical properties, which seems to confirm that it might be Amber indeed. This stone seems steeped in Greek mythology and has even found its way into the language and etymology of the word elektron (ἤλεκτρον) and the beaming sun. Here we find Helios and Phaeton (Son of the Sun) who gives rise to electricity in the end. Pliny the Elder again gave the name Glaesum that the Romans were said to have latched on to.

Another nugget is given by Pliny.... that Amber is:

African Amber a liquid produced by the rays of the sun; and that these rays, at the moment of the sun's setting, striking with the greatest force upon the surface of the soil, leave upon it an unctuous sweat, which is carried off by the tides of the Ocean.

Another quote on how amber was formed, which sounds completely different, is quoted by Pliny in Natural History (Book 37, Section XI):

Amber is produced from a marrow discharged by trees belonging to the pine genus, like gum from the cherry, and resin from the ordinary pine. It is a liquid at first, which issues forth in considerable quantities, and is gradually hardened [...] Our forefathers, too, were of opinion that it is the juice of a tree, and for this reason gave it the name of "succinum" and one great proof that it is the produce of a tree of the pine genus, is the fact that it emits a pine-like smell when rubbed, and that it burns, when ignited, with the odour and appearance of torch-pine wood."

Now whether or not this stone was Amber, remains to be seen. It does come in different colors and hardness, varying from yellow-orange and brow, but can go from white to pale yellow, to brown, red, blue, and almost pitch black. Whatever stone this truly is, Ligurus was the 1st Stone of the Third Row of Sacred Stones and said to Represent the Tribe of Gad. Ligurus is said to be the same as hyacinth said to also be tourmaline, we remain skeptical and would like to give an alternative theory with Amber being the Greek Ligurus.

 Sevo in Hebrew - Achates in Greek

 Now we have come to stone number 8, and the third row. Now Achate seems to be pretty unanimous, which seems to denote the Agate stone in many languages. These stones are common on the Continent, especially in Egypt and ancient Assyria. We can find beautiful stones like the one below in Botswana today, and perhaps this is where the represented tribe also is located, Asher.

Botswana Agate Stone

The Hebrew Sevo is derived from the word to flame. Now Theophrastus and Pliny said it could be found close to the River Achates. This stone was said to Represent the Tribe of Asher (in the areas of Botswana)Now the Hebrew word remains not too clear, as it derives from to flame, Greek and Latin names seem to be taken from River Achates also called Dirillo by the ancients. And here we could easily Segway into another article, talking about where we think this River was. And the spoiler alert is, it's not Sicily in Italy. But we will try to stay focused and not dive into that just here.

We believe Theophrastus and Pliny were African men still on the continent of Africa, and they said these stones would be found here in the River Achates. This stone was said void of toxicity of ALL poisons and could also counteract infection of contagious diseases. When held in the hand it was believed to alleviate fever. This one is not hard to locate people, find the River Achates, you will find the Achate stone... Italy anyone? Or Should we stay on the continent?

 Ahlamah in Hebrew - Amethystos in Greek

And now we have come to stone number 9, and the name seems to reveal that this is one of the few stones that may have kept their name through history, but is it the same stone? Perhaps because it is such a recognizable stone (crystal) MANY people know this one on account of its purple color. It was said to keep the mind free from being intoxicated, well known and used in ancient Egypt. Now The Babylonian Targum says ahlamah meant strong drinking, but the Jerusalem Targum says Calf's eye. These two last ones are strange but interesting nonetheless.

This is the 12th and last stone said to be the foundation of Jerusalem, and from what we could find this one also Represents the Tribe of Issaka which can't be as we already have Sodalite as the stone for This Tribe. Using deductive methods, say this stone was of the Only tribe that is left, without a stone and that is The Tribe of Ephraim. (But also the tribe of Dan, a tribe that kinda went into the great nothingness. Another story). Now the Septuagint mentions this stone among the riches of the King of Tyre (Ezekiel 28,19). Now you can find many sources even among the Greeks that this stone would prevent intoxication, therefore cups would be made out of amethyst for festive seasons to counteract the effects of wine.

On the other hand, if we read Josephus - a man who says he actually saw the 12 stones on the garment itself - we see that he used Amethyst (but translated Calfs eye) in the manner he would indicate the color. If we go by the Hebrew and Josephus (but also others translate it to Calfs Eye), we end up with a completely different but readily available stone, The Ox Eye also called Calf Eye or Tigers Eye, and they look quite stunning - like the one below.

Southern African Calfs Eye

Quite different from a purple amethyst is it not? Now we believe here is where the problem lies, you see Amethyst might indeed be the correct stone, but we could have put them in the wrong order, and the stones may be juxtaposed. We do wholeheartedly conclude that most of the modern mentions of these stones, seem to be wrong and rather belong to other regions of the world. Now we believe Ox Eye does come under another name in this day and age, Tigers Eye a well-known stone for collectors. Now this stone belongs to many different stone groups and is said to be composed of Red Jasper and black hematite. Now we include this stone here because well, it is mainly mined in South Africa and some in western Australia, but you can also get some interesting Tigers eye in Namibia. This stone was said to ward off the evil eye, whatever that may mean. The evil Eye of the fallen angels?

Tarsis in Hebrew - Chrysolitho in Greek

And we have come to stone number 10 now and the last (4th) row of stone. This one also reads Anthrax in some places in the Greek Scriptures, to confuse us even more. Now let's stick to the Masoretic text and Hebrew here, for the name reveals it. Where was Tarshish? We are including images of the stone we think this might be talking about, and it is also, like some of the last examples, from Tanzania, which we believe would be where the Phoenicians were from and certainly a good candidate for being the trading ports of Tarshish.

And that's all you need to know to find this stone. The Location of Tarsis/Tarshish. Or should we call it a crystal? Because if you go by Chrysolitho, you quickly find that it does not denote a Chrysolite, which got its name way later, but you get lost in the fact that this means gold stone, or gold speckled stone or a yellow stone. So if you listen to modern researchers you will go back and forth between Chrysolithos and Topazios and in the end get you kinda nowhere.

So we are moving from the golden translucent and yellow, and putting forward a theory that this stone, said to Represent The tribe of Zebulon could be the translucent Olive Green gemstone called Peridot. Although we admit that this stone may very well be in the wrong order and should perhaps belong to number 2 we out Namibian Pietersite. But hey, this is research and research brings more research. We will get it in the end.

You see we have SO MUCH research like this, lying around in the form of unfinished articles and writings from hundreds even thousands of people who are seeing visions and having dreams, or interpretations of the forgotten things of the Bible. It is a lot to go through. The awakening is truly well on its way. Siaybonga SoNini. So instead of keeping articles like these until they 100% (as if they can ever be) we chose to publish these things because it is our responsibility to shout from the rooftops what is whispered in our ears. That is why we chose to give some of these ideas now, hoping that in this case, the right Gemstones will present themselves as worship will become more lawful.

This gemstone, if it was Peridot or not, was said to be the 7th foundational stone of New Jerusalem. Now, the Hebrew text only gives us Tarsis which is the name of a place not far from Tyre, and his ships of Tarshish. Other ancient texts and manuscripts go back and forth among Chrystolithos, Topaz and Hyacinth. Now the Peridot is sometimes called a Chrysolite so we are not that far off in including it here, as the modern Chrysolite is indeed a green oblong prism-looking thing. Now the Peridot is a yellowish-green transparent-looking gemstone, with an olive-like appearance, and it comes in this color only. So we feel confident in including it here as at least one of the stones that truly belong on this Breastplate. It is readily available in South Africa and Southeastern Africa.

Soham in Hebrew - Beryllios in Greek

We have now come to stone number 11, also called Onychion and again Smaragdos or Beryllios in the Greek Scriptures. Again this is the cause for confusion, so we will stick to colour and region to come closer to the truth of this rock. Now the Beryllios does refer to a blue-green stone with the color of the sea. Now the Hebrew Soham, does not help much and does denote some forms of cloudy and or dark. Now if we go back to the Greek and Epiphanus of Salamis and Treatise on the Twelve Stones, we see him saying Beryl was indeed like a cloud. This could be trustworthy, but looking at the dates we are not so convinced. Too many years have passed since Christ (perhaps even 300). This opens up for interpretations and political reasons behind giving the stones that this Greek man did indeed give us.

Now the Beryllios we think this is talking about here, Soham, is represented by the Tribe of Natali (Naphtali/Nobuhlali) and according to the Septuagint, this stone was said to be the 8th stone in the foundation of New Jerusalem. Now going to the Hebrew here, gives us soham, and is tied to Jasper again through the Latin translations. This again leads to confusion. If this had said Blue Beryllios, it would have been so much easier. But as you know even the language we speak here in Natali's lands in KZN, mostly Zulu and some Xhosa, we have names for the blue like the color of the sky (which is blue) eluhlaza okwesibhakabhaka or the color of the grass (which is green) is simple eluhlaza. Simple right? So language hey, it's a source of many a confusion. As is the same with the ancients, Greek and Hebrew only get us this far. Greek and Latin Beryllus are certainly not the same stone.

So the loss seems to have happened in the translations from Hebrew to Greek, in creating the "ever "trustworthy Septuagint, it should not be to hard fo us South Africans to understand that corruption had begun already at that time. But had it not been for the Greeks, what history would we be left with if any? Say what you want about Greek Philosophy, but they wrote most of their procrastinations down. We think at SoNiNis request. As he knew we would need an objective opinion of the far ancient past, as we started looking into our history.

Tanzanite found at the foothills of Kilimanjaro

So in between the two words used (even by Josephus), they seem to go between Beryl and Onyx. Now Beryl is a stone that sometimes comes in an aquamarine color, but also a whole array of other colors. You could also call this stone an Emerald, as we discussed previously. We will put forth the theory that this is another stone from South Eastern Africa, called Tanzanite. We have to admit that this stone could belong in one of the previous Tribes ones as it certainly does have the color of the sea. A marine-like color. This stone we have gone for is found at the foothills of Kilimanjaro and is as rare as hen's teeth. Thought to be mined out within 20 years, the Tanzanite will become very much more to be desired.

Yasafeh in Hebrew - Iaspis in Greek

 We have now come to stone number 12 and the last stone on the Breastplate itself. And you will notice this is not the first time we see Iaspis here... Which should be Jasper. Both Septuagint and Josephus say its Iaspis. Now Jasper is usually red, but the Greeks referred to Iaspis as a richly green and the most priced form. Now we are going out on a limb here, as there is even no help from Josephus who says this was a beryl. Could this stone be a Green Jade?

Natural African Jade

In the Targums there is no help either and describes it as a red ruby, Hyacinth or an Emerald. At least the last one is Green, Like the African Jade. And therefore we have gone with the last Stone, said to be a pure Jasper, as and African Green Jade stone. Josephus and the Septuagint are at the very least in agreement. And Jasafe is not to far removed from Jade, in our opinion. We know Jasper is usually a red stone, but the mineral that the Greeks called Iasper was by many accounts Green. If we go to the old Targums, we can find even more (not surprisingly) confusion. As Iasper is denoted to be a Red Ruby, a yellow hyacinth or a Green emerald. Now Josephus does say it was Beryl which we know is not a certain term. May have been back then, but not anymore.

Now the Jasper (Iaspis in both Greek and Latin), was the 12th stone on the Breastplate and said to Represent the Tribe of Benjamin. Fittingly the African Jade is mined in South Africa and South Africa only. Commonly called the Transvaal Jade. This stone carries with it a lot of sayings like it attracts wealth, prosperity, and health. Also tied to the kidneys and skin health. Being 1 of the 12 stones, we think is pretty obvious, it will certainly bring good things to one's household. The African Jade, or transvaal Jade should be kept safe from heat and sharp objects as it tends to scratch easily.

Soham in Hebrew - Onychion in Greek

Now the Yasafe as African Jade, would be the last of the 12 stones, however, there are some Onyx stones that are said to be on the shoulders of the Priestly Garment, so we will include a suggestion for those also.

This stone was said to represent of the Tribe of Joseph even though Josephs's two sons have their own stones on the breastplate, These two were said to be shoulder pieces. This could be read as being stone number 11, but these are very differently described than the Greek Beryllios stone. So we think they are different. Now Onyx has many historical descriptions and they all seem to denote what color it was, like unto a human fingernail all the ancients seem to agree. With white streaks going through them. The Greek word literally means claw. We will let the images decide if this truly is the Onychion, because remember a lot of stones may have these bands and different color strands going through them, again with different colors and not only red. Hence the confusion of the Greek Onychion.

Now if we go to the New Testament (which was mostly written in Ancient Greek) and the Book of Revelation, we will find descriptions of a city wall. We see that each layer of the wall is from a different material namely:

Iaspis, sapphiros, chalcedon, smaragdos, sardonyx, sardion, chrystolithos, beryllos, topazion, chrysosprason, yacinthos and amethystos.

These 12 hail from the Septuagint Bible, a massive Greek translation of the Scriptures undertaken by 70 wise men and translated by them from Hebrew to Greek. We can give a lot of information about the LXX (Septuagint), but we will refrain here as it is too big of a subject. But imagine the works that did not make it into the Bibel because of one dubious sentence, when this very book could have given you 20 locations in Africa as Biblical sites. Still, it would not be regarded today as Scripture. More importantly, remember the New Testament has mostly come down to us through the Greek Manuscripts, which we believe were handed down from original Aramaic and Hebrew. And we have to stress the fact that both should be considered African languages.

Now can we trust the Greeks? We would say we can trust this translation, but to say the translator understood everything and knew each subject as their own would be the same as saying an Englishman can teach you, a born and bred Zulu, about ukuthwala. Even though with Immanuel's Spirit, we say anything is possible, the unlearned can only teach you so much. Especially when it comes to culture. And just like culture, Scripture also needs to be lived, and then the people's history will naturally be handed down by the people themselves. Now it is very clear to see, that this has not happened, as His People are fast asleep at the wheel. With no memory of who their ancestors truly were. Seemingly incapable of even remembering their own Royal past. For how long, that remains to be seen. Depends on them really. But wake up His People will. Vukani aBantu Bam. SoNiNi is drawing near.

Inclosing we will mention, that we can see some changes from the Greek list of stones when we put them up against the Hebrew. As we also included both above, we won't go through them here. Adding more confusion after we included the African Gemstones, we don't really see the need for more confusion. So they are included in the end just to show how much up for debate these stones are.

Now looking at the Foundational wall of New Jerusalem, we can find the stones again, but not in the same order as the High Priest Breastplate (seemingly), but rather according to shade and color (of course from the Greeks):

Jaspis - Dark Green (Fits with African Jade)

Sapphirus - Opaque Blue (fits with Sodalite)

Chalcedon - Greenish blue (kinda fits Green Emerald)

Smaragdos - Transparent Green (Fits Peridot)

Sardonyx - White & red (Fits Carnelian Agate)

Sardius - Red (Fits Red Ruby)

Chrysolite - Bright Yellow (Fits Amber, but Peridot)

Beryl - Blueish Green (Fits Tanzanite kinda)

Topazion - Yellowish Green (Namibian Pietersite)

Chrysoprasus - Yellowish Green (Also fits Peridot)

Hyacinthus - sky blue (fits Sodalite and Tanzanite)

Amethystos - Violet or Purple (fits with Calfs Eye)

 So no real help from the Greek Scriptures at all, when we compare them with our list. Like the Agate, is not even on this list, which would be the Stone of the Tribe of Asher (likely in Tswana areas). A central tribe and with many Biblical places, which will be important when it comes to future events. Now some of these Greek stones even have the same color and kinda leave our theories behind and go in their own direction really. But hey, we are going a different way, back to the old and correct stones, not these interpreted Greek stones.

Alright, and we are getting close to the end now - We know, this article was loooong. And we even shortened it down quite a bit. Imagine that. With all the ancient quotes we could have included it should have been a book really, then again maybe it will. Perhaps this spurs someone to rewrite history with an academic doctorate. Using these ideas as a template. We say feel free. There is enough meat here to do that and then some. Anyways, we are proud of the work done here despite its lengthiness. We have to tell you it took a good long while to put this here old thing together, so we hope it falls into the right soil. We must stress again that some of our African Gems definitely are up for interpretation, both in order and type of stone. The only criteria we will not budge on is that if you can't find them on the Continent, you should not be able to put them on the Breastplate. So even though we feel confident about some of them being the right ones, others are certainly up for interpretation. But like we said. We will get there. In time, when the dreams take over and visions become plentiful. Also, we believe some of these stones should be kept out of Gentile common and historical knowledge, not all information is for everyone, and tinkering with this perhaps making a homemade breastplate could be conducted in a wrong manner, if the intention is not there, or the information could wound up in the wrong hands. We think. So let's have the information come to those who are supposed to have it. Makubenjalo SoNiNi.

People, please pray for other believers and leave the hardened sinners to SoNiNi. We are headed into tough times, and prayer is the only thing that can help us move through these coming challenges. A time where some people will exert of more and more control as the earth moves closer to Heaven, and on the other hand the fires of Hell are also being felt closer. The person with their sins will tell you where their allegiance lies, ruling in hell or serving in Heave. People fear not as these rulers know that we as believers are free no matter what they do to keep us down. They cannot take away the light from us in this world, for we are not of this world. We follow The Son. We have uMsindisi, We have Christ, and through Him is the only way to The Father.

And remember if you are a reader and hearer of these words -

SoNiNi unathi - SoNiNi is With us

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