An online acquaintance recently asked, “Anyone know anything about the gemstones in Revelation’s new Jerusalem? (seeing it’s such a symbolic book all round!)?” Well, given I’ve retained a love of gemstones from my crystal wearing New Age days and have researched the arcane book of Revelation just a wee bit I just couldn’t resist opening up a thread on this. One of my favourite gemstones is jasper, particularly that variety known as the bloodstone. Here is one introduction to the legends behind it:
Jasper: The ancient Hebrew name was Yashpheh. Jasper has been known from early times as a fine-grained variety of quartz. It occurs in many different colors and hues, but green was particularly valued. An early variety discovered in India and still mined there today is called bloodstone. It is dark to medium green with small spots of red scattered throughout. It has been said that it originated when Christ’s blood fell to the ground and was scattered on the rocks under the Cross, which is a nice story but was used and prized in India long before Christ’s birth. However, many early Christians wore it to remind them of Christ’s sacrifice.
But there is a more Biblical significance to this gemstone for those who wish to look deeper. Jasper is actually mentioned eight times in the Bible (see Exodus 28:20 and 39:13; Job 28:18; Ezekial 28:13; and Revelation 4:3, 21:11, 21:18 and 21:19) and it is most frequently referenced in association with eleven other sacred stones – with the breastplate stones of the High Priest in the Old Testament and the foundation stones of the New Jerusalem in the New Testament – in what are clear illusions to the people of God.
But two of these references go beyond this. In Revelation 4:3 jasper is invoked in describing Jesus (“And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne”) and in Revelation 21:18 it is used to describe the walls of the New Jerusalem itself (“The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass”). This points to other ancient meanings of jasper, as a symbol of justice and protection. For this reason I like to keep some jasper round the house, just to remind me of Christ and his justice and protection and the firm foundation of the apostles teaching. Maybe you have an interest in gemstones as well. If so I would be interested in hearing.