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Carbuncle

In Hebrew, baw-rek-ath, the third stone in the first row of the high priest's breastplate, according to the authorized version, but the first stone in the second row, according to the Septuagint. Braun, a writer on the sacerdotal vestments of the Hebrews, Amsterdam, 1680 supposes that the baw-rek-ath was a smaragd.us or emerald, which view is sustained by Kalisch, and is in accordance with the Septuagint translation. The Talmudists derive baw-rek- ath from a word signifying to shine with the brightness of fire, which would seem to indicate some stone of a coruscate or sparkling color, and would apply to the bright green of the emerald as well as to the bright red of the carbuncle. The stone, whatever it was, was referred to the tribe of Judah. The carbuncle in Christian iconography signifies blood and suffering, and is symbolical of the Lord's passion. Five carbuncles placed on a cross symbolize the five wounds of Christ.

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