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The English word pearl originated from the Latin word for pearl, perla. It is used to translate the Hebrew word of the Old Testament, pronounced gaw-beesh, which means to freeze, or a crystal, but is used to refer to pearls, and the Greek word of the New Testament, pronounced mar-gar-ee-tace, which means pearl (the English name Margaret originated from the Greek word for pearl). Pearls were known throughout Bible History and are also mentioned in Prophecy.

"The price of wisdom is above pearls"

Pearls are produced inside the shell of certain clams or oysters and are much valued as a jewel. The iridescent inside surface of the shell is known as "mother of pearl" and is itself regarded as valuable, as in this example of "mother-of-pearl and precious stones" in a Persian king's palace (see also Ancient Empires - Persia and Esther).


"And when these days were completed, the king gave for all the people present in Susa the capital, both great and small, a banquet lasting for seven days, in the court of the garden of the king's palace. There were white cotton curtains and blue hangings caught up with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and marble pillars, and also couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl and precious stones. Drinks were served in golden goblets, goblets of different kinds, and the royal wine was lavished according to the bounty of the king." (Esther 1:5-7 RSV)

Pearls are however used most frequently in the Scriptures within an object lesson, as in this example of how Godly wisdom is far more valuable than pearls.

"Gold and glass cannot equal it, nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold. No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal; the price of wisdom is above pearls." (Job 28:17-18 RSV)

Jesus Christ used pearls as an analogy for Godly wisdom (and the time available to teach those who truly want to learn the way to salvation) that is not to be wasted on those who have proven themselves to defiantly reject God's offer of salvation.

"Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot and turn to attack you." (Matthew 7:6 RSV)

Christ also used "fine pearls" as an analogy for the way of truth that leads to salvation on the Judgment Day (see When Will You Be Judged?).

"The Son of man will send His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth [see also Baptism Of Fire]. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind; when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad. So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth." (Matthew 13:41-50 RSV)

Christians are to adorn themselves with humility and truth.

"I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; also that women should adorn themselves modestly and sensibly in seemly apparel, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly attire but by good deeds, as befits women who profess religion." (1 Timothy 2:8-10 RSV)

In contrast, the great religious harlot (the Church of Rome) and her daughter harlots (most of the "Protestant" churches who maintain nearly all of the same false doctrines as Rome) are "bedecked with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication," as they have been, and yet will again, be "drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus."

"Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who is seated upon many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and with the wine of whose fornication the dwellers on earth have become drunk."

And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and bedecked with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication; and on her forehead was written a name of mystery: "Babylon the great, mother of harlots and of earth's abominations."

And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus." (Revelation 17:1-6 RSV)

"Babylon" isn't just religious confusion (in the original language, Babylon literally means confusion); it also applies to most of the world's dead-end political and economic systems.

"And the kings of the earth, who committed fornication and were wanton with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning; they will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, "Alas! alas! thou great city, thou mighty city, Babylon! In one hour has thy judgment come."

And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo any more, cargo of gold, silver, jewels and pearls, fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet, all kinds of scented wood, all articles of ivory, all articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls.

The fruit for which thy soul longed has gone from thee, and all thy dainties and thy splendor are lost to thee, never to be found again!" The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud, "Alas, alas, for the great city that was clothed in fine linen, in purple and scarlet, bedecked with gold, with jewels, and with pearls!" (Revelation 18:9-16 RSV)

Fact Finder: Where are the famous "pearly gates" to be?
See Revelation 21:21 and The Pearly Gates

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