Gold is the first, and most frequently mentioned metal in the Bible, as at Genesis 2:11. From the beginning, it has been a noble metal, highly valued for its weight, rarity, durable non-tarnishing luster, shimmering beauty, ductility, and malleability. A number of Old Testament Hebrew terms refer to gold, such as zahav, charuts, kethem, paz, seghor, and ophir. In the New Testament, the Greek words khrysos and khrysion are used as reference to ornaments, coins, and gold in general.
Gold's rarity, throughout history, and even in Biblical times, gave it a monetary value, which made it useful in commercial transactions, as well as a measure of wealth and prominence. The color and luster of gold, and its resistance to oxidation or tarnishing, makes it valuable for jewelry and ornamentation of all kinds. In early Biblical times, it was found in its native purity in gravel deposits and riverbeds. It was easily separated and recovered because of its great weight. In the book of Job (28:1,2,6) mining and refining operations are mentioned.
In the construction of the Tabernacle, built by Moses, Exodus 25, 30, 37, and 39 describes using gold being beaten into plates for overlay, sheets, and even thread used in garments used by the high priest. In The Most Holy, the Ark of the Covenant, was gold.
Solomon's Temple, extensively used gold in its décor. As is done with several modern coins, even ancient Israel evidently mixed an alloy with gold to harden it. (I kings10:16). David set aside 100,000 talents of gold for Solomon's Temple. A talent is about 75 pounds! The Temple's lamp-stands, utensils, forks, bowls, pitchers, basins, cups, etc, were all made of gold and silver, with a very few being made of copper. The cherubs in the Most Holy, the alter of incense, and even the entire inside of the house was overlaid with gold. By today's prices, the gold in Solomon's Temple would probably be valued at $50 billion.
Solomon received large amounts of gold from the King of Tyre (120 talents), the Queen of Sheba (120 talents), and from taxes and revenues from his own merchant fleet. First Kings says that the weight of gold that Solomon received in one year, was 636 talents of gold. The incredible amount of gold that was transacted and used in David and Solomon's day is unbelievable…but true.
When Israel captured cities, God commanded that they not use the captured gold and silver for themselves. Evidently the captured gold was re-refined to purify it. The exception was Jericho. Its gold and silver were turned over to the priests and used for sanctuary use, according to Jos. 6:17-19, 24.
Gold was so valuable and cherished, that in the Bible, gold is likened to wisdom, faith and knowledge. Psalms says that God's laws and commandments are more desirable than gold. (Psalms 19: 7-10, 119:72, 127) Psalms also says that while gold has great value, it is unable to give life. (Psalms 49: 6-8) Job says that no amount of gold can buy the wisdom that comes from God. (Job 28: 12, 15-17,28) The Apostle peter said ones' faith is of greater value than gold, which can withstand fire, but be worn away by other means. (I Peter 1:6,7) No amount of gold can deliver one in the day of God's anger. (Zep 1:18) The point is that gold is the most valuable thing one can possess, according to the Bible, other than knowledge, faith, life, and righteousness.
Even in Biblical times then, TANGIBLE WEALTH, as opposed to spiritual wealth, has always resided in gold, and silver. Throughout recorded history, gold and silver have been actual wealth, as opposed to currencies made of various things, such as mulberry leaves, bark, cigarettes in WW II, sea shells, and other trivia, but mostly PAPER. History, in all faiths and in all books of wisdom, and various holy books, have all used gold and silver as the ultimate form of tangible wealth. In all races, and throughout all of recorded history, gold and silver have been wealth, stability, and irrefutable riches.
Today, as well as in past history, governments, kings, rulers, and charlatans of all types, sizes, and sorts, have used paper "instruments," as the sophisticates call them, to hoodwink, steal, and defraud innocents. Be they paper dollars, promises from hundreds of treasuries throughout history and the world, or worthless bonds and stocks. All such "instruments," are as good as the issuers of such, and no more. A piece of paper, with scribbling or a beautiful imprimatur, is only as valuable as its issuer. An IOU on a piece of scrap paper, given you by a trustworthy individual, is far more valuable than a million pieces of currency from a bankrupt kingdom or nation.
Promises from a used car salesman or government bureaucrat, can be honest or dishonest; valuable or worthless. The same is true with papers of all sorts. A home is a tangible thing, which can be lived in, raise kids in, sleep in, love in, and die in, but a piece of paper can be destroyed with the flick of a match. Tangible vs. fluff, in other words. Leadville Johnny Brown, on a cold morning on Fryer Hill, in Leadville, Colorado, burned a hundred thousand paper dollars, when he started fire in his stove. Molly had hidden it there so he wouldn't waste it. Gold and silver won't burn, and if Molly Brown had hidden an equal amount of gold and silver, Johnny couldn't have started that fire.
It continually amazes me, that by far the majority of all populations of all nations, throughout history, have believed the empty promises of their elected officials and leaders. The common man, has always been fooled by those richer, smarter, or better dressed than themselves. They have gone along with the shallow plans and edicts, and used their rulers monies to save. They have sent their kids to their ruler's public schools, while they sent their own to private ones. The majority, has usually been wrong in all matters of state, it seems. Throughout history, this has been so, be it in Biblical or modern times, the majority has usually been proven wrong in their choices of rulers or savings devices. When everyone does something, I usually do just the opposite. I look at all the new cars whizzing by my door, and am appalled at the wealth poured into them. They lose value with every mile. My three old Mercedes ('73, '74, and '85) give me great joy, incredible reliability and economy, and go up in value with each month. My two '41 Plymouths, equally. New cars, T bills, bonds of any kind, and paper dollars, are absolutely the worst thing one can do with surplus assets.
If you are religious or an atheist, one can determine from any holy book or history, but especially the Bible, that gold and silver are true tangible, physical wealth, which will not burn, and have never lost their desirability, or ability to purchase things. Gold and silver have always been a measuring rod to determine value, and compare things with, or scads of graphs and charts wouldn't be comparing how many stocks one can buy with gold, or how many dollars it takes to buy gold and silver. When long lost ships are discovered beneath the oceans or seas, their recovery isn't for their rudders or deck planking, which long ago have disappeared. It is for the gold, which after a thousand years beneath the briny deep, is still brilliant, beautiful, and untarnished. History is not wrong.
I am always amused by the expression, "When everything else fails, try reading the directions." Us guys hate reading directions or asking for advice or directions when we are lost. We think we are so damned smart. My clients and other dealers' clients may be, but most guys and gals are as dumb as wedges when it comes to investing and protecting themselves is concerned. They all consort with their advisers who have fancy offices and nameplates on their doors, with diplomas neatly framed on the walls. When one is a "licensed financial advisor," one might think that they might contact me occasionally, rather than the continual in and out of stocks and bonds. Not so. One might think that the majority of people everywhere, might notice that "Gold Medal Flour," or the Lone Ranger's horse and bullets, weren't named for dollars or euros. When an Olympic medal winner stands proudly to receive his or her award, they aren't given hundred dollar bills. They are given the gold medal. Yet the public continues to ignore what continually stares them in the face, and even in the Bible's pages. Gold and silver are true wealth, with which to protect yourself.
June 24, 2004
Don Stott has been a precious metals broker since 1977, has written five books, hundreds of columns, and his web site is www.coloradogold.com