A stone composed mainly of calcium carbonate or of calcium and magnesium carbonates. It is mentioned in the Old Testament in three very late passages only. According to I Chron. xxix. 2, David prepared, among other materials, white "marble stones" for the building of the Temple. The account of the building in the Book of Kings does not mention the use of marble. In the Song of Solomon (v. 15) the author compares the legs of the bridegroom to marble pillars in golden sockets. Finally, Esther i. 6 speaks of marble columns and of a pavement of white and colored marble in the palace of the Persian king. In the last-cited passage it is not wholly certain if the text is intact in the versions; consequently there is doubt whether marble is really meant. In the other two passages. also the correctness of the text has been doubted (see "Encyc. Bibl." s.v. "Marble").

Moreover, the fact that all the old authorities, especially the accounts of the building of the Temple, preserve complete silence on the subject shows that the Hebrews in olden times were not acquainted with the use of marble as a building-stone. Its employment for building purposes seems to have been very limited even among the Assyrians.

E. G. H. I. Be.
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