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Date: 08.02.2018

Revelations (2007)

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The Bible makes numerous references to jewels and precious stones. The difficulty has been in knowing the exact identity of the stones named. As more information surfaces thanks to archaeological findings and the writings of ancient historians such as Theophrastus BC , Elder Pliny AD , and Josephus AD , we are able to come a bit closer to making some identifications sure.

Agates are a form of chalcedony a fine-grained variety of quartz that are banded or lined in a variety of patterns of colored layers. Colors range from white to dull yellow, red, brown, orange, blue, black and gray.

Agates were highly prized among ancient civilizations. It was fashioned into beads, pins, brooches, signet rings, goblets, cups, bottles, bowls, and carved figurines. Large amounts of agate have been found in archaeological digs of Sumer, dating back to BC. Theophrastus BC appears to have been the first man to write about agates.

It ranges in color from golden yellow to orange-brown. Other versions use the terms glowing metal or gleaming bronze. It is the Hebrew word hashmal. The exact original meaning of the word is uncertain. The Brown-Driver-Briggs dictionary defines hashmal as "a shining substance, amber or electrum or bronze. This is where we get the word electricity. Amber is one of the oldest gemstones, having been found in archaeological digs of tombs dating to the Stone Age.

The most valued amber even today is that which contains an inclusion of an insect.

The color can vary in intensity from a pale, almost pinkish mauve color to a dark purplish violet. It is thought that the color of the stone comes from small amounts of iron in the quartz. It is one of the few stones in which experts agree as to the correctness of the name.

Beautifully carved and engraved amethyst goblets, vases, charms and miniatures have been found in excavations. Aquamarine was the most available variety of beryl during Bible times, while the emerald also a beryl was more rare.

The term aquamarine is not used by any of the Bible translators, but many scholars believe that the aquamarine was the type of beryl Gr berullos of the eighth stone of the New Jerusalem Rev The Roman historian and writer, Elder Pliny AD , describes the color and characteristics of the aquamarine in his description of the berullos stone of his time.

At that time, emeralds, though also beryl, were called by another name, smaragdos this being the fourth stone in the New Jerusalem. Beryl is the true name of several very important gemstones, yet a term not often used. The best known beryl are the emerald grass green in color , and the aquamarine blue-green.

Both of these stones were well known in Bible times, the aquamarine being the most common. The most esteemed beryls are those which in color resemble the pure green of the sea.

Now, of course, the emerald is considered the most valued of the beryls. Beryl is a silicate of beryllium and aluminum, occurs in hexagonal, prismatic crystals and is very hard as a mineral, measuring 8 on a scale of Carnelian has been frequently discovered in excavations of the ancient tombs of royalty. A necklace more than 10 feet long and containing orange-red carnelian beads was found in the tomb of a queen dating BC.

A string of expertly carved carnelian beads was found in Egypt dating back to BC. Carnelian is the modern word for the stone translated as sardius in the KJV. The Greek word is sardios and is found as the 6th stone of the New Jerusalem Rev Odem is the stone listed as the first stone in the breastplate in Exodus. Odem here could have been any one of several red stones known to the ancient Hebrews; the garnet or red jasper, as well as the sardius carnelian. It has a waxy luster and can be semi-transparent to translucent.

There are many varieties of chalcedony, but most of them are known under different names and are distinguished by their color i.

Specimens that are called by the name chalcedony are generally milky white, light gray, blue and yellowish brown in color. Chalcedony in gem form is general cut in cabochons, as it is not well suited for faceting. In Bible times, chalcedony was used extensively in the carving of seals, signet rings, beads, bowls, goblets, glasses, and other household objects.

It is listed as the third foundation stone of the New Jerusalem. The green color comes from nickle. It is the most valuable variety of chalcedony. Chrysophrase is listed as the 10th stone in the foundation of the New Jerusalem.

Chrysoprase has been discovered in archaeological digs in ancient Egypt. A necklace which included chrysoprase beads was found on a mummy dating back to BC. The most famous deposits of chrysoprase came from Silesia a former Prussian province. During the Middle Ages, it was believed that if one who was condemned for crime held the stone in his mouth he would escape the just punishment of his crime.

Quartz is one of the most common minerals found nearly everywhere In the world. Rock crystal is very abundant and can occur in single crystals that can weigh several tons. The largest recorded crystal, found in Brazil, was 20 feet long, several feet thick, and weighed more than 44 tons.

Ancient peoples developed many uses for crystal. Quartz crystal lenses were found in the ruins of Nineveh BC. Lenses such as these may have been used for magnifying, burning or even cauterizing wounds.

Egyptians mined crystal as early as BC. The Romans carved vases, bowls, and goblets from larger blocks of crystal. Small, natural crystal was often used uncut as jewelry - either strung or placed in a setting.

This belief persisted until the nineteenth century! Because it is of animal origin it is not technically considered a mineral. Gem quality coral or precious coral is only found in a few places in the world, one being the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea which produces some of the very finest. It grows in bush-like clumps of branches about a foot high and must be harvested while still living to preserve the color. If the polyps die before a branch reaches the surface, the coral turns dark and loses its value.

This precious coral has been harvested from the earliest times and prized by many civilizations. Many specimens of polished branches mixed artfully with beads have been discovered in early Egyptian jewelry. Coral is mentioned several places in the Bible scripture references vary according to version. Discrepancies are common with gemstones because the meanings of some of the original words have been lost over time. Diamonds are pure elemental carbon. They are the hardest of all gemstones.

The diamond has the highest melting point of any substance 3, degrees Kelvin , is an excellent heat conductor, and has very low reactivity to chemicals.

Diamonds are made of carbon - the most common substance on earth - formed deep within the earth under extreme heat and pressure. Emeralds were well known among the people of the Bible lands. One of the earliest known source of emerald were mines located near the Red Sea in Egypt.

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There is evidence that these mines were in operation as early as BC the time that the Hebrew people would have been in Egypt. Emeralds were engraved with her likeness and given as gifts to her guests. Most scholars agree that the emerald was the stone meant here.

Most Greek versions translate bareqet as smaragdos. It is a brittle, hard, glassy, mineral silicate. The garnet, however, has been found as early as the Bronze Age, in Egyptian jewelry, dating back to BC. The Greeks used garnets as signet rings with found artifacts dating around BC. Due to their color, garnets , have been closely associated with blood, as have other stones that are red. They also have the distinction throughout history of often being mistaken for rubies.

It is the 11th foundation stone in the New Jerusalem. It is most commonly red due to the presence of iron, but can also be found in yellow, brown and green.

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In fact, one of the characteristics of jasper is that it is able to take a high polish and was used in ancient times as mantles, pillars, vases, and other interior decorations. Scholars think that the yashepheh here actually refers to a green form of Jasper - which was very rare, and highly prized.

Jasper iaspis is mentioned in several places in Revelation, most noted being the 6th foundation stone of the New Jerusalem. Lapis was one of the most sought after and prized stones of ancient times. It was used for jewelry, ornamentation, seals, and amulets. It was also used extensively for inlaying. Egyptian blue paint was made from finely ground lapis. Mines in Afghanistan have been producing gem lapis lazuli for nearly years and are still the worlds largest producer of the material.

Sapphires were not known before the Roman empire and were initially considered to be jacinth. Onyx has been very popular through the ages as the stone used for engraving cameos. The carving of cameos came into great popularity with Alexander the Great.

His handsome features and classic profile became a favorite subject of engravers. Prior to this time onyx was used extensively for carving seal rings.