The following information is from Rabbi Kaplan’s “Living Torah”. Artscroll don’t translate the names of the stones.

Two Sardonyx stones on the eiphod. Breastplate 1st row on breastplate: carnelian (Reuven), emerald (Shimon) topaz 2nd row on breastplate: carbuncle, sapphire, beryl 3rd row on breastplate: jacinth, agate amethyst 4th row on breastplate chrysolite, onyx jasper

Do you think Rabbi Kaplan is correct? If not, who would be best placed to identify which stones were used and where?

Rabbi Kaplan is uncertain as to which stone corresponds to which tribe. He quotes different opinions such as Targum Yonanatan, Yerushalmi and Tzioni. Is anyone able to answer definitively? Perhaps information exists that wasn’t available to Rabbi Kaplan.


One very good resource is Parshablog's 2006 series on the various stones of the Choshen/Ephod. He uses Midrash Rabbah and other sources to define them, and they are linked in the below post:


1 - Odem: Sardonyx/Sard/Carnelian/Red Jasper

2 - Pitdah: Peridot/Topaz/Olivine

To be continued when I have time...


The oldest extant translation of this section is the Septuagint. It lists the stones as:

Row 1: σάρδιον, τοπάζιον, σμάραγδος
Row 2: ἄνθραξ, σάπφειρος, ἴασπις
Row 3: λιγύριον, ἀχάτης, ἀμέθυστος
Row 4: χρυσόλιθος, βηρύλλιον, ὀνύχιον

The Vulgate translation gives:

Row 1: Sardius, topazius, zmaragdus
Row 2: Carbunculus, sapphyrus, iaspis
Row 3: Ligyrius, achates, amethistus
Row 4: Chrysolitus, onychinus, berillus

You can make what you will of these names and translations given in the links. I can add more sources too if you find this useful.

  • Thanks everybody. – AlHal Jul 4 '19 at 12:35

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