“Precious Metals In Scripture – Gold (Positive Application)” – Part 4 – Ketem

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In all of our studies we seek only to add to our knowledge of the mind of God and Christ for this reason:

Joh 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

As with every word of Christ, gold is a word of spirit, revealing something our Lord considers to be very precious, very beautiful and very useable. So we must keep the spirit of every word in mind when studying God’s Word.

Joh 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

This study of gold will reveal just a little more of the mind of God and of Christ. Thus far we have seen that gold is extremely precious. God’s gold is the most precious of all the metals mentioned in His Word. We have seen that this most precious of all the metals mentioned in scripture is so useful to God that it has to be expressed with seven different Hebrew words just to help us see what is so precious, so beautiful and so useful in the eyes and the mind of God. The first two words were ‘zahab’ and its Aramaic counterpart ‘zaheb.’ Zahab is by far the most common of the seven Hebrew words which appear in scripture translated as gold.  ‘Zaheb’ is simply the Aramaic way of saying ‘zahab’, and it is found only in Daniel and in Ezra, both of whom were Babylonian captives, and Aramaic was the language spoken in Babylon.

Last week we covered the third word ‘charuts,’ and we found that this word, which is one of the seven words of the Old Testament  translated as gold, is also translated into five different English words, 1) diligent, 2) decision, 3) sharp pointed things, 4) threshing instrument and 5) wall. What all of this demonstrates, as mentioned earlier, is that gold is indeed malleable and ductile, precious and beautiful and can be used by God in so many different way to tell us of the things which to Him are very valuable.

There are yet four more Hebrew words translated as ‘gold,’ which we will look at, and we will learn even more of how God thinks about his precious possessions. Those four words are 1) ketem, 2) paz, 3) betser and 4) segor.


Wisdom and understanding are likened to ketem

The first word, ‘ketem’ is often translated as ‘pure gold” and is sometimes followed by the words ‘of Ophir’ – Ophir being an area of the Middle East known for its gold.

Job 28:12  But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?
Job 28:13  Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.
Job 28:14  The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me.
Job 28:15  It cannot be gotten for gold, [zahab] neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.
Job 28:16  It cannot be valued with the gold [ketem] of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.
Job 28:17  The gold [zahab] and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold [ketem]
Job 28:18  No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies.
Job 28:19  The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold [ketem].
Job 28:20  Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding? .

Wisdom and understanding are very precious to our God. The only way to even come close to letting us know just how much God values wisdom and understanding is to tell us that they are far more valuable than pure gold: ‘ketem.’

The most precious things of the physical realm are likened to ketem

Job 31:24  If I have made gold [zahab] my hope, or have said to the fine gold [ketem], Thou art my confidence;
Job 31:25  If I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much;
Job 31:26  If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness;
Job 31:27  And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand:
Job 31:28  This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.

When we place the physical above the spiritual, we have “denied the God that is above.” “The words that I speak are spirit…”

God’s queen is decked in ‘ketem’

Psa 45:6  Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.
Psa 45:7  Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
Psa 45:8  All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.
Psa 45:9  Kings’ daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold [ketem] of Ophir.

Many things are valuable and precious but the build up to the most precious is the King’s queen in ” in “gold of Ophir.”

God’s Words fitly spoken are an ornament of ketem

Pro 25:11  A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold [zahab] in pictures of silver.
Pro 25:12  As an earring of gold [zahab], and an ornament of fine gold [ketem], so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.

There is nothing more fruitful than proper words of admonition given to and received by “an obedient ear.” It is “an ornament of fine gold” – ketem.

Only God Himself can make light darkness and dim and change ketem

Lam 4:1  How is the gold [zahab] become dim! how is the most fine gold [ketem] changed! the stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street.
Lam 4:2  The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold [paz], how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter!

Here is how the most beautiful, most precious and most valuable things of God “become dim.”

Mat 6:23  But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is the darkness!

“Light be darkness?” That is the equivalent of  “gold become dim.” Neither is possible, and yet we are told that it happens. Here is how the impossible is accomplished:

2Th 2:10  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Th 2:11  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The beautiful precious things of God – God’s pure gold, His fine gold – is His doctrine, His Truth. Light can only be darkness and gold can only become dim if God Himself “sends us strong delusion, that we should believe a lie.” We have all believed lies, and only a few will “come out of her my people” in this age.

It is in Christ’s Word and His Truth that we serve Him and gird our loins in ketem.

Dan 10:4  And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel [Tigris];
Dan 10:5  Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold [ketem] of Uphaz:
Dan 10:6  His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.

Why are His “loins girded with fine gold?” This verse will make that clear:

Deu 33:11  Bless, LORD, his substance [the substance of God’s Levites], and accept the work of his hands: smite through the loins of them that rise against him, and of them that hate him, that they rise not again.

It is with our “loins” that we are moved about and made mobile, and it is in Christ and His Truth that we live and move in His service.

Php 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

“Through Christ” we, too, are “girded with fine gold [ketem] of Uphaz.” It is in judgment that a man is made more precious than the golden wedge [ketem] of Ophir

Isa 13:1  The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.
Isa 13:2  Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles.
Isa 13:3  I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness. [Who judged Joseph’s brothers?]
Isa 13:4  The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.
Isa 13:5  They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land [God’s fiery Word is what destroys everything in the land that can be destroyed].
Isa 13:6  Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.
Isa 13:7  Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt:
Isa 13:8  And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces [shall be as] flames.
Isa 13:9  Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
Isa 13:10  For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine [Joe 2:31 and Act 2].
Isa 13:11  And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
Isa 13:12  I will make a man more precious than fine gold [paz]; even a man than the golden wedge [ketem] of Ophir.
Isa 13:13  Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.

We will have to finish this study of the spiritual significance of this word ‘ketem’ next week. So let’s review what we have learned thus far. Remember that “every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” reveals to us what is the mind of God. The better we know His word, the better we know Him.

What we have seen about this word ‘ketem,’ translated only as pure gold, fine gold or golden wedge, is that God values wisdom and understanding so much that He likens it to ketem.

We have learned that the most precious things of the physical realm, the ‘ketem’ of the physical realm, must never come between us and the Truth of the Word of God. If it does, then we have denied the God that is above.

We have learned that Christ’s queen is decked in His truth, the gold [ ketem] of Ophir, and we also saw that God’s Word fitly spoken is like apple of gold in pictures of silver and an ornament of fine gold [ketem] in the mouth of a wise reprover.

We have seen that only God can make light, darkness and “dim and change” nontarnishable and indestructible gold when we are not given a love of the truth and are given God’s strong delusion.
Our service to our Lord is likened to having our loins girded in gold [ketem].

There is more to come about this word, but the last thing we covered today was the fact that it is by judgment that man is made more precious than the golden wedge of Ophir.

We will pick up here next week and finish our study of that which God values most , ketem, the fine gold of Ophir.

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