What Does The Bible Say About Pearls?

Many gemstones have long histories, going back millions and millions of years. This is because many of these materials are formed naturally in the magma which is located under the earth’s surface.

What Does The Bible Say About Pearls?

This brings us to the pearl. Pearls are formed differently from other gemstones, existing as a result of irritants becoming trapped inside mollusks. The mollusk will secret substances to protect itself, and these substances are eventually formed into a pearl. 

Like other gemstones, pearls have been around for a long period of time, and are mentioned in the Bible. In this article, we will detail everything that the Bible says about pearls. So, if you’re interested, click here for more!

What Are Pearls?

As previously mentioned, pearls are stones formed after an irritant gets trapped inside a mollusk, and the mollusk secretes a protective substance called nacre, which eventually forms a pearl.

Nacre is also called the mother of the pearl, and it is made from calcium carbonate (found in the bones and teeth of humans and other mammals.) 

Nacre is a very tough substance that effectively protects mollusks from both predators and perceived predators. It is important to note that only specific kinds of mollusks produce pearls (see also ‘What Do Pearls Symbolize?‘). Namely, abalone, mussels, and oysters. 

Pearls are naturally found in salt water and come in various colors, including pink, white, and black. They are prized for their rarity and beauty. Many people view them as an investment because they grow in value and price as time goes on. 

Spherical freshwater pearls are the most common type, and these pearls are typically produced by mussels. Also common are blister pearls, which are formed from oysters after an irritant enters their shell.

When the oyster secretes their nacre, it forms a blister on its surface which becomes coated in layers and layers of nacre. These blisters can grow to be very large in size and can contain many pearls at once. 

What Does The Bible Say About Pearls?

 Pearls are precious gems often used in the Bible to represent the glory of God. They are also used to symbolize the power, wisdom, and grace of God, while also highlighting more general ideas of abundance and prosperity. 

In fact, the Bible has a lot to say about pearls! In total, a “pearl of great price” has nine mentions in the Bible, and most of these references appear in the book of Job.

Let’s check out some references to pearls from the Bible below!

Genesis 3:21

The first mention of the pearl is right at the start of the Bible in Genesis 3:21. Here, God makes a necklace for Eve from every kind of animal. 

Proverbs 11:22 

The second mention of pearls can be found in Proverbs 11:22, where a pearl is described as being like a gold ring with a snout of a pig, and also likened to a beautiful woman. 

Here is the extract from Proverbs: “Like a gold ring in the snout of a pig, is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.” 

Matthew 13:45

During Biblical times, we can see that pearls were so highly valued that the wealthy often purchased them at very high prices in order to be able to show off their status and wealth.

This can be seen in Matthew 13:45 in which a merchant sells everything he owns to buy just one pearl, in one of Jesus’ parables.

What Does The Bible Say About Pearls?

Job 28:18-19

This is the first reference to pearls in the book of Job. In this reference, God is described as hiding his wisdom deep in the earth. 

“God hides his wisdom in the depths of the earth” followed by God being shown to “seal(s) up the depths of the seas.” 

These Biblical quotes show God hiding wisdom deep within the sea and the earth, and many believe that this wisdom is represented by pearls in the sea. The reference to wisdom being hidden in the earth is believed by many to be a reference to humans and how wisdom is hidden deep within us. 

Job 8:9-10

This is the second reference to pearls in Job. In this extract, a man is described as seeking to buy pearls in order to gain wisdom. However, the pearls only burden him more and more.

Many people believe that this represents how humans think that success and happiness can be bought, only to find that trying to find them in this way will lead to the opposite! 

Proverbs 31

In Proverbs 31, pearls are mentioned as jewelry. A woman is seen wearing a robe made of purple and scarlet fabric. She wears jewels in her ears and on her neck. They are said to be made from silver, gold, and many precious gems.

However, the most important thing about this woman is that she is described as having the wisdom of pure gold. This is very similar to the description of the pearl of great price in the Bible. 

Pearls In The Bible: The Pearl Of God

Pearls are also mentioned elsewhere in the Bible. In particular, the pearl of God. This can be seen in both Revelation 21:21-22 and Matthew 7:6, in which the pearl is described as the bride of Christ, another name of the church.

The “church” here does not represent the church as a building, but all of the people who make up the congregation, the worshippers, etc. 

People believe that the church and pearls are likened in the Bible because God views both as precious (if you’re curious about what the Bible has to say about Tarot cards, read here). Meanwhile, in Revelation 21:21-22, John witnesses a city from heaven with gates adorned with pearls. 

“And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the streets of the city were pure gold, like transparent glass.” 

Pearls are also described as being a part of heaven in Matthew 13:45-46, where Jesus states that those in heaven will be able to find pearls. 

This is a city described as not needing to access moonlight or sunlight because it is shrouded in God’s light. The extract also describes John as understanding there will no longer be any sorrow or death because of the sacrifice Jesus made.

So here, pearls make up a part of the kingdom of heaven which highlights their importance and spiritual value, as well as value in terms of price to the people of Biblical times! 

Final Thoughts 

Pearls are precious stones that are formed after an irritant enters a mollusk and it secretes nacre to protect itself. This nacre eventually forms a pearl. 

Pearls have been around for a very long time, and there are many references to pearls in the Bible.

Pearls are viewed as something with high value and wealth, many people would buy them to flaunt their wealth and many people would give up wealth just to own one, as seen in the parable of the pearl in which a man sells everything he owns for a single pearl. 

However, pearls also have a spiritual significance to God. They are primarily seen as symbolic of wisdom, the kind of wisdom that cannot be bought. Pearls are also said to adorn the gates of heaven, highlighting their spiritual significance and value. 

Andrea Daehma