Sedimentary rock formed from large concentrations of marine shell life, hence composed largely of calcium carbonate or magnesium carbonate. It is the dominant rock in the central hills of Palestine and the heights of the Transjordan. When treated with heat and water, the resulting slaked (hydrated) lime could be used for plaster, providing a smooth base for decoration. In its natural state, limestone was the primary construction material for stone walls, foundations, door sockets, lintels, and even decorative work such as stelae, friezes, bas-reliefs, and statuary in Palestine. Most of the frequent biblical references to stone are thus to limestone (1Kgs 5:5; 1Kgs 6:36; 2Kgs 12:12; Amos 5:11; Matt 24:2). The Hebrews knew the treatment of heating it (Isa 33:12) and the consequences on human bone (Amos 2:1). Decomposed limestone constitutes the bulk of Palestine’s soil.

1Kgs 5:5

5So I intend to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord said to my father David, ‘Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, sha ... View more

1Kgs 6:36

36He built the inner court with three courses of dressed stone to one course of cedar beams.

2Kgs 12:12

12to the masons and the stonecutters, as well as to buy timber and quarried stone for making repairs on the house of the Lord, as well as for any outlay for rep ... View more

Amos 5:11

11Therefore because you trample on the poor
and take from them levies of grain,
you have built houses of hewn stone,
but you shall not live in them;
you have pl ... View more

Matt 24:2

2Then he asked them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly I tell you, not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.”

Isa 33:12

12And the peoples will be as if burned to lime,
like thorns cut down, that are burned in the fire.”

Amos 2:1

1Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Moab,
and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because he burned to lime
the bones of the king of Edom.

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