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alabaster

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alabaster


  4  definitions  found 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Alabaster  \Al"a*bas"ter\,  n.  [L.  alabaster,  Gr  ?,  said  to  be 
  derived  fr  Alabastron  the  name  of  a  town  in  Egypt,  near 
  which  it  was  common:  cf  OF  alabastre,  F.  alb[^a]tre.] 
  1.  (Min.) 
  a  A  compact  variety  or  sulphate  of  lime,  or  gypsum,  of 
  fine  texture,  and  usually  white  and  translucent,  but 
  sometimes  yellow,  red,  or  gray.  It  is  carved  into 
  vases,  mantel  ornaments,  etc 
  b  A  hard,  compact  variety  of  carbonate  of  lime,  somewhat 
  translucent,  or  of  banded  shades  of  color;  stalagmite. 
  The  name  is  used  in  this  sense  by  Pliny.  It  is 
  sometimes  distinguished  as  oriental  alabaster. 
 
  2.  A  box  or  vessel  for  holding  odoriferous  ointments,  etc.; 
  --  so  called  from  the  stone  of  which  it  was  originally 
  made  --Fosbroke. 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  alabaster 
  adj  :  of  or  resembling  alabaster;  "alabaster  statue"  [syn:  {alabastrine}] 
  n  1:  a  compact  fine-textured  usually  white  gypsum  used  for 
  carving 
  2:  a  hard  compact  kind  of  calcite  [syn:  {oriental  alabaster},  {onyx 
  marble},  {Mexican  onyx}] 
  3:  a  very  light  white 
 
  From  U.S.  Gazetteer  (1990)  [gazetteer]: 
 
  Alabaster,  AL  (city,  FIPS  820) 
  Location:  33.22655  N,  86.82462  W 
  Population  (1990):  14732  (5144  housing  units) 
  Area:  48.8  sq  km  (land),  0.1  sq  km  (water) 
 
  From  Easton's  1897  Bible  Dictionary  [easton]: 
 
  Alabaster 
  occurs  only  in  the  New  Testament  in  connection  with  the  box  of 
  "ointment  of  spikenard  very  precious,"  with  the  contents  of 
  which  a  woman  anointed  the  head  of  Jesus  as  he  sat  at  supper  in 
  the  house  of  Simon  the  leper  (Matt.  26:7;  Mark  14:3;  Luke  7:37). 
  These  boxes  were  made  from  a  stone  found  near  Alabastron  in 
  Egypt,  and  from  this  circumstance  the  Greeks  gave  them  the  name 
  of  the  city  where  they  were  made  The  name  was  then  given  to  the 
  stone  of  which  they  were  made  and  finally  to  all  perfume 
  vessels,  of  whatever  material  they  were  formed.  The  woman 
  broke"  the  vessel;  i.e.,  she  broke  off  as  was  usually  done 
  the  long  and  narrow  neck  so  as  to  reach  the  contents.  This  stone 
  resembles  marble,  but  is  softer  in  its  texture,  and  hence  very 
  easily  wrought  into  boxes.  Mark  says  (14:5)  that  this  box  of 
  ointment  was  worth  more  than  300  pence,  i.e.,  denarii,  each  of 
  the  value  of  sevenpence  halfpenny  of  our  money,  and  therefore 
  worth  about  10  pounds.  But  if  we  take  the  denarius  as  the  day's 
  wage  of  a  labourer  (Matt.  20:2),  say  two  shillings  of  our  money, 
  then  the  whole  would  be  worth  about  30  pounds,  so  costly  was 
  Mary's  offering. 
 




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