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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

Silk, the fibrous substance produced by the mulberry silk-moth of China, is mentioned ( Revelation 18:12) as part of the costly merchandise of ‘Babylon’ (Imperial Rome). The Chinese name of the silk-worm is si, Korean soi; to the Greeks it became known as σήρ, the people supplying it being the Σῆρες, and the fibre itself σηρικόν, whence Lat. sericum, Fr. soie, Ger. Seide, Eng. silk. The silk-worm is first mentioned in Western literature by Aristotle (de Anim. Hist. v. 19). The silken textures of the East began to be imported into Italy in the early days of the Empire. At first they fetched fabulous prices, and their use by men was deemed an unpardonable extravagance. At a meeting of the Senate, in the time of Tiberius, ‘much was said against the luxury of the city by Quintus Haterius, a man of consular rank, and by Octavius Fronto, formerly praetor; and a law was passed “against using vessels of solid gold in serving up repasts, and against men disgracing themselves with silken garments” ’ (Tac. Ann. ii. 33). The trade, however, grew. Elagabalus was the first Emperor who wore robes of silk. Aurelian complained that a pound of it cost 12 ounces of gold. Under Justinian the Western world at last received from China a supply of silk-worms’ eggs (E. Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, iv. [1902], ch. xl 3).

James Strahan.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [2]

משי . As the word which is rendered "silk" in our version more probably meant cotton, or rather muslin, it is doubtful whether silk is mentioned expressly in the Scripture, unless, perhaps, in  Isaiah 19:9 , where we find the Hebrew word שריקות , from שרק , yellowish, tawny; which is generally the natural colour of raw silk; hence the Latin sericum: or it may be from the Seres, a nation whence the Greeks and Romans first obtained the article silk. Calmet remarks that the ancient Greeks and Romans had but little knowledge of the nature of silk. The Seres communicated their silk to the Persians, from whom it passed to the Greeks, and from them to the Romans. But the Persians and orientals for a long time kept the secret of manufacturing it among themselves. Silk was first brought into Greece after Alexander's conquest of Persia, and came into Italy during the flourishing times of the Roman empire; but was long so dear in all these parts as to be worth its weight in gold. At length the emperor Justinian, who died in the year 365, by means of two monks, whom he sent into India for that purpose, procured great quantities of silk worms' eggs to be brought to Constantinople, and from these have sprung all the silk worms and all the silk trade that have been since in Europe. See Flax .

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [3]

The English is derived by the change of R and L from Sericum , the manufacture of the Chinese ( Seres ):  Revelation 18:12. Aristotle in the fourth century B.C. is the first who positively mentions the import of the raw material to the island Cos in the Mediterranean (H. A. 5:19). In  Proverbs 31:22 ( Shesh ) translated "fine linen," not silk. The texture silk was probably known much earlier in western Asia, considering its intercourse with the far East by various routes, namely, from southern China by India and the Persian gulf, or across the Indus through Persia, or by Bactria the route of central Asia, for the Sinim ( Isaiah 49:12) are the Chinese. Μeshi , the other Hebrew term for silk, occurs in  Ezekiel 16:10;  Ezekiel 16:13, from Maashah "to draw," fine drawn silk (Pliny 6:20; 11:26, Describes The Manner) . The Βombyx Mori , the caterpillar of a sluggish moth, feeding on the mulberry tree, produces the oval-yellow cocoon of silk wound around its own body.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [4]

1: Σηρικός (Strong'S #4596 — Adjective — serikos | sirikos — say-ree-kos' )

"silken," an adjective derived from the Seres, a people of India, who seem to have produced "silk" originally as a marketable commodity, is used as a noun with the article, denoting "silken fabric,"  Revelation 18:12 .

King James Dictionary [5]

SILK, n.

1. The fine soft thread produced by the insect called silk-worm or bombyx. That which we ordinarily call silk, is a thread composed of several finer threads which the worm draws from its bowels, like the web of a spider, and with which the silk-worm envelopes itself, forming what is called a cocoon. 2. Cloth made of silk. In this sense, the word has a plural, silks, denoting different sort and varieties, as black silk, white silk, colored silks. 3. The filiform style of the female flower of maiz, which resembles real silk in fineness and softness. Virginia silk, a plant of the genus Periploca, which climbs and winds about other plants, trees, &c.

SILK, a. Pertaining to silk consisting of silk.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [6]

In the time of the Ptolemies, came to Greece and Rome from the far east of China, etc., by the way of Alexandria, and was sold for its weight in gold. It sometimes came in the form of skeins, and was woven into a light and thin gauze. It is mentioned in  Revelation 18:12 , and probably in  Ezekiel 16:10,13 . In  Genesis 41:42 and   Proverbs 31:22 , the word rendered silk in our version is the same that is elsewhere correctly rendered fine linen. It is not known how early or extensively the Jews used it.

Webster's Dictionary [7]

(1): ( n.) The fine, soft thread produced by various species of caterpillars in forming the cocoons within which the worm is inclosed during the pupa state, especially that produced by the larvae of Bombyx mori.

(2): ( n.) Hence, thread spun, or cloth woven, from the above-named material.

(3): ( n.) That which resembles silk, as the filiform styles of the female flower of maize.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [8]

 Amos 3:12

Heb. meshi, ( Ezekiel 16:10,13 , rendered "silk"). In  Genesis 41:42 (marg. A.V.),   Proverbs 31:22 (RSV, "fine linen"), the word "silk" ought to be "fine linen."

Silk was common in New Testament times (  Revelation 18:12 ).

Smith's Bible Dictionary [9]

Silk. The only undoubted notice of silk in the Bible occurs in  Revelation 18:12, where it is mentioned among the treasures of the typical Babylon. It is however, in the highest degree, probable that the texture was known to the Hebrews from the time that their commercial relations were extended by Solomon. The well-known classical name of the substance does not occur in the Hebrew language.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [10]

In  Ezekiel 16:10,13 the word is meshi, and refers to some very fine substance like hair, fine silk. In  Proverbs 31:22 it is shesh, which is fine linen. In  Revelation 18:12 it is σηρικόν, silk.

Holman Bible Dictionary [11]

 Ezekiel 16:10 Proverbs 31:22 Revelation 18:12

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [12]

SILK . See Dress, 1.