What Does the Bible Say About . . . .
JEWELRY, MAKEUP & OTHER ADORNMENTS
Since the beginning of time, men and women have sought to enhance their appearance through the use of jewelry, makeup, ornamented clothing and other adornments. Looking at ancient art found in the tombs and other buildings of various kingdoms and especially that of Egypt, one can see that the use of gold and paint was commonplace. Ornaments sometimes symbolized wealth or favor, or were worn as amulets by pagans.
There has been some controversy in various Christian churches today over whether or not the use of jewelry or makeup is appropriate for Christians. Especially as our culture has dropped most of its taboos against its use and even advocates it. It is rare to see a woman today in the United States that is not wearing earrings or some other pieces of jewelry. Ironically, in the above mentioned controversy, the issues of fancy clothing or other costly things are usually left out of the discussion.
In an attempt to resolve this issue, I used a computer to compile all the verses in the Bible that deal with the subject of jewelry, makeup and other adornments. Most of the texts apply to people, and some texts are as God uses adornments in His earthly temple and the New Jerusalem.
Parentheses ( ) enclose the various suffixes used.
The words gold and silver were not searched for since they are used so frequently in the Bible. However, they have been boldfaced along with the above terms in the texts kept.
Other than the painting of the eyes, (eye shadow), no words for painting of the lips, cheeks or other forms of makeup were found. Possible inference to painted lips was found in Song of Solomon 4:3 "Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon; your mouth is lovely."
Gen. 24:20 So [Rebekah] quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels.21Without saying a word, the man [Abraham's servant] watched her closely to learn whether or not the LORD had made his journey successful.
22When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka [1/5 oz.] and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels [4 oz.]. 23Then he asked, "Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father's house for us to spend the night?"
24She answered him, "I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son that Milcah bore to Nahor." 25And she added, "We have plenty of straw and fodder, as well as room for you to spend the night."
26Then the man bowed down and worshiped the LORD, 27saying, "Praise be to the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the LORD has led me on the journey to the house of my master's relatives."
28The girl ran and told her mother's household about these things. 29Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and he hurried out to the man at the spring. 30As soon as he had seen the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister's arms, and had heard Rebekah tell what the man said to her, he went out to the man and found him standing by the camels near the spring. 31"Come, you who are blessed by the LORD," he said. "Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels."
32So the man went to the house, and the camels were unloaded. Straw and fodder were brought for the camels, and water for him and his men to wash their feet. 33Then food was set before him, but he said, "I will not eat until I have told you what I have to say." "Then tell us," [Laban] said.
34So he said, "I am Abraham's servant. 35The LORD has blessed my master abundantly, and he has become wealthy. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, menservants and maidservants, and camels and donkeys. 36My master's wife Sarah has borne him a son in her old age, and he has given him everything he owns. 37And my master made me swear an oath, and said, `You must not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live, 38but go to my father's family and to my own clan, and get a wife for my son.'
39"Then I asked my master, `What if the woman will not come back with me?'
40"He replied, `The LORD, before whom I have walked, will send his angel with you and make your journey a success, so that you can get a wife for my son from my own clan and from my father's family. 41Then, when you go to my clan, you will be released from my oath even if they refuse to give her to you --you will be released from my oath.'
42"When I came to the spring today, I said, `O LORD, God of my master Abraham, if you will, please grant success to the journey on which I have come. 43See, I am standing beside this spring; if a maiden comes out to draw water and I say to her, "Please let me drink a little water from your jar," 44and if she says to me, "Drink, and I'll draw water for your camels too," let her be the one the LORD has chosen for my master's son.'
45"Before I finished praying in my heart, Rebekah came out, with her jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water, and I said to her, `Please give me a drink.'
46"She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder and said, `Drink, and I'll water your camels too.' So I drank, and she watered the camels also.
47"I asked her, `Whose daughter are you?' "She said, `The daughter of Bethuel son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to him.' "Then I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms, 48and I bowed down and worshiped the LORD. I praised the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right road to get the granddaughter of my master's brother for his son. 49Now if you will show kindness and faithfulness to my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so I may know which way to turn."
50Laban and Bethuel answered, "This is from the LORD; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. 51Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master's son, as the LORD has directed."
52When Abraham's servant heard what they said, he bowed down to the ground before the LORD. 53Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother.
Gen. 35:2 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, "Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes.3Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone." 4So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the oak at Shechem.
Commentary: It appears that the earrings that Jacob's household were wearing at the time were a type of amulet, or charm to please or appease idolatrous gods. Earlier, Rachel had stolen her father's household gods and brought them along with her on the journey back to Canaan. See Genesis 31.
Introduction: In the following section, the translators of the NIV have translated the Hebrew terms kuttoneth pac as "a richly ornamented robe." The KJV translates this "a robe of many colors" and The Interlinear Bible as a "robe reaching to the feet." Strong's Hebrew dictionary implies that pac means "a long and sleeved tunic." Newer lexicons might provide alternate definitions.
Gen. 37:2 This is the account of Jacob. Joseph, a young man of
seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of
Zilpah, his father's wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.
Commentary: Joseph's robe was given to him by his father as a sign of favor. However, it also caused jealousy to grow among his brothers as they felt less favored by their father. Parents, take note!
Gen. 41:40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you."41So Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt." 42Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph's finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck.
Commentary: Carefully note what God told the Israelites to do with the items obtained from their neighbors
Exodus 3:21 “And
I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when
you leave you will not go empty-handed. 22
Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles
of silver and gold and for
clothing, which you will put on your sons
and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.”
Exodus 12:35 The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. 36 The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.
Commentary: As compensation for their years of unpaid labor, the Israelites were to ask their Egyptian neighbors for articles of gold and silver and clothing, which they were to put on their sons and daughters. God was showing His approbation and approval of the Israelites through this gesture. Later we will see that this jewelry was taken off, first at the incident of the golden calf and later when God was going to decide what to do with the Israelites as a result of this sin. God, a number of times in Scripture, laments that His people would take the jewelry He gave them and use it for ill purposes, such as making idols or prostituting themselves to other nations or gods. Watch for this as you read further.
Exod. 21:1-6 "These are the laws you are to set before them: 2 "If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. 3 If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free. 5 "But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ 6 then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.
Exod. 25:1 The LORD said to Moses,2"Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give. 3These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; 4blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; 5ram skins dyed red and hides of sea cows; acacia wood; 6olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; 7and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece. 8"Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.
Exod. 28:15 "Fashion a breastpiece for making decisions --the work of a skilled craftsman. Make it like the ephod: of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen.16It is to be square --a span long and a span wide --and folded double. 17Then mount four rows of precious stones on it. In the first row there shall be a ruby, a topaz and a beryl; 18in the second row a turquoise, a sapphire and an emerald; 19in the third row a jacinth, an agate and an amethyst; 20in the fourth row a chrysolite, an onyx and a jasper. Mount them in gold filigree settings. 21There are to be twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes. 22"For the breastpiece make braided chains of pure gold, like a rope. 23Make two gold rings for it and fasten them to two corners of the breastpiece. 24Fasten the two gold chains to the rings at the corners of the breastpiece, 25and the other ends of the chains to the two settings, attaching them to the shoulder pieces of the ephod at the front. 26Make two gold rings and attach them to the other two corners of the breastpiece on the inside edge next to the ephod. 27Make two more gold rings and attach them to the bottom of the shoulder pieces on the front of the ephod, close to the seam just above the waistband of the ephod.
Exod. 32:1 When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, "Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don't know what has happened to him."2Aaron answered them, "Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me." 3So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron [and he made for them a golden calf].
Exod. 32:22 [Aaron said to Moses] "Do not be angry, my lord," Aaron answered. "You know how prone these people are to evil.23They said to me, `Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don't know what has happened to him.' 24So I told them, `Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.' Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!"
Exod. 33:1 [After the incident with the golden calf] the LORD said to Moses, "Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, `I will give it to your descendants.'2I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 3Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way." 4When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn and no one put on any ornaments. 5For the LORD had said to Moses, "Tell the Israelites, `You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you.'" 6So the Israelites stripped off their ornaments at Mount Horeb.
Exod. 35:4 Moses said to the whole Israelite community, "This is what the LORD has commanded:5From what you have, take an offering for the LORD. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the LORD an offering of gold, silver and bronze; 6blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; 7ram skins dyed red and hides of sea cows; acacia wood; 8olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; 9and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece. 10"All who are skilled among you are to come and make everything the LORD has commanded: 11the tabernacle with its tent and its covering, clasps, frames, crossbars, posts and bases; 12the ark with its poles and the atonement cover and the curtain that shields it; 13the table with its poles and all its articles and the bread of the Presence; 14the lampstand that is for light with its accessories, lamps and oil for the light; 15the altar of incense with its poles, the anointing oil and the fragrant incense; the curtain for the doorway at the entrance to the tabernacle; 16the altar of burnt offering with its bronze grating, its poles and all its utensils; the bronze basin with its stand; 17the curtains of the courtyard with its posts and bases, and the curtain for the entrance to the courtyard; 18the tent pegs for the tabernacle and for the courtyard, and their ropes; 19the woven garments worn for ministering in the sanctuary --both the sacred garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons when they serve as priests." Then the whole Israelite community withdrew from Moses' presence, 21and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved him came and brought an offering to the LORD for the work on the Tent of Meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments. 22All who were willing, men and women alike, came and brought gold jewelry of all kinds: brooches, earrings, rings and ornaments. They all presented their gold as a wave offering to the LORD. 23Everyone who had blue, purple or scarlet yarn or fine linen, or goat hair, ram skins dyed red or hides of sea cows brought them. 24Those presenting an offering of silver or bronze brought it as an offering to the LORD, and everyone who had acacia wood for any part of the work brought it. 25Every skilled woman spun with her hands and brought what she had spun --blue, purple or scarlet yarn or fine linen. 26And all the women who were willing and had the skill spun the goat hair. 27The leaders brought onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece. 28They also brought spices and olive oil for the light and for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense. 29All the Israelite men and women who were willing brought to the LORD freewill offerings for all the work the LORD through Moses had commanded them to do.
Exod. 39:8 They fashioned the breastpiece --the work of a skilled craftsman. They made it like the ephod: of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen.9It was square --a span long and a span wide --and folded double. 10Then they mounted four rows of precious stones on it. In the first row there was a ruby, a topaz and a beryl; 11in the second row a turquoise, a sapphire and an emerald; 12in the third row a jacinth, an agate and an amethyst; 13in the fourth row a chrysolite, an onyx and a jasper. They were mounted in gold filigree settings. 14There were twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes. 15For the breastpiece they made braided chains of pure gold, like a rope.
Num. 31:1 The LORD said to Moses,2"Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people." . . . 9The Israelites captured the Midianite women and children and took all the Midianite herds, flocks and goods as plunder. . . . 14Moses was angry with the officers of the army --the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds --who returned from the battle. 15"Have you allowed all the women to live?" he asked them. 16"They were the ones who followed Balaam's advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the LORD in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the LORD's people. 17Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man. . . . 48Then the officers who were over the units of the army --the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds --went to Moses 49and said to him, "Your servants have counted the soldiers under our command, and not one is missing. 50So we have brought as an offering to the LORD the gold articles each of us acquired --armlets, bracelets, signet rings, earrings and necklaces --to make atonement for ourselves before the LORD."
Judg. 8:19 Gideon replied, "Those were my brothers, the sons of my own mother. As surely as the LORD lives, if you had spared their lives, I would not kill you."20Turning to Jether, his oldest son, he said, "Kill them!" But Jether did not draw his sword, because he was only a boy and was afraid. 21Zebah and Zalmunna said, "Come, do it yourself. `As is the man, so is his strength.'" So Gideon stepped forward and killed them, and took the ornaments off their camels' necks. 22The Israelites said to Gideon, "Rule over us --you, your son and your grandson --because you have saved us out of the hand of Midian." 23But Gideon told them, "I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The LORD will rule over you." 24And he said, "I do have one request, that each of you give me an earring from your share of the plunder." (It was the custom of the Ishmaelites to wear gold earrings.) 25They answered, "We'll be glad to give them." So they spread out a garment, and each man threw a ring from his plunder onto it. 26The weight of the gold rings he asked for came to seventeen hundred shekels, not counting the ornaments, the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian or the chains that were on their camels' necks.
Ruth 3:3 [And Naomi said to Ruth,] "Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking.
1 Samuel 8:13 [The king] He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers.
A lament of David. 2Sam. 1:22 From the blood of the slain, from the flesh of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan did not turn back, the sword of Saul did not return unsatisfied.23"Saul and Jonathan-- in life they were loved and gracious, and in death they were not parted. They were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. 24"O daughters of Israel, weep for Saul, who clothed you in scarlet and finery, who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold.
2Sam. 12:28 Now muster the rest of the troops and besiege the city and capture it. Otherwise I will take the city, and it will be named after me."29So David mustered the entire army and went to Rabbah, and attacked and captured it. 30He took the crown from the head of their king --its weight was a talent [75 lbs.,] of gold, and it was set with precious stones --and it was placed on David's head.
2Sam. 13:16 "No!" [Tamar] said to [Amnon, her half brother after he had raped her]. "Sending me away would be a greater wrong than what you have already done to me." But he refused to listen to her.17He called his personal servant and said, "Get this woman out of here and bolt the door after her." 18So his servant put her out and bolted the door after her. She was wearing a richly ornamented robe, for this was the kind of garment the virgin daughters of the king wore. 19Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the ornamented robe she was wearing. She put her hand on her head and went away, weeping aloud as she went.
Commentary: The ornamented robe above is derived from the same Hebrew terms kuttoneth pac as were used to describe Joseph's coat.
1Kgs. 10:1 When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relation to the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions.2Arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan --with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones --she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind. . . . [She said to Solomon] 8How happy your men must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! 9Praise be to the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the LORD's eternal love for Israel, he has made you king, to maintain justice and righteousness." 10And she gave the king 120 talents of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones. Never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. 11(Hiram's ships brought gold from Ophir; and from there they brought great cargoes of almugwood and precious stones.
2Kgs. 9:30 Then Jehu went to Jezreel. When Jezebel heard about it, she painted her eyes, arranged her hair and looked out of a window.31As Jehu entered the gate, she asked, "Have you come in peace, Zimri, you murderer of your master?" 32He looked up at the window and called out, "Who is on my side? Who?" Two or three eunuchs looked down at him. 33"Throw her down!" Jehu said. So they threw her down, and some of her blood spattered the wall and the horses as they trampled her underfoot.
1Chr. 20:1 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, Joab led out the armed forces. He laid waste the land of the Ammonites and went to Rabbah and besieged it, but David remained in Jerusalem. Joab attacked Rabbah and left it in ruins.2David took the crown from the head of their king --its weight was found to be a talent of gold, and it was set with precious stones --and it was placed on David's head. He took a great quantity of plunder from the city.
1Chr. 29:1 Then King David said to the whole assembly: "My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced. The task is great, because this palatial structure is not for man but for the LORD God.2With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God --gold for the gold work, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron and wood for the wood, as well as onyx for the settings, turquoise, stones of various colors, and all kinds of fine stone and marble --all of these in large quantities. 3Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple: 4three thousand talentsa of gold (gold of Ophir) and seven thousand talentsb of refined silver, for the overlaying of the walls of the buildings, 5for the gold work and the silver work, and for all the work to be done by the craftsmen. Now, who is willing to consecrate himself today to the LORD?" 6Then the leaders of families, the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the king's work gave willingly. 7They gave toward the work on the temple of God five thousand talentsc and ten thousand daricsd of gold, ten thousand talentse of silver, eighteen thousand talentsf of bronze and a hundred thousand talentsg of iron. 8Any who had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the temple of the LORD in the custody of Jehiel the Gershonite.
The NIV footnote provides the following conversions: That is about a110 tons, b260 tons, c190 tons, d185 pounds, e375 tons, f675 tons, g3,750 tons
2Chr. 1:14 Solomon accumulated chariots and horses; he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses, which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem.15The king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills.
2Chr. 3:4 The portico at the front of the temple was twenty cubits long across the width of the building and twenty cubits high. He overlaid the inside with pure gold.5He paneled the main hall with pine and covered it with fine gold and decorated it with palm tree and chain designs. 6He adorned the temple with precious stones. And the gold he used was gold of Parvaim.
2Chr. 9:1 When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon's fame, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions. Arriving with a very great caravan --with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones --she came to Solomon and talked with him about all she had on her mind. . . . [She said]7How happy your men must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! 8Praise be to the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on his throne as king to rule for the LORD your God. Because of the love of your God for Israel and his desire to uphold them forever, he has made you king over them, to maintain justice and righteousness." 9Then she gave the king 120 talents of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones. There had never been such spices as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. 10(The men of Hiram and the men of Solomon brought gold from Ophir; they also brought algumwood and precious stones. )
2Chr. 32:24 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the LORD, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign.25But Hezekiah's heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the LORD's wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem. 26Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the LORD's wrath did not come upon them during the days of Hezekiah. 27Hezekiah had very great riches and honor, and he made treasuries for his silver and gold and for his precious stones, spices, shields and all kinds of valuables.
Esther went through 12 months of beauty treatments including training in the use of perfumes and cosmetics
Esther 2:1-18 Later when
King Xerxes’ fury had subsided, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and
what he had decreed about her. 2 Then the king’s personal
attendants proposed, "Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for
the king. 3 Let the king appoint commissioners in every province of
his realm to bring all these beautiful young women into the harem at the citadel
of Susa. Let them be placed under the care of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is
in charge of the women; and let beauty treatments be given to them. 4
Then let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti."
This advice appealed to the king, and he followed it.
8 When the king’s order and edict had been proclaimed, many young women were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king’s palace and entrusted to Hegai, who had charge of the harem. 9 She pleased him and won his favor. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven female attendants selected from the king’s palace and moved her and her attendants into the best place in the harem.
10 Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do so. 11 Every day he walked back and forth near the courtyard of the harem to find out how Esther was and what was happening to her.
12 Before a young woman’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics. 13 And this is how she would go to the king: Anything she wanted was given her to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace. 14 In the evening she would go there and in the morning return to another part of the harem to the care of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the concubines. She would not return to the king unless he was pleased with her and summoned her by name.
15 When the turn came for Esther (the young woman Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her. 16 She was taken to King Xerxes in the royal residence in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
17 Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. 18 And the king gave a great banquet, Esther’s banquet, for all his nobles and officials. He proclaimed a holiday throughout the provinces and distributed gifts with royal liberality.
Esth. 3:8 Then Haman said to King Xerxes, "There is a certain people dispersed and scattered among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom whose customs are different from those of all other people and who do not obey the king's laws; it is not in the king's best interest to tolerate them.9If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will put ten thousand talents [375 tons] of silver into the royal treasury for the men who carry out this business." 10So the king took his signet ring from his finger and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. 11"Keep the money," the king said to Haman, "and do with the people as you please." 12Then on the thirteenth day of the first month the royal secretaries were summoned. They wrote out in the script of each province and in the language of each people all Haman's orders to the king's satraps, the governors of the various provinces and the nobles of the various peoples. These were written in the name of King Xerxes himself and sealed with his own ring.
Esth. 8:1 That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther the estate of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came into the presence of the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her.2The king took off his signet ring, which he had reclaimed from Haman, and presented it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed him over Haman's estate. 3Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite, which he had devised against the Jews. 4Then the king extended the gold scepter to Esther and she arose and stood before him. 5"If it pleases the king," she said, "and if he regards me with favor and thinks it the right thing to do, and if he is pleased with me, let an order be written overruling the dispatches that Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, devised and wrote to destroy the Jews in all the king's provinces. 6For how can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?" 7King Xerxes replied to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, "Because Haman attacked the Jews, I have given his estate to Esther, and they have hanged him on the gallows. 8Now write another decree in the king's name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king's signet ring --for no document written in the king's name and sealed with his ring can be revoked."
Job 28:15 [Wisdom] cannot be bought with the finest gold, nor can its price be weighed in silver.16It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir, with precious onyx or sapphires. 17Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it, nor can it be had for jewels of gold. 18Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention; the price of wisdom is beyond rubies.
Job 42:9 So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job's prayer.10After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before. 11All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the LORD had brought upon him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.
Ps. 40:6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced; burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.7Then I said, "Here I am, I have come-- it is written about me in the scroll. 8I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart."
Commentary: The phrase "my ears you have pierced" may be a symbolic example of David's submission to God. This symbol stemmed from a rite of servitude that the Lord gave the Israelites. "If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. . . . But if the servant declares, `I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,' then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life. (Exod. 21:2, 5, 6). Alternately, the NIV footnotes regarding Ps. 40:6 indicate that the phrase may also be interpreted as "but a body you have prepared for me" or "my ears you have opened."
Ps. 73:4 [The wicked and arrogant] have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.5They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills. 6Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.
Prov. 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.8Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. 9They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.
Prov. 3:21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight;22they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.
Prov. 11:20 The LORD detests men of perverse heart but he delights in those whose ways are blameless.21Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free. 22Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.
Prov. 20:13 Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare.14"It's no good, it's no good!" says the buyer; then off he goes and boasts about his purchase. 15Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.
Prov. 25:11 A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.12Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man's rebuke to a listening ear.
Song 1:3 Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the young women love you!
Song 1:8 If you do not know, most beautiful of women, follow the tracks of the sheep and graze your young goats by the tents of the shepherds. 9I liken you, my darling, to a mare harnessed to one of the chariots of Pharaoh. 10Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels. 11We will make you earrings of gold, studded with silver.
Song 1:12 [She] While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance.
Song 3:6 Who is this coming up from the wilderness like a column of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and incense made from all the spices of the merchant?
Song 4:7 All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you. 8Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, come with me from Lebanon. Descend from the crest of Amana, from the top of Senir, the summit of Hermon, from the lions' dens and the mountain haunts of the leopards. 9You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. 10How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume more than any spice!
Song 5:10 My lover is radiant and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand. 11His head is purest gold; his hair is wavy and black as a raven. 12His eyes are like doves by the water streams, washed in milk, mounted like jewels. 13His cheeks are like beds of spice yielding perfume. His lips are like lilies dripping with myrrh.
Song 7:1 How beautiful your sandaled feet, O prince's daughter! Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of a craftsman's hands.The Lord will take away Israel's finery because of her sins
Isa. 3:14 The LORD enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people: "It is you who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses.15What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor?" declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty. 16The LORD says, "The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, tripping along with mincing steps, with ornaments jingling on their ankles. 17Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; the LORD will make their scalps bald." 18In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, 19the earrings and bracelets and veils, 20the headdresses and ankle chains and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, 21the signet rings and nose rings, 22the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses 23and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls. 24Instead of fragrance there will be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well-dressed hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth; instead of beauty, branding. 25Your men will fall by the sword, your warriors in battle. 26The gates of Zion will lament and mourn; destitute, she will sit on the ground.
Commentary: Note that the list of finery above includes much more than just jewelry, but anything worn or carried that was symbolic of wealth and luxury.
Isa. 13:17 See, I will stir up against them the Medes, who do not care for silver and have no delight in gold.18Their bows will strike down the young men; they will have no mercy on infants nor will they look with compassion on children. 19Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the glory of the Babylonians' pride, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah.
Isa. 49:16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.17Your sons hasten back, and those who laid you waste depart from you. 18Lift up your eyes and look around; all your sons gather and come to you. As surely as I live," declares the LORD, "you will wear them all as ornaments; you will put them on, like a bride.
Isa. 54:10 Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you.11"O afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will build you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with sapphires. 12I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones.
Isa. 61:8 "For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity. In my faithfulness I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them.9Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the LORD has blessed." 10I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Jer. 2:30 "In vain I punished your people; they did not respond to correction. Your sword has devoured your prophets like a ravening lion.31"You of this generation, consider the word of the LORD: "Have I been a desert to Israel or a land of great darkness? Why do my people say, `We are free to roam; we will come to you no more'? 32Does a maiden forget her jewelry, a bride her wedding ornaments? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number.
Jer. 4:28 Therefore the earth will mourn and the heavens above grow dark, because I have spoken and will not relent, I have decided and will not turn back."29At the sound of horsemen and archers every town takes to flight. Some go into the thickets; some climb up among the rocks. All the towns are deserted; no one lives in them. 30What are you doing, O devastated one? Why dress yourself in scarlet and put on jewels of gold? Why shade your eyes with paint? You adorn yourself in vain. Your lovers despise you; they seek your life. "
Jer. 22:22 The wind will drive all your shepherds away, and your allies will go into exile. Then you will be ashamed and disgraced because of all your wickedness.23You who live in `Lebanon, ' who are nestled in cedar buildings, how you will groan when pangs come upon you, pain like that of a woman in labor! 24"As surely as I live," declares the LORD, "even if you, Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, were a signet ring on my right hand, I would still pull you off.
Lam. 4:1 How the gold has lost its luster, the fine gold become dull! The sacred gems are scattered at the head of every street.2How the precious sons of Zion, once worth their weight in gold, are now considered as pots of clay, the work of a potter's hands!
Ezek. 7:18 They will put on sackcloth and be clothed with terror. Their faces will be covered with shame and their heads will be shaved.19They will throw their silver into the streets, and their gold will be an unclean thing. Their silver and gold will not be able to save them in the day of the LORD's wrath. They will not satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs with it, for it has made them stumble into sin. 20They were proud of their beautiful jewelry and used it to make their detestable idols and vile images. Therefore I will turn these into an unclean thing for them.
Ezek. 16:5 No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough to
do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out into the open field, for on
the day you were born you were despised.
Ezek. 23:24 They will come against you with weapons, chariots and wagons and with a throng of people; they will take up positions against you on every side with large and small shields and with helmets. I will turn you over to them for punishment, and they will punish you according to their standards.25I will direct my jealous anger against you, and they will deal with you in fury. They will cut off your noses and your ears, and those of you who are left will fall by the sword. They will take away your sons and daughters, and those of you who are left will be consumed by fire. 26They will also strip you of your clothes and take your fine jewelry.
Ezek. 23:38 They have also done this to me: At that same time they defiled my sanctuary and desecrated my Sabbaths.39On the very day they sacrificed their children to their idols, they entered my sanctuary and desecrated it. That is what they did in my house. 40"They even sent messengers for men who came from far away, and when they arrived you bathed yourself for them, painted your eyes and put on your jewelry. 41You sat on an elegant couch, with a table spread before it on which you had placed the incense and oil that belonged to me. 42"The noise of a carefree crowd was around her; Sabeans were brought from the desert along with men from the rabble, and they put bracelets on the arms of the woman and her sister and beautiful crowns on their heads.
Ezek. 27:20 "`Dedan traded in saddle blankets with you.21"`Arabia and all the princes of Kedar were your customers; they did business with you in lambs, rams and goats. 22"`The merchants of Sheba and Raamah traded with you; for your merchandise they exchanged the finest of all kinds of spices and precious stones, and gold.
Ezek. 28:11 The word of the LORD came to me:12"Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: "`You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. 14You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. 15You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. 16Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. 17Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth.
Commentary: The above passage while directed at the King of Tyre, is actually describing Satan in his past heavenly state. He was a guardian cherub next to the throne of God, adorned with precious jewels, but yet, wickedness was found in him. It is not unusual for an earthly king to have a demonic agent associated with him, and for God's rebuke to be directed not only at the earthly monarch, but also at the evil agent directing him. See also Daniel 10 and Isaiah 14.
Dan. 6:15 Then the men went as a group to the king and said to him, "Remember, O king, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed."16So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions' den. The king said to Daniel, "May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!" 17A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel's situation might not be changed.
Dan. 11:36 "The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place.37He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all. 38Instead of them, he will honor a god of fortresses; a god unknown to his fathers he will honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts.
Hosea 2:11 I will stop all her celebrations: her yearly festivals, her New Moons, her Sabbath days --all her appointed feasts.12I will ruin her vines and her fig trees, which she said were her pay from her lovers; I will make them a thicket, and wild animals will devour them. 13I will punish her for the days she burned incense to the Baals; she decked herself with rings and jewelry, and went after her lovers, but me she forgot," declares the LORD.
Hag. 2:21 "Tell Zerubbabel governor of Judah that I will shake the heavens and the earth.22I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms. I will overthrow chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his brother. 23"`On that day,' declares the LORD Almighty, `I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,' declares the LORD, `and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,' declares the LORD Almighty."
Zech. 9:14 Then the LORD will appear over them; his arrow will flash like lightning. The Sovereign LORD will sound the trumpet; he will march in the storms of the south,15and the LORD Almighty will shield them. They will destroy and overcome with slingstones. They will drink and roar as with wine; they will be full like a bowl used for sprinkling the corners of the altar. 16The LORD their God will save them on that day as the flock of his people. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown.
Matt. 7:6 "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.
Matt. 13:44 "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.45"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
Luke 15:11 Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons.12The younger one said to his father, `Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them. 13"Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17"When he came to his senses, he said, `How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' 20So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21"The son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. ' 22"But the father said to his servants, `Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
1Tim. 2:8 I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.9I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.
Commentary: As before, notice the whole list in the above passage. It would be inappropriate to pick and choose only those which one wishes to.
James 2:1 My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism.2Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. 3If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," 4have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? 6But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?
1Pet. 3:1 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,2when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. 5For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful.
Rev. 17:2 With her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries."3Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 4The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. 5This title was written on her forehead:
MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT
THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
6I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.
Commentary: Most expositors recognize Babylon, "the great city that rules over the kings of the earth" and "that sits on seven hills" as Rome and more specifically, the Church of Rome. Anyone who has visited the Vatican will quickly notice the ornate rooms, the adornments of the robes of the prelates and of the pope. And yet the teaching of Rome come primarily from pagan traditions seducing the nations with its supposed Christian garb. Contrasting Rome's ornateness to the simple garb of Jesus Christ gives a clearer understanding of what God wants from His true church.
"To be like Jesus, to be like him."
For a fascinating look at Revelation, read the book, "Revelation for the Wise" (see the last page of this compilation). The identity of the beasts and characters of Revelation are discussed in detail as well as the messages and declarations.
Rev. 18:10 Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: "`Woe! Woe, O great city, O Babylon, city of power! In one hour your doom has come!'11"The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more-- 12cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; 13cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men. 14"They will say, `The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your riches and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.' 15The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn 16and cry out: "`Woe! Woe, O great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls!
Rev. 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. . . . 9One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." 10And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. . . . 16The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length [about 1,400 miles], and as wide and high as it is long. 17He measured its wall and it was 144 cubits [about 200 feet] thick, by man's measurement, which the angel was using. 18The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass.
Scripture quoted by permission. All scripture quotations, unless indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Many thanks go to Zondervan.
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