Have you ever pondered the question; 'What does the bible say about jewelry?'. If so this blog post's a must-read, it tells you everything you need to know.
In the Book of Ezekiel (16), a beautiful allegory unfolds about God's relationship to the Israelites. He describes the nation as an abandoned newborn that he clothes, feeds, raises, and adorns with jewelry. This brings up an interesting question: what does the Bible say about jewelry?
Bible verses about jewelry abound, and what they say may surprise you. Read on to learn more about scriptural references to adornment.
Jewelry in the Bible
In Ezekiel 11-13, God says, "I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck. And I put a jewel in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. Thus you were adorned with gold and silver."
As the metaphor continues, God marries the woman (Israel) bedecked in jewels and precious metals. This begs the question: how did wearing adornments go from a blessing to a curse?
Some Christian denominations look down on women who wear jewelry. But how did jewelry's association with sin emerge? To better understand the topic, we need to look at the New Testament.
More Bible Verses About Jewelry
The Old Testament contains a multitude of verses praising women who are well-adorned. But the teachings of Paul and Peter seem to contradict the idea of adornment. Or, do they?
Let's take a closer look...
In 1 Timothy 2:9-10, Paul exhorts believers that, "women [should] adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper from women professing godliness, with good works." On a first reading, it appears that Paul argues for the avoidance of fancy clothing, hairdos, and jewelry.
But is that really what he means? On closer inspection, we realize that Paul is talking about priorities. He doesn't prohibit expensive clothing or nice hairdos, but he does emphasize avoiding vanity and focusing on what's truly important: faith in God and good works.
Peter does a similar thing in Peter 3:4 when he contrasts external appearance with internal beauty arguing that what's most important is "the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." Like Paul, Peter uses metaphors to make Christians understand that God judges our hearts, not our appearances. If we think these passages are prohibitions against jewelry, we're missing the point.
God of Jewelry
Paul and Peter emphasize that God knows our hearts and minds and does not focus on outward appearance. So, the wearing of jewelry becomes a mute point. But Bible verses related to adornment don't stop there.
The Old Testament makes numerous references to jewelry, often in the context of a blessing upon Israel. In the Song of Solomon 1:10-11, it states, "Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, Your neck with strings of beads. We will make for you ornaments of gold with beads of silver."
And then again in 4:9, we get this poetic line, "You have ravished my heart with one look of your eyes, with one link of your necklace."
We find clear references to God jewelry in Genesis (22:24, 30, 47, 53) when Abraham's servant waits by the well until Rebekah offers him water. Through this act, God shows Abraham's servant that Rebekah is the woman for Isaac. So, the servant immediately gifts her with silver and gold bracelets and a nose ring.
Jesus Discusses Jewelry
Besides the writings of the apostles, the New Testament makes references to jewelry in Jesus's parables. In Matthew 7:6, Jesus cautions, "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs."
In Luke 15:8-10, Jesus praises women adorned with "ten coins" on their foreheads, a reference to the jewelry that all married women wore. Jesus talks about accessories again in Matthew 13:45-46 about the merchant who invested in the pearl of great price.
Jesus used the metaphor of jewelry to teach about godliness and faithfulness. Surely, had He judged jewelry evil, He would have avoided the allusion. And when the topic came up, He would have warned the flock against its dangers.
The Problem with Judgment
When Biblical verses get used out of context or manmade rules supersede them, you've got a dangerous situation. Churches that ban jewelry-wearing are missing the point. God wanted us to focus on Him, our first love.
He sees us as His precious bride, set apart from the world and adorned in the glowing radiance of salvation. Earrings and bracelets do not detract from that radiance. In fact, they can function as poignant symbols of our Heavenly Father's enduring love and devotion.
Like Israel in the Book of Ezekiel or Rebekah in the Book of Genesis, we've been singled out by God as His Beloved, the Bride of Christ. He has adorned us spiritually with bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. When we wear physical representations of His abiding faithfulness, they can provide a physical reminder of our hope in Christ.
When it's all said and done, wearing jewelry remains a matter of personal preference. Instead of worrying about outside appearance, we need to focus on loving and appreciating people for their godliness and good works--the way that our Father loves us. When we judge others based on outward appearance, we condemn ourselves.
What Does the Bible Say About Jewelry?
The Bible makes it clear that we should avoid vanity and snobbery because they harm our ability to love others the way that Christ loves us. What's more, when we focus on the things of this world, we lose sight of God. But that doesn't mean we need to throw our jewelry boxes away.
God loves jewelry, and the Bible uses the metaphor of adornment to describe how He cares for us. In His great benevolence, God knows our hearts and minds, and a nose ring or earring will never get in the way of that.
As Paul argues in Romans 8:38-39, "I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow--not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below--indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord."
So, what does the Bible say about jewelry? From Genesis to Revelations, Biblical references to jewelry are overwhelmingly favorable. Just remember to wear it as a reminder of God's love rather than as a way of making yourself feel superior to others.
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