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Earrings - Ancient Jewish Bridal Attire

Updated on December 18, 2015
Marilynn Dawson profile image

Born-again Christian single mother of two grown kids. PC Tech, and Author of 18+ books in the non-fiction, personal/spiritual growth genres

This is the gold earring found at Tel Megiddo
This is the gold earring found at Tel Megiddo | Source

Earrings in Ancient Times

Earrings also adorn Jerusalem in Ezekiel 16. Earrings are mentioned 17 times in the Old Testament and in every instance, they are made of gold. Jewelry was one of the ways that men and women stored and displayed their wealth. When God asked the Hebrews to bring offerings of the items necessary to build the very first Tabernacle, both men and women broke off their gold earrings and brought them to Moses.

This practice was widespread in Biblical ancient times as we see later in the story of Gideon. He commanded his men to break off the earrings of the defeated invading army, because it was observed the soldiers wore earrings of gold.

Ancient Egyptian gold earring
Ancient Egyptian gold earring | Source
Ancient Yemeni Bridal earrings made out of silver
Ancient Yemeni Bridal earrings made out of silver | Source

The Egyptian Connection

The Egyptian connection must be remembered, as it was by the hand of the Egyptian people that the Hebrews fled that land with so much wealth. Scripture tells us that they showered gold and silver and precious things upon the Hebrew people as they fled the country before Pharoah.

To that end, a link shared here mentions a very interesting find in Tel Meggido that dates to around 1100 BC, well after Israel had conquered Canaan. The archeological notes about this find suggest the jewelry stash was hidden by the owner, and they never came back for it. There is conjecture about an Egyptian army that came through the area around that time. Considering that the dating of the Hebrew Exodus is somewhere between 1400 and 1200 BC, this stash could very easily have been that of family heirlooms passed down within a Jewish family, rather than having been part of a conquest at that time.

The Israel Museum has ancient crescent-shaped gold earrings on display, and if I can, I wish to obtain one of those pictures for my writing on this subject. The British Museum offers images for free under certain terms and conditions, and their image of an ancient Egyptian gold earring is featured here. These and others like them would no doubt have made up part of the offering of gold given to Moses for the Tabernacle.

As the Jewish culture developed in Yemen, bridal jewelry was largely silver, as shown in the image shared here. However as times have changed, either gold or silver has been used in bridal attire.

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What does this mean for the Bride of Christ?

Adoring the ears of the Bride of Christ with gold has interesting significance. Scripture urges us to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. Proverbs says that it is the glory of a King to search out a matter. Generally such searching out was the listening of others to whom the matter had been posed. Proverbs also shares that the wise person is quick to listen and slow to speak.

As the centuries have gone by, it has become a lament at various points by various people down through the ages that the art of listening in prayer has become faded and almost forgotten. Prayer is meant to be a two-way communication between the child of God, and God Himself. Much liturgy has been created over the years aimed at well-worded, carefully-crafted prayers that remind one more of the Pharisee Christ saw in the Temple, than the publican beating his chest in abject pleadings for mercy. Christ said it was the publican who would go away justified and not the Pharisee. In fact, when Christ answers the disciples' question to teach them to pray, He makes a point of saying NOT to pray as the heathen do. Christ said that the heathen think they will be heard by their "much speaking". Then Christ launched into what we have come to title, "The Lord's Prayer", which is a great example of how God longs for His people to come to Him. Studying this prayer has been the subject of various books and teachings today. But the one thing still missing, is waiting on God, the meditative reading of His Word, and listening to Him speak as part of the conversation.

The second previous metal used in bridal adornment is silver, as we see in the Yemeni Jewish bridal earrings. Silver, just as with white, typifies purity. Gracing the Bride of Christ with silver earrings would say that she is to hear only what is pure and good and true, that what enters her heart through what she hears, pleases God. This is a concept that many in the church have turned aside from. Music, movies, news, TV shows, and even advertisements are often not kind to the heart that wishes to be pure before God. Christ said that what goes into a man's heart will come out in his speech, and that what comes out in his speech is what defiles him. We must take care as Proverbs suggests, and watch what we see, hear, say and do.

The ear that hears is decorated in gold and silver.

Today we covered Earrings

Specifically given as special outfit
broidered work
badger's skin
fine linen
Song of Solomon
chains of gold
Rows of Jewels on cheeks
"a thousand bucklers"
forehead jewel

© 2013 Marilynn Dawson


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