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Forehead Jewels or Nose Jewels - Ancient Jewish Bridal Attire

Updated on January 14, 2020
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

Coined Headdress
Coined Headdress

"A Jewel on thy Forehead" Ezekiel 16:12 KJV

This phrase in the King James Version has been interpreted by many other translations as a nose jewel reflective of the kind of jewelry typically seen even today in brides from Syria, India, and other places around Middle Eastern countries. The designs of these pieces can range from simply a forehead decoration, to a forehead decoration linked to a nose jewel that has been placed on one side of the bride's nostril.

Some dictionaries refer to this jewel as a diadem, which is a type of crown or jeweled headband that wraps around the forehead with arms that stretch toward the back of the head. Ezekiel separately mentions a crown, so we'll discuss that decoration more later.

Frontlet worn by a woman
Frontlet worn by a woman | Source
Bridal outfits from near Hebron
Bridal outfits from near Hebron | Source

Discussion of Jewelled Headdresses

In either case, whether a diadem or a draped forehead jewel that may or may not be attached to a nose ring, we do see something similar in the ancient Yemeni Jewish bridal headdress. The images that have been shared so far, being in the public domain, are seen everywhere, but I want us to focus this time on the visible fringe now. This fringe is reminiscent of many copyrighted decorative head pieces this author saw while looking for imagery of this item. Examples from India, Persia, bedouin women, and even those of the orient, all place jeweled or coin-bedecked chains on the bride's forehead. Brides from India and Syria may also attach these chains to their nose ring on their special day. This gold or silver decked decoration is not actually part of the towering portion of the headdress, but is instead attached to embroidered head covering underneath.

Coined headdresses have also been seen in documented articles of bridal customs around the Middle East, and it is with this understanding that a deeper appreciation for the parable of the lost coin has been explored.

Various writings I came across explained the parable of the lost coins in relation to this particular piece of the betrothed bride's dowry in Jesus' day. The coins attached to the headpiece in ancient times could be changed into currency if the betrothed groom okayed the transaction. In other cases, these forehead jewels were given to the girl when she was of marrying age, to show prospective suitors the wealth of her family. If the family was poor, losing one of these coins would be a big deal. Christ used this as an illustration of how God views the immense value of each lost soul.

Today we covered the Forehead Jewels

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

What this means for the Bride of Christ

The Bride of Christ wears the pride and joy of all Heaven on her forehead. The Scriptures tell us that the Holy Spirit was given to the Church as a seal unto the Day of Salvation. Not only is He our helper, our teacher, and our guide, but He is also the seal on our forehead, claiming us as the Bride of Christ.

In an alternate way, Scripture speaks of the children of God has being jewels in God's Crown. There is a hymn we used to sing as I was growing up entitled, "Jewels", taken from Malachi 3:17. It is precisely because of verses such as this that this study is taking place.

The coins on the headdress of the Bride of Christ symbolize the dowry given to her by Christ at the Last Supper and later as He stood with His disciples on the hill of ascension. Before rising into the sky He said that the Holy Spirit would come to them, but that He must go away to send the Holy Spirit. When the 120 were gathered in the Upper Room, it was the Holy Spirit that landed on each head present, as if by a tongue of fire. The receiving of the Holy Spirit in this manner gives the Church power over the enemy, power to preach and to spread the Gospel to all who are lost.

God cares deeply for the lost, considering them lost jewels in His own crown, and He sends the Bride of Christ out to find them, not out of fear that her betrothal will be ended by divorce, but out of the urgency of one seeking to find a lost soul before it is damned to hell forever. As each lost soul is found, it is as if another coin has been sewn into the Bride's headdress.

© 2013 Marilynn Dawson


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