Jewelry is an important part of many cultures and can be seen in a variety of settings, but did you know there were also Bible verses that mention jewelry?
Today, we will explore some of the most important Bible Verses About Jewelry and what they mean for us today.
Bible Verses About Jewelry
Jewelry has been a part of human adornment for thousands of years, and the Bible has several references to it. Some people wonder whether wearing jewelry is a sin or what jewelry symbolizes in the Bible. Here are bible verses that address this topic.
Is Wearing Jewelry a Sin in the Bible?
While the Bible doesn’t explicitly address wearing jewelry as a sin, there are verses that warn against excessive adornment and vanity. An example of this can be seen in 1 Peter 3:3-4, where it states that our beauty shouldn’t come from outward adornment or clothing. The Bible reminds us that true beauty comes from within and emphasizes the importance of cultivating a gentle and quiet spirit.
In the historical context of the times when the Bible was written, jewelry was a symbol of wealth and status. People often wore extravagant and ostentatious accessories. Hence, the caution against excessive adornment may indicate a warning against becoming too focused on material possessions or status.
Whether wearing jewelry is considered a sin ultimately depends on one’s intention and attitude towards it. If one wears jewelry to showcase their wealth or status, or if they become excessively attached to their possessions, then it can be viewed as idolatry and sinful. On the other hand, if one wears jewelry for personal enjoyment or to symbolize love and commitment (as is common with wedding rings), then it is not inherently sinful.
1 Timothy 2:9-10
“Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.”
1 Peter 3:3-4
“Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”
“My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?”
1 Corinthians 3:10-15
“According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”
Also Read: What Does the Bible Say About Living for God? (30 Bible Verses)
What Does Jewelry Symbolize in the Bible?
Throughout the Bible, we see jewelry being used to symbolize many different things. For one, it’s often a sign of wealth and status, which is why it’s so important in many social situations. Additionally, jewelry can also represent deeper meanings, such as love and commitment between spouses during a wedding ceremony.
Jewelry has also been used to express devotion to God. In Exodus 28, the high priest Aaron was instructed to wear a breastplate adorned with twelve precious stones – each representing one of the twelve tribes of Israel. This breastplate served as a symbol of both Aaron’s authority and his role as a mediator between God and His people.
Finally, in the book of Revelation, we’re given a glimpse into the splendor of God’s eternal city, the New Jerusalem. Described as being adorned with gold and precious stones, this heavenly city highlights just how magnificent and glorious God truly is. Indeed, jewelry can serve many purposes when it comes to our faith journey, from physical expressions of commitment to deeper symbols of the divine.
“When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels.”
“In that day the Lord will take away the beauty of their anklets, headbands, crescent ornaments, dangling earrings, bracelets, veils, headdresses, ankle chains, sashes, perfume boxes, amulets, signet rings, nose rings, festive robes, capes, cloaks, purses, and mirrors;”
“When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn and no one put on any ornaments. For 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.’” So the Israelites stripped off their ornaments at Mount Horeb.”
“I clothed you with an embroidered dress and put sandals of fine leather on you. I dressed you in fine linen and covered you with costly garments. I adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms and a necklace around your neck, and I put a ring on your nose, earrings on your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. So you were adorned with gold and silver; your clothes were of fine linen and costly fabric and embroidered cloth. Your food was honey, olive oil and the finest flour. You became very beautiful and rose to be a queen.”
“I 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.”
What Positive Meanings Does Jewelry Have in the Bible?
Jewelry has many positive meanings in the Bible. It can symbolize love and commitment like a wedding ring which represents a covenant between two individuals. Jewelry can also be a sign of God’s favor and blessing, as shown in the Exodus story where the Israelites received jewelry as they left Egypt.
Moreover, jewelry can be used for providing for oneself and one’s family. Proverbs 31 describes a virtuous woman who works hard and selects wool and flax with eager hands. She is like merchant ships bringing her food from afar, provides food for her family and even female servants while adorning herself with fine clothing and jewelry. This is interpreted as a sign of her prosperity and diligent work.
Furthermore, using one’s creativity and artistic abilities is also emphasized in the Bible through the use of jewelry. Artisans in Exodus 35 were called upon to create beautiful items including jewelry for the tabernacle using their skills to honor God. This shines light on the value of artistic expression for expressing faith in God.
“Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear.”
Song of Solomon 1:10-11
“Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, your neck with strings of jewels. We will make you earrings of gold, studded with silver.”
“All 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.”
“All 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 on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.”
“I 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 his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
Examples of People Wearing Jewelry in the Bible
The Bible mentions various examples of people wearing jewelry. In one instance, Abraham’s servant gifted Rebekah a nose ring and bracelets to show his master’s wealth and status. Artisans were also called upon to create jewelry for the tabernacle, including earrings, bracelets, and pendants in Exodus 35. David wore a bracelet and necklace made of gold to mourn the death of Saul and Jonathan in 2 Samuel.
Moving on to the New Testament, several individuals wore jewelry as well. In James 2:2-4, the author warns against showing favoritism towards those who wear gold rings or are well-dressed. This passage emphasizes impartiality and treating everyone equally.
“Then 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.”
“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.” Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron.”
“And Gideon said to them, “Let me make a request of you: each of you give me an earring he has taken as spoil.” (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) And they answered, “We will willingly give them.” And they spread a cloak, and every man threw in it the earrings of his spoil. And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was 1,700 shekels of gold, besides the crescent ornaments and the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian, and besides the collars that were around the necks of their camels.”
Jewelry as a Metaphor in the Bible
The Bible uses jewelry as a metaphor for conveying spiritual truths. In Proverbs 25:12, it likens a wise rebuke to a beautiful piece of jewelry, one that is like an earring or ornament made out of exquisite gold. This passage highlights the value and importance of receiving correction from knowledgeable and wise judges.
Similarly, in the New Testament, jewelry serves as an illustration for spiritual growth and transformation. In 1 Peter 2:5, believers are compared to living stones that are being used to construct a spiritual house. The passage emphasizes the significance of growing in faith and becoming a holy and acceptable offering to God by offering spiritual sacrifices through Jesus Christ.
“The Lord their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. How attractive and beautiful they will be! Grain will make the young men thrive, and new wine the young women.”
“Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name. “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him.”
Jewelry in the New Testament
When we read the New Testament, we can see how jewelry is referenced in different ways, often symbolizing various spiritual truths. For example, in 1 Timothy 2:9-10, Paul tells women to focus on inner beauty and character, rather than expensive jewelry or clothing.
In Matthew 13:45-46, Jesus shares a parable about a merchant who finds a pearl of great value and sells everything to obtain it. This parable illustrates the immense worth and value of God’s kingdom and the sacrifice required to be a part of it.
Jewelry is also mentioned in Revelation 21:18-21 as adornment for the New Jerusalem, made of gold, precious stones and pearls. These materials symbolize the beauty and glory of God’s eternal kingdom.
Moreover, those who overcome are given a white stone with a new name written on it in Revelation 2:17. The white stone symbolizes purity and a new identity in Christ.
In Luke 15:22, the father puts a ring on his son’s finger as he is welcomed back into his family. This ring represents love and forgiveness.
Although the New Testament does not have as many references to jewelry as the Old Testament, its use is still significant within spiritual contexts.
“The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.”
1 Timothy 6:17-19
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
1 Peter 1:6-7
“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
Also Read: What Does the Bible Say About Abuse? (30 Bible Verses)
The Bible does not say that wearing jewelry is wrong. But the Bible does warn against being vain and putting too much focus on fancy things. Jewelry can have good meanings in the Bible, such as love and commitment, God’s blessing, and artistic expression.
Many people in the Bible wore jewelry, both from the Old Testament and New Testament times. Sometimes jewelry is used in stories to represent important ideas or to teach us lessons about faith.
What really matters is why someone wants to wear jewelry and what they hope it will mean. So remember that wearing jewelry by itself is not right or wrong, it’s all about your heart’s intentions.