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English Bible Dictionary

Chain

 

Chains were used,

  • As badges of office;

  • For ornament;

  • For confining prisoners.

  • the gold chain placed about Joseph's neck, (Genesis 41:42) and that promised to Daniel, (Daniel 5:7) are instances of the first use. In (Ezekiel 16:11) the chain is mentioned as the symbol of sovereignty.

  • Chains for ornamental purposes were worn by men as well as women. (Proverbs 1:9) Judith 10:4. The Midianites adorned the necks of their camels with chains. (Judges 8:21,26) Step-chains were attached to the ankle-rings. (Isaiah 3:16,18)

  • The means adopted for confining prisoners among the Jews were fetters similar to our handcuffs. (Judges 16:21; 2 Samuel 3:34; 2 Kings 25:7; Jeremiah 39:7) Among the Romans the prisoner was handcuffed to his guard, and occasionally to two guards. (Acts 12:6,7; 21:33)

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