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    September 29    Scripture

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    Men's Ornamentation ORNAMENTATION As a rule, Jewish men did not indulge in extravagances of dress, and there was little ornamentation among them. They often carried a cane or staff, which would be ornamented at the top, but it served the useful purpose of protecting them from half-wild dogs that abounded in the country, and was not much of an ornament. Certain men wore a ring on their right hand or, suspended by a cord or chain around the neck. Actually this was the signet ring or seal, and served as the personal signature of its owner, and so was not usually worn as an ornament. (For Scriptural examples of the ring, see Genesis 38:18; Song of Solomon 8:6; Luke 15:22, etc.) [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    Seal in Easton's Bible Dictionary commonly a ring engraved with some device (Gen. 38:18, 25). Jezebel "wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal" (1 Kings 21:8). Seals are frequently mentioned in Jewish history (Deut. 32:34; Neh. 9:38; 10:1; Esther 3:12; Cant. 8:6; Isa. 8:16; Jer. 22:24; 32:44, etc.). Sealing a document was equivalent to the signature of the owner of the seal. "The use of a signet-ring by the monarch has recently received a remarkable illustration by the discovery of an impression of such a signet on fine clay at Koyunjik, the site of the ancient Nineveh. This seal appears to have been impressed from the bezel of a metallic finger-ring. It is an oval, 2 inches in length by 1 inch wide, and bears the image, name, and titles of the Egyptian king Sabaco" (Rawlinson's Hist. Illus. of the O.T., p. 46). The actual signet-rings of two Egyptian kings (Cheops and Horus) have been discovered. (See SIGNET -T0003426.) The use of seals is mentioned in the New Testament only in connection with the record of our Lord's burial (Matt. 27:66). The tomb was sealed by the Pharisees and chief priests for the purpose of making sure that the disciples would not come and steal the body away (ver. 63, 64). The mode of doing this was probably by stretching a cord across the stone and sealing it at both ends with sealing-clay. When God is said to have sealed the Redeemer, the meaning is, that he has attested his divine mission (John 6:27). Circumcision is a seal, an attestation of the covenant (Rom. 4:11). Believers are sealed with the Spirit, as God's mark put upon them (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). Converts are by Paul styled the seal of his apostleship, i.e., they are its attestation (1 Cor. 9:2). Seals and sealing are frequently mentioned in the book of Revelation (5:1; 6:1; 7:3; 10:4; 22:10).

    Seal in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Used to stamp a document, giving it legal validity. Judah probably wore his suspended from the neck over the breast (Genesis 38:18; Song of Solomon 8:6; Job 38:14). As the plastic clay presents various figures impressed on it by the revolving cylinder seal (one to three inches long, of terra cotta or precious stone, such as is found in Assyria), as "it is turned," so the morning light rolling on over the earth, previously void of form through the darkness, brings out to view hills, valleys, etc. Treasures were sealed up (Deuteronomy 32:34); the lions' den in Daniel's case (Daniel 6:17); so our Lord's tomb (Matthew 27:66). Sealing up was also to ensure secrecy (Daniel 12:4; Revelation 5:1). The signet ring was the symbol of royal authority (Genesis 12:41-42; Esther 3:10; Esther 8:10). Clay hardens in the heat, and was therefore used in Assyria and Babylon rather than wax, which melts. A stone cylinder in the Alnwick Museum bears the date of Osirtasin I, between 2,000 and 3,000 B.C. The Assyrian documents were often of baked clay, sealed while wet and burnt afterwards. Often the seal was a lump of clay impressed with a seal and tied the document. Such is the seal of Sabacho or So, king of Egypt (711 B.C.), found at Nimrud (2 Kings 17:4).

    Seal in Naves Topical Bible 1. A stamp used for signifying documents Given as a pledge Ge 38:18 Engraved Ex 28:11,21,36; 39:6,14,30; 2Ti 2:19 Decrees signified by 1Ki 21:8; Es 8:8 Documents sealed with Ahab's letter 1Ki 21:8 Covenants Ne 9:38; 10:1; Isa 8:16 Decrees Es 8:8; Da 6:9 Deeds Jer 32:10 Treasures secured by De 32:34 Lion's den secured by Da 6:17 The gravesite of Jesus Mt 27:66 Circumcision was regarded as a seal of righteousness Ro 4:11 -FIGURATIVE Of secrecy Da 12:9; Re 5:1 Of certainty of divine approval Joh 6:27; Ro 15:28; 2Co 1:22; Eph 1:13; 4:30; Re 7:3,4 -2. An amphibious animal Skins of, according to the Revised Version, were used as a covering of the tabernacle Ex 25:5; 26:14; 35:7,23; 36:19; 39:34; Nu 4:25

    Seal in Smiths Bible Dictionary The importance attached to seals in the East is so great that without one no document is regarded as authentic. Among the methods of sealing used in Egypt at a very early period were engraved stones, graved stones, pierced through their length and hung by a string or chain from the arm or neck, or set in rings for the finger. The most ancient form used for this purpose was the scarabaeus, formed of precious or common stone, or even of blue pottery or porcelain, on the flat side of which the inscription or device was engraved. In many cases the seal consisted of a lump of clay, impressed with the seal and attached to the document, whether of papyrus or other material, by strings. In other cases wax was used. In sealing a sepulchre or box, the fastening was covered with clay or wax, and the impression from a seal of one in authority was stamped upon it, so that it could not be broken open without discovery. The signet- ring was an ordinary part of a man's equipment. Ge 38:18 The ring or the seal as an emblem of authority in Egypt, Persia and elsewhere is mentioned in Ge 41:42; 1Ki 21:8; Es 3:10,12; 8:2; Da 6:17 and as an evidence of a covenant, in Jer 32:10,44; Ne 9:38; 10:1; Hag 2:23 Engraved signets were in use among the Hebrews in early times. Ex 28:11,36; 39:6

    Seal in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE sel (substantive chotham, "seal," "signet," Tabba`ath, "signet-ring"; Aramaic `izqa'; sphragis; verb chatham, (Aramaic chatham); (sphragizo), (katasphragizomai, "to seal"): I. Literal Sense. A seal is an instrument of stone, metal or other hard substance (sometimes set in a ring), on which is engraved some device or figure, and is used for making an impression on some soft substance, as clay or wax, affixed to a document or other object, in token of authenticity. 1. Prevalence in Antiquity: The use of seals goes back to a very remote antiquity, especially in Egypt, Babylonia and Assyria. Herodotus (i.195) records the Babylonian custom of wearing signets. In Babylonia the seal generally took the form of a cylinder cut in crystal or some hard stone, which was bored through from end to end and a cord passed through it. The design, often accompanied by the owner's name, was engraved on the curved part. The signet was then suspended by the cord round the neck or waist (compare the Revised Version (British and American) "cord" in Gen 38:18; "upon thy heart .... upon thine arm," i.e. one seal hanging down from the neck and another round the waist; Song 8:6). In Egypt, too, as in Babylonia, the cylinder was the earliest form used for the purpose of a seal; but this form was in Egypt gradually superseded by the scarab (= beetle-shaped) as the prevailing type. Other forms, such as the cone-shaped, were also in use. From the earliest period of civilization the finger- ring on which some distinguishing badge was engraved was in use as a convenient way of carrying the signet, the earliest extant rings being those found in Egyptian tombs. Other ancient peoples, such as the Phoenicians, also used seals. From the East the custom passed into Greece and other western countries. Devices of a variety of sorts were in use at Rome, both by the emperors and by private individuals. In ancient times, almost every variety of precious stones was used for seals, as well as cheaper material, such as limestone or terra-cotta. In the West wax came early into use as the material for receiving the impression of the seal, but in the ancient East clay was the medium used (compare Job 38:14). Pigment and ink also came into use. 2. Seals among the Hebrews: That the Israelites were acquainted with the use in Egypt of signets set in rings is seen in the statement that Pharaoh delivered to Joseph his royal signet as a token of deputed authority (Gen 41:41 f). They were also acquainted with the use of seals among the Persians and Medes (Est 3:12; 8:8-10; Dan 6:17). The Hebrews themselves used them at an early period, the first recorded instance being Gen 38:18,25, where the patriarch Judah is said to have pledged his word to Tamar by leaving her his signet, cord and staff. We have evidence of engraved signets being in important use among them in early times in the description of the two stones on the high priest's ephod (Ex 28:11; 39:6), of his golden plate (Ex 28:36; 39:30), and breastplate (Ex 39:14). Ben- Sirach mentions as a distinct occupation the work of engraving on signets (Sirach 38:27). From the case of Judah and the common usage in other countries, we may infer that every Hebrew of any standing wore a seal. In the case of the signet ring, it was usual to wear it on one of the fingers of the right hand (Jer 22:24). The Hebrews do not seem to have developed an original type of signets. The seals so far discovered in Israel go to prove that the predominating type was the Egyptian, and to a less degree the Babylonian. 3. Uses of Sealing: (1) One of the most important uses of sealing in antiquity was to give a proof...

    Seals Scripture - Revelation 5:1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

    Seals Scripture - Revelation 5:2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

    Seals Scripture - Revelation 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

    Seals Scripture - Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

    Seals Scripture - Revelation 6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.