What does the Bible
say about jewelry?

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QUESTION: What does the Bible say about wearing jewelry? Does God approve or disapprove of a person adorning themselves in such a way?

ANSWER: Scripture has quite a bit to say about jewelry. In fact, there are several examples in the Bible where God gave ornamentation to others in order to show how much he loved them and valued their relationship. While Moses was living in Midian God spoke to him, through a burning bush, regarding the freeing of his people from Egyptian bondage (Exodus 3). The Lord commanded that the women of Israel, just before they left Egypt, were to take jewelry as payment for the many bitter years of labor they toiled as slaves (Exodus 3:21 - 22).

God's command to take jewelry from the Egyptians is repeated in Exodus 11:2 and 12:35. Such treasures included chains, earrings, nose and finger rings, trinkets and other ornamentation. It is interesting to note that the Lord also commanded that, when the children of Israel left the land of Egypt, they were to place the jewelry they took both on themselves and their children (Exodus 3:22)!

God inspired the prophet Ezekiel, in chapter 16, to write allegorically about how he rescued the children of Israel from Egypt then took the nation to be his "wife" through the Old Covenant. The Lord describes how he personally adorned his bride with beautiful jewelry (Ezekiel 16:11 - 13). The Lord also stated that he imparted to his "wife" such beauty, through what he had given her, that even other nations recognized it was perfect (verse 14).

Gemstones in Scripture!
Should women wear only long hair?
Is it a SIN to wear a cross?

When the Almighty created the angelic being name Lucifer he gave him a magnificent appearance! This beauty, which the Lord stated was perfect, was made possible through at least nine precious stones commonly used in jewelry (Ezekiel 38:12 - 13)! Note, however, something that is often overlooked. The Bible states that angels existed before the physical universe was created (Job 38:4 - 7). This means that God honored Lucifer by decorating him with a SPIRITUAL version of several precious stones and metals BEFORE he brought them into existence in the physical universe!

Picture of the Hope Diamond
The Hope Diamond (45.5 carats)
(National Museum of Natural History)

Many other examples exist of God endorsing the use of various materials to adorn something in order to enhance its appearance. For example, He commanded the High Priest to wear a special ornate garment when conducting his duties. This garment, called an ephod, was made of gold, purple and other fine threads. It also had embedded in it twelve dazzling gemstones often used in jewelry such as an emerald, sapphire and jasper (Exodus 28, 39).

When the New Jerusalem is created and brought down to the earth, it will have twelve foundations made from various precious stones, gates made of pearl, and streets composed of gold that is so pure it appears transparent (Revelation 21:18 - 21)!

While Scripture does not condemn the use of jewelry, it does teach that a balanced, godly perspective on its use is needed. In the New Testament, Christians (especially women) are taught that they should dress modestly and place a high priority on pursuing good works and on a godly character (1Timothy 2:9 - 10, 1Peter 3:1 - 4). Believers should not pursue personal adornment as a means to flaunt wealth, social status or their perceived superiority over others. They should also not dress in order to draw undue attention to themselves or to tempt others sexually.

Jewelry, like so many other things (wealth, food, alcohol, etc.), is not prohibited of and by itself. What is condemned is selfishly pursuing them to the detriment of self, others, and a close personal relationship with our loving Creator.

Additional Study Materials
Gems used in the New Jerusalem
What is the beauty of the Lord?
Should women cover their heads when praying?

What does the Bible say about jewelry?
Bibliography

Holy Bible, a Faithful Version


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