Meaning of Crowns in the Bible

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What are the meaning of crowns in the Bible? How many of them are in Scripture?

The word crown, or its plural, occurs at least seventy-five times in the King James Bible. At least seven distinct original language words (five in the Old Testament, two in the New Testament) are translated as it. Some of the references discuss crowns that pertain or exist only in this life while others refer to those that are eternal. Most of these are great to possess while others are not!

Noteworthy crowns in the Bible include the one of pure gold King David received from God (Psalm 21:1 - 3). Queen Esther wore one when she married a Persian king (Esther 2:17). Mordecai, who along with Esther, saved the Jewish people from total destruction, was also given one to wear when they overcame the evil Haman (Esther 8:15). It was commanded that such a special symbol of honor be made and worn by Israel's High Priest (Exodus 39:30).

They are sometimes mentioned as a symbol of achievement or a sign of joy and gladness. People who become wise are said to wear one that is glorious (Proverbs 4:9) as well as those who are righteous and reach an advanced age (Proverbs 16:31). Those who serve and help guide the church of God, if they do so willingly with a true heart of love, qualify to receive one of the crowns Jesus has to reward his saints (1Peter 5:1 - 4). A virtuous woman is stated to be one to her husband (Proverbs 12:4).

Picture of a crown

The Bible also speaks of crowns in a negative sense. One of these symbols of authority is given to the first horseman of the apocalypse as a sign of his power to wage and win wars (Revelation 6:2). It is also symbolic of the power that will be given, in the end time, to false teachers and false prophets to deceive the world.

God warned the northern ten tribes of Israel that they wore a "crown of pride" that would ultimately lead to their punishment (which occurred in 723 B.C. when Assyria conquered Israel and took them out of the land as captives, Isaiah 28:1 - 3, Jeremiah 13:17 - 18).

In the New Testament, this royal headgear can symbolize the spiritual authority and power vested in an individual. The mysterious twenty-four elders, who sit around the throne of God and offer praises to him, wear ones of gold (Revelation 4:2, 4). Jesus Christ, "one like the Son of man," wears one as he reaps those who have repented and become Christians during the Great Tribulation period (Revelation 14:14 - 15).

Crowns can also symbolize the rewards Christians will receive, in the resurrection, after living a life of overcoming and obedience to God. The apostle Peter states that believers will receive an eternal one of glory when they meet Jesus Christ (1Peter 5:4). Those in the first resurrection of the dead will also be granted never-ending life (James 1:12, Revelation 2:10).

The apostle Paul states that he looked forward to a "crown of rejoicing" he will enjoy when he sees, in the resurrection, other Christians whom he taught and served (1Thessalonians 2:19). He also looked forward to receiving an eternally righteous character from the Lord (2Timothy 4:8). These symbols of recognition will play an integral role in God's plan to reward those who obey and love him.

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