(prop רֶסֶן, re'sen, a halter, Isa 30:28; hence generally a rein, Ps 32:9; Job 30:11; specially the jaws, Job 41:5 ; also ,
מֶֹתֶג, me'theg, 2Ki 19:28; Pr 26:3; Isa 27:13; strictly the bit, as rendered in Ps 32:9; so χαλινός, Re 14:20; Re 1 Esdr. 3:6; 2 Macc. 10:29; "bit," Jas 3:3; likewise χαλιναγωγέω, to curb, Jas 1:26; Jas 3:2; once מִחסוֹם, machsom', a muzzle, Ps 29:2), the headstall and reins by which a rider governs his horse (Ps 32:9). In connection with Isa 37:29, it is remarkable to find from Theodoret that it was customary to fix a sort of bridle or muzzle of leather on refractory slaves. Even freemen were thus treated when they became prisoners of war. SEE ZEDEKIAH. Thus, when Cambyses conquered Egypt, the son of the Egyptian monarch, with ten thousand other youths of the highest rank, were condemned to death, and were conducted to execution in procession with ropes around their necks and bridles in their mouths (Herodotus, 3:14). Compare the act of Benhadad's " princes" in putting halters about their heads in token of submission to Ahab (1Ki 20:32). According to Layard (ii, 275), the Assyrians ornamented their bridles in a high degree; but in their trappings and harness the Kouyunjik horses differ completely from those represented in the bas-reliefs of Nimroud: their heads were generally surmounted by an arched crest, and bells or tassels were hung around their necks; or, as at Khorsabad, high plumes, generally three in number, rose between their ears. SEE HORSE.
The restraints of God's providence are metaphorically called his "bridle" and "hook" (2Ki 19:28). The "bridle in the jaws of the people causing them to err" (Isa 30:28) is God's permitting the Assyrians to be directed by foolish counsels, that they might never finish their intended purpose against Jerusalem (Isa 37:29). The restraints of law and humanity are called a bridle, and to let it loose is to act without regard to these principles (Job 30:11).