is a word that does not occur in the A.V. of the Bible, but represents a piece of personal ornament anciently, as well as still very commonly, worn by both sexes in Oriental countries. It seems to be specially denoted in Heb. by רָבַיד rabid' (so called from binding the neck), a collar or ornamental "chain" for the neck (Ge 41:42; Eze 16:11). SEE CHAIN. Necklaces, we learn from the Scriptures, were made sometimes of silver and gold, sometimes of a series of jewels, sometimes of coral (Ex 35:22; Nu 31:50). Three necklaces were commonly worn, one reaching lower than the other; from the one that was suspended to the waist there was hung a bottle of perfume, filled with amber and musk, called כָּתֵּי נֶפֶשׁ, bottey' nephesh, "houses of the soul" (Isa 3:20, margin). SEE ATTIRE. Among the ancient Egyptians handsome and richly ornamented necklaces were a principal part of the dress, both of men and women; and some idea may be formed of the number of jewels they wore, from those borrowed by the Israelites at the time of the Exodus, and by the paintings of Thebes. They consisted of gold, or of beads of various qualities and shapes, disposed according to fancy, generally with a large drop or figure in the centre. Scarabaei, gold, and carnelian bottles, or the emblems of Goodness and Stability, lotus flowers in enamel, amethysts, pearls, false stones, imitations of fishes, frogs, lions, and various quadrupeds, birds, reptiles, flies, and other insects, shells and leaves, with numerous figures and devices, were strung in all the variety which their taste could suggest; and the museum of Leyden possesses an infinite assortment of those objects, which were once the pride of the ladies of Thebes. Some wore simple gold chains in imitation of string, to which a stone scarabeeus, set in the same precious metal, was appended; but these probably belonged to men, like the torques of the Romans. A set of small cups, or covered saucers, of bronze gilt, hanging from a chain of the same materials, were sometimes worn by women, a necklace of which has been found belonging to a Theban lady offering a striking contrast in their simplicity to the gold leaves inlaid with lapis lazuli, red and green stones, of another she wore, which served, with many more in her possession, to excite the admiration of her friends (Wilkinson, Anc. Egyptians, 1:339 sq.). The modern Egyptian ladies are equally fond of wearing necklaces, often of the richest description; the Arabic term for them is ekd, and the Egyptians have a great variety; but almost all of them are similar in the following particulars:

1. The beads, etc., of which they are composed are, altogether, not more than ten inches in length; so that they would not entirely encircle the neck if tied quite tight, which is never done: the string extends about six or seven inches beyond each extremity of the series of beads; and when the necklace is tied in the usual manner there is generally a space of three inches or more between these extremities; but the plaits of hair conceal these parts of the string.

Bible concordance for NECKLACE.

2. There is generally, in the centre, one bead or other ornament (and sometimes there are three, or five, or seven) differing in size, form, material, or color from the others. The necklaces mostly worn by ladies are of diamonds or pearls. In the annexed engraving (page 910), the first necklace is of diamonds set in gold. The second consists of several strings of pearls, with a pierced flattish emerald in the centre. Most of the pearl necklaces are of this description. The third is called libbeh. It is composed of hollow gold beads, with a bead of a different kind (sometimes of a precious stone, and sometimes of coral) in the centre. This and the following are seldom worn by any but females of the middle and lower orders. The fourth is called, from its peculiar form, sha'ir (which signifies "barley"). It is composed of hollow gold. We give a side view (A) and a back view (B) of one of the appendages of this necklace. There is also a long kind of necklace, reaching to the girdle, and composed of diamonds or other precious stones, which is called kilddeh. Some women form a long necklace of this kind with Venetian sequins, or Turkish or Egyptian gold coins (Lane, Modern Egyptians, 2:405). The Arab females of Palestine at the present day are especially given to wearing necklaces composed of strings of gold coin, which are their own property, and cannot be taken even for debt (Thomson, Land and Book, 1:185). SEE ORNAMENT.

Definition of neck

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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