(נֶזֶם, ne'zem, so rendered by the Auth. Vers. in Isa 3:21; elsewhere earring [q.v.], as Ge 24:22; Jg 8:24; but not in Pr 11:22 [see below]). It properly means simply a metallic ring, as of gold, and in some passages (e.g. Job 42:11; Pr 24:12) the true rendering may be doubtful, but in Ge 24:47; Isa 3:21, and Eze 16:12, it refers to a ring for the nose, a frequent ornament of Eastern women, SEE WOMAN; and in Pr 11:22, "The jewel of gold in a swine's snout" is plainly an allusion to it. These rings were set with jewels and hung from the nostril, as ear-rings from the ears, by holes bored to receive them. Eze 16:12 'I will put a jewel on thy forehead [Heb. nose], and ear-rings in thine ears and a beautiful crown upon thine head." They also put rings in the nostrils of oxen and camels to guide them by': "I will put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips" (2Ki 19:28; see also Job 41:2). Travelers in India tell us that many females wear a jewel of gold in their nostrils, or in the septum of the nose; and some of them are exceedingly beautiful, and of great value. From the septum, or middle filament, is a pendant,. which sometimes contains three rubies and one pearl; and it nearly touches the: upper lip. The left nostril is pierced, and contains a ring about an inch in diameter; another lies flat on the nose, and occasionally consists of a fine pearl surrounded with rubies. The nose-ring is also worn by a few of the women of the lower orders in Cairo, and by many of those in the .country towns and villages both of Upper and Lower Egypt. It is most commonly made of brass, is from an inch to an inch and a half in diameter, and has usually three or more colored glass beads, generally red and blue, attached to it. It is almost always passed through the right ala of the nose, and hangs partly below the mouth, so that the wearer is obliged to hold it up with one hand when she puts anything into her mouth. It is sometimes of gold. To the eyes of those who are unaccustomed to it, the nose-ring is certainly no ornament. It is mentioned in the Mishna, Shabb. 6:1; Kelimn, 11:8. Layard remarks that no specimen has been found in Assyrian remains (Nin. and Bab. p. 262, 544). For other notices, see Burckhardt, Notes on Bed. 1:51, 232; Niebuhr, Descr. de l'Arab. p. 57; Voyages, 1:133; 2:56; Chardin, Voy. 8:200; Lane, Mod. Eg. 1:78; A pp. iii, p. 226; Saalschitz, Hebr. Arch. 1:3, p. 25. SEE RING.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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