7 occurrences in 7 dictionaries

Reference: Crown


There are two distinct Hebrew terms rendered crown. The one represents such headdresses as we should designate coronet, band, miter, tiara, garland, etc. The other is generally applied to the headdresses of kings. The former was a simple fillet or diadem around the head, variously ornamented. Newly-married persons of both sexes wore crowns on their wedding-day, Song 3:11; Eze 16:12. The crowns of kings were sometimes white fillets, bound round the forehead, the ends falling back on the neck; or were made of gold tissue, adorned with jewels. That of the Jewish high priest was a fillet, or diadem, tied with a ribbon of a hyacinth color, Ex 28:36; 39:30. Occasionally the crown was of pure gold, and was worn by kings, 2Ch 23:11, sometimes when they went to battle, 2Sa 1:10; 12:30. It was also worn by queens, Es 2:17. The crown is a symbol of honor, power, and eternal life, Pr 12:4; La 5:16; 1Pe 5:4. Crowns or garlands were given to the successful competitors at the Grecian games, to which frequent allusion is made in the Epistle, 2Ti 4:7-8.

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(1.) Denotes the plate of gold in the front of the high priest's mitre (Ex 29:6; 39:30). The same Hebrew word so rendered (ne'zer) denotes the diadem worn by Saul in battle (2Sa 1:10), and also that which was used at the coronation of Joash (2Ki 11:12).

(2.) The more general name in Hebrew for a crown is 'atarah, meaning a "circlet." This is used of crowns and head ornaments of divers kinds, including royal crowns. Such was the crown taken from the king of Ammon by David (2Sa 12:30). The crown worn by the Assyrian kings was a high mitre, sometimes adorned with flowers. There are sculptures also representing the crowns worn by the early Egyptian and Persian kings. Sometimes a diadem surrounded the royal head-dress of two or three fillets. This probably signified that the wearer had dominion over two or three countries. In Re 12:3; 13:1, we read of "many crowns," a token of extended dominion.

(3.) The ancient Persian crown (Es 1:11; 2:17; 6:8) was called kether; i.e., "a chaplet," a high cap or tiara. Crowns were worn sometimes to represent honour and power (Eze 23:42). They were worn at marriages (Song 3:11; Isa 61:10, "ornaments;" R.V., "a garland"), and at feasts and public festivals.

The crown was among the Romans and Greeks a symbol of victory and reward. The crown or wreath worn by the victors in the Olympic games was made of leaves of the wild olive; in the Pythian games, of laurel; in the Nemean games, of parsley; and in the Isthmian games, of the pine. The Romans bestowed the "civic crown" on him who saved the life of a citizen. It was made of the leaves of the oak. In opposition to all these fading crowns the apostles speak of the incorruptible crown, the crown of life (Jas 1:12; Re 2:10) "that fadeth not away" (1Pe 5:4, Gr. amarantinos; comp. 1Pe 1:4). Probably the word "amaranth" was applied to flowers we call "everlasting," the "immortal amaranth."

Illustration: Modern Asiatic Crowns

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A band encircling the head by way of honor; the royal badge of kings; the sacerdotal badge of priests; the prize winner's badge of victory. The Greek diadeema, "diadem" which KJV less fitly translated "crown" in Re 12:3; 19:12. is restricted to Christ the King of kings; Satan wears it only as usurping Christ's right (Re 13:1). Stephanos is once applied to His golden "crown" (Re 14:14), which refers to Him viewed as a victor, the image being from the wreaths of conquerors in contests. This is also the sense of "crown" in the reward promised to believers who overcome the world, the flesh, and Satan; the "incorruptible crown" (1Co 9:25); "crown of righteousness," for righteousness will be its own reward (Re 22:11; Ex 39:30; 2Ti 4:8).

Crown of life (Jas 1:12; Re 2:10; 3:11), "crown of glory that fadeth not away" as the withering garlands of wild olive, ivy, or parsley, given to the victors in the Isthmian and other games (1Pe 5:4). The priests' miter was a linen crown or fillet. The mitsnepheth or linen tiara of the high priest was preeminent in splendor (Le 8:9). A "blue (the color of heaven) lace" fillet was underneath, and the golden plate graven with "Holiness to the Lord" on the front of the miter (Ex 28:36-38,40). In Eze 21:26, "remove the diadem (mitsnepheth), and take off the crown" ('atarah), i.e. remove the miter, the last Jewish king Zedekiah's priestly emblem, as representing the priestly people.

The "miter" elsewhere is always used of the high priest; but the anointed king partook of the priestly character, from whence his "diadem" is so-called (Ex 19:6; 28:4; Zec 3:5); also the crown, the emblem of the kingdom; until they be restored and united in the Mediator Messiah (Ps 110:2,4; Zec 6:13). Gold was the chief material of the king's crown (Ps 21:3); compare 2Sa 12:30, the Ammonites' crown, with its precious stones, was worth (rather than "weighed") a talent of gold. Those feasting at banquets wore "crowns" or wreaths. Compare Isa 28:1,5; "woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower"; Samaria, Ephraim's capital on the brow of a hill, is the proud crown of his drunkards; it shall perish as the flower crown on his drunkard's brow soon "fades"; but "the Lord of hosts (in striking contrast) shall be for a crown of glory and for a diadem (tsephirah), splendid head-dress) of beauty unto the residue (the remnant left after consuming judgments) of His people."

The Jews boast of three crowns: the law, the priesthood, the kingly crown. Better than all, a good name. So "crown" is used figuratively (Pr 12:4; 14:24; 17:6; 1Th 2:19). "Crown" is used in the sense of the projecting rim round the top of an altar or a table (Ex 25:25; 30:4; 37:27). Christ's "crown of thorns" has been supposed to have been made of the Ramnus nabeca (Hasselquist) or the Lycium spinosum, probably the latter (Sieber). To mock rather than to pain Him was the soldiers' object, and they took whatever came to their hand first. The dark green was a parody of the triumphal ivy wreath.

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1. In the OT.

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The common ensign of royalty and of victory, 2Ch 23:11; it is also used symbolically for honour or reward; as "a virtuous woman is a crown to her husband." Pr 12:4. Paul speaks of those whom he had been the means of converting as his 'joy and crown;' his 'crown of rejoicing.' Php 4:1; 1Th 2:19.

In the A.V. the word 'crown' represents the word zer, the border or moulding placed round the top of the ark, the table of showbread, and the altar of incense. Ex 37:2-27.

In the N.T. the word commonly rendered 'crown' is ????????, which is more a symbol of victory than of royalty. It is applied to the Son of Man and to others, Re 6:2; 14:14; and to the twenty-four elders in heaven, who cast their crowns before the throne, Re 4:4,10; also to the perishable crown won by the victors in the ancient contests, and to the imperishable crown of the Christian. 1Co 9:25. This latter is further described as a 'crown of righteousness,' 'crown of life,' 'crown of glory.' 2Ti 4:8; Jas 1:12; 1Pe 5:4; Re 2:10. These may refer to the same crown, viewed in different aspects. The Christian is exhorted to beware that no man take his crown. Re 3:11.

Another Greek word, also translated 'crown,' is really DIADEM, di?????, and was the word used for the royal crown of ancient eastern kings. We read of it only in reference to the Lord Jesus as having on His head 'many diadems,' also as upon the 'seven heads' of the 'great red dragon,' and on the 'ten horns' of the head of the future Roman empire. Re 12:3; 13:1; 19:12.

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This ornament, which is both ancient and universal, probably originated from the fillets used to prevent the hair from being dishevelled by the wind. Such fillets are still common; they gradually developed into turbans, which by the addition of ornamental or precious materials assumed the dignity of mitres or crowns. Both the ordinary priests and the high priest wore them. The crown was a symbol of royalty, and was worn by kings,

2Ch 23:11

and also by queens.

Es 2:17

The head-dress of bridegrooms,

Eze 24:17; Isa 61:10

Bar. 5:2, and of women,

Isa 3:20

a head-dress of great splendor,

Isa 28:5

a wreath of flowers,

Pr 1:9; 4:9

denote crowns. In general we must attach to it the notion of a costly turban irradiated with pearls and gems of priceless value, which often form aigrettes for feathers, as in the crowns of modern Asiatics sovereigns. Such was probably the crown which weighed (or rather "was worth") a talent, mentioned in

2Sa 12:30

taken by David from the king of Ammon at Rabbah, and used as the state crown of Judah.

2Sa 12:30


Re 12:3; 19:12

allusion is made to "many crowns" worn in token of extended dominion. The laurel, pine or parsley crowns given to victors int he great games of Greece are finely alluded to by St. Paul.

1Co 9:25; 2Ti 2:5


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CROWN is a term properly taken for a cap of state worn on the heads of sovereign princes, as a mark of regal dignity. In Scripture there is frequent mention made of crowns; and the use of them seems to have been very common among the Hebrews. The high priest wore a crown, which was girt about his mitre, or the lower part of his bonnet, and was tied about his head. On the forepart was a plate of gold, with these words engraved on it: "Holiness to the Lord," Ex 28:36; 29:6. New-married persons of both sexes wore crowns upon their wedding day, Sonh of Song 3:11; and, alluding to this custom, it is said that when God entered into covenant with the Jewish nation, he put a beautiful crown upon their head, Eze 16:12. The first crowns were no more than a bandelet drawn round the head, and tied behind, as we see it still represented on medals, &c. Afterward, they consisted of two bandelets; by degrees, they took branches of trees of divers kinds, &c; at length they added flowers; and Claudius Saturninus says there was not any plant of which crowns had not been made.

There was always a difference, either in matter or form, between the crowns of kings and great men, and those of private persons. The crown of a king was generally a white fillet bound about his forehead, the extremities whereof being tied behind the head, fell back on the neck. Sometimes they were made of gold tissue, adorned with jewels. That of the Jewish high priest, which is the most ancient of which we have any description, was a fillet of gold placed upon his forehead, and tied with a ribbon of a hyacinth colour, or azure blue. The crown, mitre, and diadem, royal fillet and tiara, are frequently confounded. Crowns were bestowed on kings and princes, as the principal marks of their dignity. David took the crown of the king of the Ammonites from off his head; the crown weighed a talent of gold, and was moreover enriched with jewels, 2Sa 12:30; 1Ch 20:2. The Amalekite who valued himself on killing Saul, brought this prince's crown unto David, 2Sa 1:10. The crown was placed upon the head of young King Josiah, when he was presented to the people, in order to be acknowledged by them, 2Ch 23:11. Baruch says that the idols of the Babylonians wore golden crowns, Baruch 6:9. Queens, too, wore diadems among the Persians. King Ahasuerus honoured Vashti with this mark of power; and, after her divorce, the same favour was granted to Es 2:17. The elders, in Re 4:10, are said to "cast their crowns before the throne." The allusion is here to the tributary kings dependent upon the Roman emperors. Herod took off his diadem in the presence of Augustus, till ordered to replace it. Tiridates did homage to Nero by laying the ensigns of royalty at the foot of his statue.

Pilate's guard platted a crown of thorns, and placed it on the head of Jesus Christ, Mt 27:29, with an intention to insult him, under the character of the king of the Jews. See Thorn. In a figurative sense, a crown signifies honour, splendour, or dignity, La 5:16; Php 4:1; and is also used for reward, because conquerors, in the Grecian games, were crowned, 1Co 9:25.

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