Easton’s Bible Dictionary

  1. A part of the insignia of office. A chain of gold was placed about Joseph's neck (Genesis 41:42); and one was promised to Daniel (Genesis 5:7). It is used as a symbol of sovereignty (Ezekiel 16:11). The breast-plate of the high-priest was fastened to the ephod by golden chains (Exodus 39:17,21).
  2. It was used as an ornament (Proverbs 1:9; Song of Solomon 1:10). The Midianites adorned the necks of their camels with chains (Judges 8:21,26).
  3. Chains were also used as fetters wherewith prisoners were bound (Judges 16:21; 2 Samuel 3:34; 2 Kings 25:7; Jeremiah 39:7). Paul was in this manner bound to a Roman soldier (Acts 28:20; Ephesians 6:20; 2 Timothy 1:16). Sometimes, for the sake of greater security, the prisoner was attached by two chains to two soldiers, as in the case of Peter (Acts 12:6).
Related Resources
  • Smith’s Bible Dictionary