Chain(s)

CHAIN(S). Several different words in the Bible are tr. thus, and the term is applied to a variety of different kinds of chain.

1. After the fall of Jerusalem in 586 b.c. Jeremiah among others, was bound in chains (Heb. אזק only in pl. אֲזִקִּים, H272, Jer 40:1, 4).

In a shorter form זִקִּ֑ים has the same sense (Ps 149:8; Isa 45:14; Nah 3:10). In Job 36:8 the same word is metaphorical for the fetters of affliction. A study of the Assyrian and Egyptian monuments reveals that prisoners were normally bound with ropes so that the term may denote “rope” in many cases.

2. The term מַעֲדַנָּה (pl. מַעֲדַנּוֹת, H5051) refers to the “chains” which hold the constellation of the Pleiades together (Job 38:31).


4. On a smaller scale the term רָבִיד, H8054, refers to a necklace or to a twisted circlet on the neck (Gen 41:42). The term is used in a metaphorical sense in Ezekiel 16:11 for the care of Yahweh for Jerusalem. Sometimes a necklace was the gift of a king to a favored subject (Dan 5:29).

5. In the NT the term ἃλυσις, is used for chains of captives (Mark 5:3, 4; Acts 28:20; Rev 20:1). Often prisoners were attached to their guards by such chains (Acts 12:6, 7).

6. A general term for anything that binds or fastens, sometimes tr. “bonds” in the NT (Gr. δεσμός, G1301, Acts 26:29; Heb 11:36; Jude 6).