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2001 Translation


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    Crowns, Garlands, Turbans, and Diadems

    In the Bible we read of two different types of royal headgear that was worn by Kings… crowns (gr. stephanos) and turbans (gr. diademas).
    Which did the kings of IsraEl, such as David and Solomon, wear?

    A study of history shows that most kings wore some sort of hat on official occasions, which varied by time and by country. However, in ancient IsraEl and in other middle-eastern countries, the common headgear for kings was a turban that was set with gold and jewels.
    And this remained the custom throughout the history of the Jews.
    Because, crowns with points were generally thought of by the faithful as representing the rays of the sun (an idol), since gold crowns with points were worn as ‘haloes’ by pagan kings to indicate their sign of appointment by (the Sun) God.

    The first Bible reference to a gold crown being worn by a king is found at 2 Samuel 12:30, where David took one from the head of the Ammonite king of RabBath, named Malchom. And though the account tells us that he then placed it on his own head, it doesn’t look like wearing such a thing was the custom of kings of IsraEl thereafter. For the placing of Malchom’s crown on his head seems to represent David’s victory, not his envy of the pagan king’s headgear.

    Notice that at Revelation 12:3, the Dragon is depicted as having seven heads and ten horns, and on each of its heads was what is often rendered in other Bibles as diadems – which most religious pictures portray as gold crowns. However, these should actually be depicted as turbans, because the Greek word used there is dia-dema (through wraps or turbans), not stephanos (crowns).

    Also notice that the Greek word ‘stephanos’ doesn’t always mean a gold crown.
    For if you look up the dictionary meaning for stephanos, you’ll see that it could also describe a victory wreath… and this is how we have rendered the word in most cases.
    For the Bible uses the word ‘stephanos’ more often as a sign of victory than of kingship.
    And if you understand that, it gives us a better understanding of the true meanings of these verses:

    · 1 Corinthians 9:25:

    ‘And every fighter has to maintain full control just to win a garland that rots away.’

    · Philippians 4:1:

    ‘So, my brothers that are loved and longed for (my joy and my victory garland); keep standing just as you are in the Lord, O loved ones!’

    · 1 Peter 5:4:

    ‘Then, when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you’ll walk away with the enduring garland of glory!