Bracelet (1.) Anklets (Num 31:50; Sa2 1:10), and with reference to men. (2.) The rendering of a Hebrew word meaning fasteners, found in Gen 24:22, Gen 24:30, Gen 24:47. (3.) In Isa 3:19, the rendering of a Hebrew word meaning chains, i.e., twisted or chain-like bracelets. (4.) In Exo 35:22 it designates properly a clasp for fastening the dress of females. Some interpret it as a nose-ring. (5.) In Gen 38:18, Gen 38:25, the rendering of a Hebrew word meaning "thread," and may denote the ornamental cord with which the signet was suspended from the neck of the wearer. Bracelets were worn by men as well as by women (Sol 5:14, R.V.). They were of many various forms. The weight of those presented by Eliezer to Rebekah was ten shekels (Gen 24:22).
Bramble (1.) Hebrew atad, Jdg 9:14; rendered "thorn," Psa 58:9. The LXX. and Vulgate render by rhamnus, a thorny shrub common in Palestine, resembling the hawthorn. (2.) Hebrew hoah, Isa 34:13 (R.V. "thistles"); "thickets" in Sa1 13:6; "thistles" in Kg2 14:9, Ch2 25:18, Job 31:40; "thorns" in Ch2 33:11, Sol 2:2, Hos 9:6. The word may be regarded as denoting the common thistle, of which there are many species which encumber the cornfields of Oalestine. (See THORNS.)
Branch A symbol of kings descended from royal ancestors (Eze 17:3, Eze 17:10; Dan 11:7); of prosperity (Job 8:16); of the Messiah, a branch out of the root of the stem of Jesse (Isa 11:1), the "beautiful branch" (Isa 4:2), a "righteous branch" (Jer 23:5), "the Branch" (Zac 3:8; Zac 6:12). Disciples are branches of the true vine (Joh 15:5, Joh 15:6). "The branch of the terrible ones" (Isa 25:5) is rightly translated in the Revised Version "the song of the terrible ones," i.e., the song of victory shall be brought low by the destruction of Babylon and the return of the Jews from captivity. The "abominable branch" is a tree on which a malefactor has been hanged (Isa 14:19). The "highest branch" in Eze 17:3 represents Jehoiakim the king.
Brass Which is an alloy of copper and zinc, was not known till the thirteenth century. What is designated by this word in Scripture is properly copper (Deu 8:9). It was used for fetters (Jdg 16:21; Kg2 25:7), for pieces of armour (Sa1 17:5, Sa1 17:6), for musical instruments (Ch1 15:19; Co1 13:1), and for money (Mat 10:9). It is a symbol of insensibility and obstinacy in sin (Isa 48:4; Jer 6:28; Eze 22:18), and of strength (Psa 107:16; Mic 4:13). The Macedonian empire is described as a kingdom of brass (Dan 2:39). The "mountains of brass" Zechariah (Zac 6:1) speaks of have been supposed to represent the immutable decrees of God. The serpent of brass was made by Moses at the command of God (Num 21:4), and elevated on a pole, so that it might be seen by all the people when wounded by the bite of the serpents that were sent to them as a punishment for their murmurings against God and against Moses. It was afterwards carried by the Jews into Canaan, and preserved by them till the time of Hezekiah, who caused it to be at length destroyed because it began to be viewed by the people with superstitious reverence (Kg2 18:4). (See NEHUSHTAN.) The brazen serpent is alluded to by our Lord in Joh 3:14, Joh 3:15. (See SERPENT.)
Bravery (Isa 3:18), an old English word meaning comeliness or beauty.
Breach An opening in a wall (Kg1 11:27; Kg2 12:5); the fracture of a limb (Lev 24:20), and hence the expression, "Heal, etc." (Psa 60:2). Jdg 5:17, a bay or harbour; R.V., "by his creeks."
Bread Among the Jews was generally made of wheat (Exo 29:2; Jdg 6:19), though also sometimes of other grains (Gen 14:18; Jdg 7:13). Parched grain was sometimes used for food without any other preparation (Rut 2:14). Bread was prepared by kneading in wooden bowls or "kneading troughs" (Gen 18:6; Exo 12:34; Jer 7:18). The dough was mixed with leaven and made into thin cakes, round or oval, and then baked. The bread eaten at the Passover was always unleavened (Exo 12:15; Deu 16:3). In the towns there were public ovens, which were much made use of for baking bread; there were also bakers by trade (Hos 7:4; Jer 37:21). Their ovens were not unlike those of modern times. But sometimes the bread was baked by being placed on the ground that had been heated by a fire, and by covering it with the embers (Kg1 19:6). This was probably the mode in which Sarah prepared bread on the occasion referred to in Gen 18:6. In Lev. 2 there is an account of the different kinds of bread and cakes used by the Jews. (See BAKE.) The shew-bread (q.v.) consisted of twelve loaves of unleavened bread prepared and presented hot on the golden table every Sabbath. They were square or oblong, and represented the twelve tribes of Israel. The old loaves were removed every Sabbath, and were to be eaten only by the priests in the court of the sanctuary (Exo 25:30; Lev 24:8; Sa1 21:1; Mat 12:4). The word bread is used figuratively in such expressions as "bread of sorrows" (Psa 127:2), "bread of tears" (Psa 80:5), i.e., sorrow and tears are like one's daily bread, they form so great a part in life. The bread of "wickedness" (Pro 4:17) and "of deceit" (Pro 20:17) denote in like manner that wickedness and deceit are a part of the daily life.
Breastplate (1.) That piece of ancient armour that protected the breast. This word is used figuratively in Eph 6:14 and Isa 59:17. (See ARMOUR.) (2.) An ornament covering the breast of the high priest, first mentioned in Exo 25:7. It was made of embroidered cloth, set with four rows of precious stones, three in each row. On each stone was engraved the name of one of the twelve tribes (Exo 28:15; Exo 39:8). It was in size about ten inches square. The two upper corners were fastened to the ephod by blue ribbons. It was not to be "loosed from the ephod" (Exo 28:28). The lower corners were fastened to the girdle of the priest. As it reminded the priest of his representative character, it was called the memorial (Exo 28:29). It was also called the breastplate of judgment (Exo 28:15). (See PRIEST.)
Breeches (Exo 28:42), rather linen drawers, reaching from the waist to a little above the knee, worn by the priests (Eze 44:17, Eze 44:18).
Bribe None to be taken; "for the gift maketh open eyes blind, and perverteth the cause of the righteous" (Exo 23:8, literally rendered).