By J. Parnell McCarter



Recently on an email list the following question was posed to me concerning (female) adornment:


> What do you make of the chapter 16 of Ezekiel wherein God likens Jerusalem to
> an abandoned infant that he took in and adorned with not only earrings, but
> also noserings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, and a crown?  The clothing
> described is also not in the nature of sackcloth.
> Would it be your position that God forbids all adornment or anything that
> would be designed to enhance or maintain attractiveness?


Here was my response:


It  seems that scripture analogizes the bride to the Bride of Christ, for the woman is a picture of the church.  Just as the Bride of Christ is no longer outwardly adorned in the way she was in the Mosaic economy (no more golden candlesticks, no more musical instruments, etc), so a man's wife is no longer outwardly adorned as she was allowed to be in the Mosaic economy.  

Why?  These outward adornments were always simply signs and symbols of the spiritual graces.  Now that the graces are more manifest in the NT, the signs pass away.  The spiritual graces are so much more exceedingly precious, that next to jewelry, etc., it is like placing the Hope Diamond next to a Cracker Jack ring in a public display.

Simple and plain is the NT principle regarding outward adornment, both for the woman and the Woman.

Regarding Eze 16, Zion's true adornments are her spiritual graces, of which rings, etc. were but types and shadows and signs.  

The article at http://www.puritans.net/news/attire040604.htm  goes into more detail.

Regarding your second question, I think we should distinguish decency and order and even attractiveness (so long as scripturally defined) from adornments like jewelry.  I qualify with the term "as scripturally defined", because most moderns deem marks of age like grey hairs and wrinkles as "unattractive", so they get face lifts, etc. But this is not God's perspective on "attractive".