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In Proverbs 1:8-9, it is stated:

[8] Hear, my son, your father's instruction, and reject not your mother's teaching; [9] A graceful diadem will they be for your head; a torque for your neck.

But what does a 'torque' refer to? It seems to imply something worn around the neck since the previously described object (diadem) is also worn. And why is it used together with a diadem to refer to a father's instruction and a mother's teaching?

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This is a good example of a time to compare different translations of scripture. One such tool which makes this very easy is BlueLetterBible:

https://www.blueletterbible.org/nkjv/pro/1/9/t_bibles_629009

KJV

For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

NKJV

For they will be a graceful ornament on your head,
And chains about your neck.

NLT

What you learn from them will crown you with grace
and be a chain of honor around your neck.

ESV

or they are a graceful garland for your head
and pendants for your neck.

The majority of translations render this as some sort of honorable jewelry.

One of the definitions for "torque" provided by Merriam-Webster:

a usually metal collar or neck chain worn by the ancient Gauls, Germans, and Britons

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  • Okay but follow-up questions, why would it be used together with a garland/crown/diadem to describe parents' teachings//instruction? Why not other honorable jewelry worn around the neck? How can the text be interpreted, then, knowing this? Also, why would something from the ancient Gauls, Germans and Britons be in the text? I thought the ones who wrote the text do not live in these places? – Esdras Feb 26 '19 at 7:56
  • These "Torcs' were very widespread and also included (importantly) the Celts and their dispersed culture and influence. Torcs were used as a symbol of important office from about 2000 BC to at least 3rd century AD. – user25930 Feb 26 '19 at 10:18
  • Seeing as most translations reflect this to be a "chain of honor," it would seem that we're being taught that submission to proper authority is the highest honor, and is a most beautiful adornment. You can see the practice of putting chains around the neck to signify honor in Daniel 5. – Jacob M. Feb 27 '19 at 4:55

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