Word Study: Crown/Diadim “Nezer”


Revelations 2:17: “To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receives it.”
Crown – Hebrew: nezer – gemstones of a diadem, to make unique, to separate, to make special
The Hebrew word for “crown” may give us insight into Revelation 2:17. It is the word “nezer” which is not so much a crown, but a diadem or, more specifically, the stones in a diadem.  The various gemstones in a diadem were considered more than symbolic in ancient times, it was believed that these stones carried powers to protect, heal and bring about stability.   Hence the ancient Egyptians wore these stones around various parts of their bodies to offer protection, healing or stability.  Areas that needed protection were the wrists, neck, head, fingers, and ankles. Today we wear such gemstones for decoration purposes and no one, except some fringe elements, actually believe that these stones offer such powers.
The king’s diadem would have a white stone set among many other stones.  The white stone had his name engraved on it. If he were to remove that stone and give it to someone, that would represent the ultimate authority a king could give to someone.  Later the white stone took on new meanings.  By the first century A.D.,  the white stone became an engagement stone. In modern times it took on the form of an engagement ring with the white stone being represented as a diamond.   However, in the first century the groom would give his bride a white stone and engraved on the stone would be a special name, a pet name.  As lovers do today they would give their beloved a name like “Sugar Babe.” Such names were often embarrassing and thus were kept secret between the two lovers and used only between themselves.  Only one person in the world could call a woman by that special name, and that would be her husband, her beloved. Another practice with the gemstones would be that the king would remove a stone from his diadem to give as a gift to a special servant.  It could be a red stone which represents a certain amount of royal power being bestowed upon this servant, or it could be a green stone, representing his restoration, or a blue stone representing wealth or riches.  When a subject received a gemstone from the kings diadem, it would represent the power inherent in that stone descending from the king to the subject to join that subject with the king in a common enterprise and the stone would be a tangible object of this bond which could be seen with the naked eye.
Not that I expect to wake up one morning and find a bunch of gem stones by my bedside, but I believe Revelation 2:17 is a metaphor showing us that if we overcome God will share the “gem stones” in his crown with us and give us a special “pet name” that only a beloved will share with us.