|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
Three Hebrew words are thus rendered in the Authorized Version.
(1.) Hebrews mahsom' signifies a muzzle or halter or bridle, by which the rider governs his horse (Psalm 39:1).
(2.) Me'theg, rendered also "bit" in Psalm 32:9, which is its proper meaning. Found in 2 Kings 19:28, where the restraints of God's providence are metaphorically styled his "bridle" and "hook." God's placing a "bridle in the jaws of the people" (Isaiah 30:28; 37:29) signifies his preventing the Assyrians from carrying out their purpose against Jerusalem.
(3.) Another word, re'sen, was employed to represent a halter or bridle-rein, as used Psalm 32:9; Isaiah 30:28. In Job 30:11 the restraints of law and humanity are called a bridle.
Noah Webster's Dictionary
1. (n.) The head gear with which a horse is controlled, consisting of a headstall, a bit, and reins, with other appendages.
2. (n.) A restraint; a curb; a check.
3. (n.) The piece in the interior of a gun lock, which holds in place the tumbler, sear, etc.
4. (n.) A span of rope, line, or chain made fast as both ends, so that another rope, line, or chain may be attached to its middle.
5. (n.) A mooring hawser.
6. (v. t.) To put a bridle upon; to equip with a bridle; as, to bridle a horse.
7. (v. t.) To restrain, guide, or govern, with, or as with, a bridle; to check, curb, or control; as, to bridle the passions; to bridle a muse.
8. (v. i.) To hold up the head, and draw in the chin, as an expression of pride, scorn, or resentment; to assume a lofty manner; -- usually with up.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
BIT AND BRIDLE
bri'-d'-l (methegh wa-recen): The two words occur in conjunction (Psalm 32:9 the King James Version, "Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding; whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee"; the Revised Version (British and American)) "else they will not come near unto thee," margin, "that they come not near." Methegh, translated "bit" above, is properly a bridle or halter in which the bit was a loop passed round the under jaw of the animal; recen has a similar meaning. The counsel in the verse is that men should render a willing obedience to God and not be like the animals that man has to bridle and curb in order to get them to do his will. Compare James 3:3, where we have "bit" as translation of chalinos, "a bit" or "curb," "We put bits (the Revised Version (British and American) "bridles") in the horses' mouths that they may obey us." "Bridle" occurs separately as translation of methegh (2 Samuel 8:1), "David took Metheg-ammah," King James Version margin "the bridle of Ammah," the Revised Version (British and American) "the bridle of the mother city," margin, as the King James Version; the meaning may be that he took the control or dominion of it; "I will put. my bridle in thy lips" (2 Kings 19:28 Isaiah 37:29); "a bridle for the ass" (Proverbs 26:3); of recen (Job 30:11), "They have also let loose the bridle before me," the Revised Version (British and American) "and they have cast off the bridle before me" (acted in an unbridled (unrestrained) manner); Job 41:13, said of "leviathan" (the Revised Version (British and American) "the hippopotamus"), "Who can come to him his double bridle?" the American Standard Revised Version "within his jaws?" the English Revised Version "within his double bridle," others, "into the double row of his teeth"; Isaiah 30:28, "a bridle in the jaws of the people causing them to err," the Revised Version (British and American) "a bridle that causeth to err"; of machcom, which means "a muzzle" (Psalm 39:1), "I will keep my mouth with a bridle," King James Version margins "Hebrew, a bridle, or muzzle for my mouth"; so the Revised Version, margin.
To "bridle" occurs (James 1:26, "bridleth not his tongue"; James 3:2 "able to bridle the whole body"; chalinagogeo, "to lead" or "guide with a bit"). In 1 Esdras 3:6, and 2 Maccabees 10:29, we have "bridles of gold" (chrusochalinos).
W. L. Walker
See BIT AND BRIDLE.
Bridle (12 Occurrences)
James 1:26 If anyone among you thinks himself to be religious while he doesn't bridle his tongue, but deceives his heart, this man's religion is worthless. Peter's First Letter (WEB KJV ASV WBS NAS RSV)
James 3:2 For in many things we all stumble. If anyone doesn't stumble in word, the same is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also. (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Revelation 14:20 The winepress was trodden outside of the city, and blood came out from the winepress, even to the bridles of the horses, as far as one thousand six hundred stadia. (Root in WEB KJV WEY ASV WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Samuel 8:1 After this it happened that David struck the Philistines, and subdued them: and David took the bridle of the mother city out of the hand of the Philistines. (WEB ASV YLT)
2 Kings 19:28 Because of your raging against me, and because your arrogance has come up into my ears, therefore will I put my hook in your nose, and my bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way by which you came." (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS)
Job 30:11 Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle before me. (KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS)
Job 41:13 Who can discover the face of his garment? or who can come to him with his double bridle? (KJV JPS WBS YLT NIV)
Psalms 32:9 Don't be like the horse, or like the mule, which have no understanding, who are controlled by bit and bridle, or else they will not come near to you. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Psalms 39:1 For the Chief Musician. For Jeduthun. A Psalm by David. I said, "I will watch my ways, so that I don't sin with my tongue. I will keep my mouth with a bridle while the wicked is before me." (WEB KJV ASV WBS RSV)
Proverbs 26:3 A whip is for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the back of fools! (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Isaiah 30:28 His breath is as an overflowing stream that reaches even to the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction; and a bridle that leads to ruin will be in the jaws of the peoples. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Isaiah 37:29 Because of your raging against me, and because your arrogance has come up into my ears, therefore will I put my hook in your nose and my bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way by which you came. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS)