|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
(1.) A part of the insignia of office. A chain of gold was placed about Joseph's neck (Genesis 41:42); and one was promised to Daniel (5:7). It is used as a symbol of sovereignty (Ezek. 16:11). The breast-plate of the high-priest was fastened to the ephod by golden chains (Exodus 39:17, 21).
(2.) It was used as an ornament (Proverbs 1:9; Cant. 1:10). The Midianites adorned the necks of their camels with chains (Judges 8:21, 26).
(3.) Chains were also used as fetters wherewith prisoners were bound (Judges 16:21; 2 Samuel 3:34; 2 Kings 25:7; Jeremiah 39:7). Paul was in this manner bound to a Roman soldier (Acts 28:20; Ephesians 6:20; 2 Timothy 1:16). Sometimes, for the sake of greater security, the prisoner was attached by two chains to two soldiers, as in the case of Peter (Acts 12:6).
Noah Webster's Dictionary
1. (n.) A series of links or rings, usually of metal, connected, or fitted into one another, used for various purposes, as of support, of restraint, of ornament, of the exertion and transmission of mechanical power, etc.
2. (n.) That which confines, fetters, or secures, as a chain; a bond; as, the chains of habit.
3. (n.) A series of things linked together; or a series of things connected and following each other in succession; as, a chain of mountains; a chain of events or ideas.
4. (n.) An instrument which consists of links and is used in measuring land.
5. (n.) Iron links bolted to the side of a vessel to bold the dead-eyes connected with the shrouds; also, the channels.
6. (n.) The warp threads of a web.
7. (v. t.) To fasten, bind, or connect with a chain; to fasten or bind securely, as with a chain; as, to chain a bulldog.
8. (v. t.) To keep in slavery; to enslave.
9. (v. t.) To unite closely and strongly.
10. (v. t.) To measure with the chain.
11. (v. t.) To protect by drawing a chain across, as a harbor.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
chan, chanz: Chains were used by the Hebrews:
(1) As ornaments: 'ets`adhah, neTiphah, `anaq, rabhidh, sharsherah, rattoq. As ornaments for the person they were worn about the ankles (Numbers 31:50 Isaiah 3:20) and about the neck (Songs 4:9 Ezekiel 16:11). They were used as ornaments for the ephod and breastplate of the high priest (Exodus 28:14; Exodus 39:15). These chains were of pure gold. Solomon placed chains before the oracle in the temple (1 Kings 6:21), and these were also of pure gold. They were used as ornaments for graven images (Isaiah 40:19) and around the necks of prized animals. This was true of the camels taken from the Midianites by Gideon (Judges 8:21, 26).
(2) As marks of distinction: rabhidh, hamunekh (hamnikh): That seems to be true of the chain which Pharaoh placed about the neck of Joseph (Genesis 41:42), and of the one which the king of Babylon promised to the wise men (Daniel 5:7).
(3) As means of confining prisoners: nechosheth; halusis: A number of passages that were translated "chains" in the King James Version are translated "fetters" in the Revised Version (British and American) (see Judges 16:21 2 Samuel 3:34). Among the Romans the prisoner was chained to one or two guards (Acts 12:6, 7; Acts 21:33 Ephesians 6:20 2 Timothy 1:16). These chains were perhaps made of copper or an alloy of copper and tin.
(4) As a figurative expression: `anaq. The Psalmist likens pride to a chain about the neck (Psalm 73:6), and in Proverbs it is stated that the young man who hears the instruction of his father and forsakes not the law of his mother shall find that they are chains about his neck (Proverbs 1:9). In Revelation 20:1 the angel is described as descending with a great chain in his hand. According to the King James Version Peter speaks of the fallen angels as having been delivered into "chains of darkness" (2 Peter 2:4), seira, and Jude speaks of them as being reserved in "everlasting chains" (Jude 1:6, the Revised Version (British and American) "bonds"), desmos.
See also PUNISHMENTS.
A. W. Fortune
Chain (21 Occurrences)
Mark 5:3 He lived in the tombs. Nobody could bind him any more, not even with chains, (Root in WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 13:16 And this woman, daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan had bound for no less than eighteen years, was she not to be loosed from this chain because it is the Sabbath day?" (WEY)
Acts 28:20 For this cause therefore I asked to see you and to speak with you. For because of the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain." (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ephesians 6:20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (Root in WEB WEY ASV BBE DBY YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Timothy 1:16 May the Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain, (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Revelation 20:1 I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 41:42 Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand, and put it on Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in robes of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT RSV NIV)
Numbers 31:50 We have therefore brought an oblation for the LORD, what every man hath gotten, of jewels of gold, chains, and bracelets, rings, earrings, and tablets, to make an atonement for our souls before the LORD. (Root in KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)
1 Kings 7:17 There were nets of checker work, and wreaths of chain work, for the capitals which were on the top of the pillars; seven for the one capital, and seven for the other capital. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 3:5 The greater house he made a ceiling with fir wood, which he overlaid with fine gold, and ornamented it with palm trees and chains. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Psalms 73:6 Therefore pride is like a chain around their neck. Violence covers them like a garment. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS)
Proverbs 1:9 for they will be a garland to grace your head, and chains around your neck. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NIV)
Song of Songs 4:9 You have ravished my heart, my sister, my bride. You have ravished my heart with one of your eyes, with one chain of your neck. (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)
Song of Songs 7:1 How beautiful are thy feet in sandals, O prince's daughter! Thy rounded thighs are like jewels, The work of the hands of a skilful workman. (See JPS)
Isaiah 51:14 The prisoner, bent under his chain, will quickly be made free, and will not go down into the underworld, and his bread will not come to an end. (BBE)
Lamentations 3:7 He has walled me about, that I can't go forth; he has made my chain heavy. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 7:23 Make the chain; for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Ezekiel 16:11 I decked you with ornaments, and I put bracelets on your hands, and a chain on your neck. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT RSV)
Daniel 5:7 The king cried aloud to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. The king spoke and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whoever shall read this writing, and show me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS RSV NIV)
Daniel 5:16 But I have heard of you, that you can give interpretations, and dissolve doubts; now if you can read the writing, and make known to me its interpretation, you shall be clothed with purple, and have a chain of gold about your neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS RSV NIV)
Daniel 5:29 Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with purple, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS RSV NIV)