A decorative clasp made of metal and having a pin or tongue by which it can be fastened to a person’s clothing. In ancient times brooches were worn by both men and women, as among the Greeks and Romans. The Roman brooch or fibula sometimes consisted of a curved piece of metal with a hook at one end and a pin extending from the other end, in safety-pin fashion. Being not only ornamental but also useful, the brooch was often used for such purposes as pinning together two parts of a scarf or cloak. Brooches of antiquity were made of bronze, iron, gold, or silver. Their use in early Palestine has been established by archaeological finds, among these being bow-shaped brooches discovered at Tell en-Nasbeh.
When the Israelites were granted the privilege of contributing toward the construction of the tabernacle, the men and women brought various ornaments including “brooches” or “buckles.” (Ex 35:21, 22) These brooches were evidently hooked ornaments of some type, for the same Hebrew word used for them (chach) is rendered “hook” elsewhere. (2Ki 19:28) However, the Scriptures do not describe these brooches.—See ORNAMENTS.