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the curb put into the mouths of horses to restrain them

The Hebrew word metheg so rendered in Psalms 32:9 is elsewhere translated “bridle” (2 Kings 19:28; Proverbs 26:3; Isaiah 37:29). Bits were generally made of bronze or iron, but sometimes also of gold or silver. In James 3:3 the Authorized Version translates the Greek word by “bits,” but the Revised Version by “bridles.”