Isaiah 3:16
Moreover the LORD said, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) Because the daughters of Zion . . .—From the princes that worked evil, Isaiah turns to their wives, sisters, concubines, who were showing themselves degenerate daughters of Sarah and Rebecca. A like denunciation meets us in Isaiah 32:9-12, but this is without a parallel in the minuteness of its detail. It is as though the prophet had gone into the boudoir of one of the leaders of the fashions of Jerusalem, and taken an inventory of what he found there. Possibly we may trace the influence of the prophetess-wife of Isaiah (Isaiah 8:3), seeking to recall those of her own sex to a higher life. We note, on a smaller scale, a like teaching in the married apostle (1Peter 3:3-4). Twenty-one distinct articles are mentioned. Their names for the most part appear to have a foreign stamp on them. Then, as at other times, luxury imported its novelties, and the women of Judah took up the fashions of those of Tyre or Damascus or Philistia. It is not without interest to compare the protests of Juvenal (Sat. vi.), Dante (Purgat. xxiii. 106-111), Chrysostom, and Savonarola against like evils.

With stretched forth necks . . .—The corruption which the prophet paints showed itself then, as it has done in later times, in the adoption by the decent classes of society of the gait and glances of the harlots of alien birth (comp. Proverbs 7:9-21), with, perhaps, the difference of a certain affectation of coyness.

Making a tinkling with their feet.—Small silver bells were fastened on the ankles, and so the beauties of Jerusalem carried, as it were, their music with them. The custom still exists in Syria and Arabia, though forbidden by the Koran. English nursery rhymes seem to recall a time when it was not unknown in Western Europe.

Isaiah 3:16. Moreover, the Lord saith — After God had reproved the rulers of the Jews for their iniquity, injustice, and rapacity in spoiling the people, “he draws an argument of the same kind from the pride and luxury of the noble matrons and virgins, whose ornaments, collected from the spoils of the people, were borne proudly and insolently by them; upon whom therefore he denounces judgments; for of these two parts consists this last period of his reproving discourse: urging, 1st, In this verse the crimes of luxury and wanton haughtiness; denouncing, 2d, The punishment with which God would pursue these crimes, Isaiah 3:17 to chap. 4:1:” see Vitringa and Dodd. Because the daughters of Zion are haughty — Proud and disdainful; and walk with stretched-forth necks — Affecting stateliness, (Psalm 75:5,) and endeavouring to appear tall; and wanton eyes — Hebrew, משׂקרות, falsifying their eyes; that is, falsely setting off their eyes with paint, as Bishop Lowth translates it, observing that he takes it to be the true meaning and literal rendering of the word; walking and mincing as they go — Taking petty tripping steps in their walking, that they may appear the younger; making a tinkling with their feet — Dr. Waterland renders this clause, and with chains, or shackles, upon their feet. The prophet is thought, by some learned men, to “allude to a custom among the eastern ladies of wearing on their legs large hollow rings, or circles, with little rings hanging round them; the cavities of these rings being filled with small flints, which caused them to sound like bells on the least motion.” Bishop Lowth translates the last two clauses, “Mincing their steps as they go, and with their feet lightly tripping along.”3:16-26 The prophet reproves and warns the daughters of Zion of the sufferings coming upon them. Let them know that God notices the folly and vanity of proud women, even of their dress. The punishments threatened answered the sin. Loathsome diseases often are the just punishment of pride. It is not material to ask what sort of ornaments they wore; many of these things, if they had not been in fashion, would have been ridiculed then as now. Their fashions differed much from those of our times, but human nature is the same. Wasting time and money, to the neglect of piety, charity, and even of justice, displease the Lord. Many professors at the present day, seem to think there is no harm in worldly finery; but were it not a great evil, would the Holy Spirit have taught the prophet to expose it so fully? The Jews being overcome, Jerusalem would be levelled with the ground; which is represented under the idea of a desolate female seated upon the earth. And when the Romans had destroyed Jerusalem, they struck a medal, on which was represented a woman sitting on the ground in a posture of grief. If sin be harboured within the walls, lamentation and mourning are near the gates.Moreover, the Lord saith - In the previous parts of this prophecy, the prophet had rebuked the princes, magistrates, and the people generally. In the remainder of this chapter, he reproves with great severity the pride, luxury, and effeminacy of the female part of the Jewish community. Some interpreters have understood this as designed to reprove the pride and luxury of the "cities" and "towns" of Judah, regarded as "daughters of Zion;" see the note at Isaiah 1:8. But this interpretation is far-fetched and absurd. On this principle everything in the Bible might be turned into allegory.

The daughters of Zion - Jewish females; they who dwelt in "Zion." Perhaps he means particularly those who dwelt in Zion, the capital - or the females connected with the court. It is probable that the prophet here refers to the prosperous reign of Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:5, ...), when by successful commerce luxury would naturally abound.

Are haughty - Are proud.

And walk with stretched-forth necks - Displaying the neck ostentatiously; elevating or extending it as far as possible. Septuagint, ὑψηλῷ τραχήλῳ hupsēlō trachēlō, with elevated or exalted neck; that is, with that indication of pride and haughtiness which is evinced by a lofty demeanour. 'When the females dance (in India), they stretch forth their necks, and hold them away, as if their heads were about to fall from their shoulders.' - "Roberts."

And wanton eyes - עינים וּמשׁקרות ûmeshaqerôth ‛ēynāyı̂m. The word שׁקר shâqar usually means "to lie, to deceive," and may here refer to the art of alluring by a wanton or fascinating glance of the eye. There has been great diversity of opinion about the meaning of this expression. Lowth proposes to read it, 'and falsely setting off their eyes with paint,' in allusion to a custom known to prevail in the East, of coloring the eye-lids with stibium, or the powder of lead ore. This was done the better to exhibit the white of the eye, and was supposed by many to contribute to the healthful action of the eye itself. This practice is known to prevail extensively now; but it is not clear that the prophet here has reference to it. The expression is usually interpreted to mean 'deceiving with the eyes,' that is, "alluring" or "enticing" by the motion of the eyes. The "motion" of the eyes is mentioned Proverbs 6:13-14 as one mode of "deceiving" a person:

He winketh with his eyes,

He speaketh with his feet,

He teacheth with his fingers;

Frowardness is in his heart,

He deviseth mischief continually.

Compare the notes at Job 42:14. The meaning here, doubtless, is, that they attempted to entice by the "motion" or "glance" of the eye. The Chaldee seems to have understood this of staining the eyes with stibium.

Mincing as they go - Margin, 'Tripping nicely;' that is, walking with an affected gait - a mode which, unhappily, is too well known in all ages to need a more particular description. Roberts, speaking of the dance in India, says, 'Some parts of the dance consist of a tripping or mincing step, which they call tatte-tatee. The left foot is put first, and the inside of the right keeps following the heel of the former.'

And making a tinkling with their feet - That is, they adorn themselves with "ankle rings," and make a tinkling or noise with them to attract attention. The custom of wearing rings on the fingers and wrists has been common every where. In addition to this, Oriental females often wore them on the "ankles" - a custom in itself not more unreasonable or absurd. The custom is mentioned by travelers in Eastern countries in more modern times. Thus, Michaelis says, 'In Syria and the neighboring provinces, the more opulent females bind ligaments around their feet, like chains, or bracelets, united by small chains of silver and gold, and exhibit them by their sound as they walk.' And Pliny ("Nat. Hist.," lib. xxiii., ch. 12) says, 'Silver has succeeded to gold in the luxury of the females who form bracelets for their feet of that, since an ancient custom forbids them to wear gold.' Frequent mention is made of these ornaments, says Rosenmuller, in the Arabic and Persian poems. Roberts, speaking of the ornaments on the feet of females in India, says, 'The first is a large silver curb like that which is attached to a bridle; the second is of the same kind, but surrounded by a great number of small bells; the third resembles a bracelet; and the fourth is a convex hoop, about two inches deep.'

16. Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, &c.—Luxury had become great in Uzziah's prosperous reign (2Ch 26:5).

stretched forth—proudly elevated (Ps 75:5).

wanton—rather, "making the eyes to glance about," namely, wantonly (Pr 6:13) [Maurer]. But Lowth, "falsely setting off the eyes with paint." Women's eyelids in the East are often colored with stibium, or powder of lead (see on [691]Job 42:14; Jer 4:30, Margin).

mincing—tripping with short steps.

tinkling—with their ankle-rings on both feet, joined by small chains, which sound as they walk, and compel them to take short steps; sometimes little bells were attached (Isa 3:18, 20).

The daughters of Zion; the women; as hitherto he reproved the men.

Walk with stretched forth necks; affecting stateliness, Psalm 75:5, and to seem tall.

Wanton eyes; or, as others, twinkling with their eyes in a lascivious manner.

Walking and mincing as they go, after the manner of loose and wanton persons. Making a tinkling with their feet, by some ornaments which they wore upon their shoes. Moreover the Lord saith, because the daughters of Zion are haughty,.... The wives or daughters of the rulers, princes, or elders; these were "high", affected to look high and tall, and therefore stretched out their necks, and walked on tiptoes; or "were lifted up" with pride, which is the root and source of all the vanity expressed in their gesture and ornaments.

And walk with stretched forth necks or "throats"; looking high, and above others, and upon them with contempt and disdain; this is a sign of pride; see Psalm 75:5,

and wanton eyes; either winking with their eyes to others to follow them to their houses, as Kimchi interprets it; so Jarchi thinks it is expressive of their looks, as we, of wanton looks; and the Septuagint render it, "with winking of eyes"; so the Syriac and Arabic versions, or painting their eyes; so the Targum,

"they walk with their eyes painted,''

as Jezebel painted her face, 2 Kings 9:30 in the Talmudic language, is used (q) for vermilion, or red lead, with which they painted their eyes, as they did also with (r) black lead.

Walking and mincing as they go: jumping and dancing as children in the streets; or using the like gesture as those who beat upon a drum; or walking in even paces, in a soft and delicate manner; all which senses Kimchi (s) observes in the word. The whole is rendered by the Septuagint, "and in the walk of their feet", or as they walk "together, drawing their coats" upon the ground after them, which makes a noise. The Targum is, "with hair rolled up", bound up and plaited.

And making a tinkling with their feet; having a sort of bells hanging on them, as Kimchi thinks, which made a noise as they went. Of the word here used, and the sense of it; see Gill on Isaiah 3:18. The Targum renders it, "provoking with their feet"; either the lust of men; or the anger of the Lord, as the Syriac version; the Septuagint and Arabic versions, "playing with the feet".

(q) T. Bab. Roshhashanah, fol. 18. 1. Misn. Sabbat. c. 12. sect. 4. Maimon. & Bartenora in ib. (r) Targum on 2 Kings 30. (s) Sepher Shorash. rad.

Moreover the LORD saith, {n} Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with {o} extended necks and {p} wanton eyes, walking and {q} mincing as they go, and making a {r} tinkling with their feet:

(n) He means the people because of the arrogancy and pride of their women who gave themselves to all wantonness and dissolution.

(o) Which declared their pride.

(p) As a sign that they were not chaste.

(q) Which showed their wantonness.

(r) They delighted then in slippers that creaked or had little plates sewn on them which tinkled as they went.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. daughters of Zion] The “haughtiness” of the daughters of Zion is displayed in their gestures as they walk abroad. They walk with outstretched neck, and ogling with their eyes; tripping along they go, and tinkling with their feet. The reference in the last words is to the jingling sound of the anklets (Isaiah 3:18) and the short chain uniting them (Isaiah 3:20); the latter also produced the tripping gait mentioned in the previous clause.Verse 16. - The daughters of Zion. It is over-fanciful to go beyond the plain meaning of the words here, and suppose allegory. "The daughters of Zion" are the female inhabitants of Jerusalem. Are haughty; or, proud - like the men (Isaiah 2:11, 12, 17). Walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes. Mr. Cheyne translates, "ogling eyes." Both actions indicate the desire to attract men's attention, and are shameless and immodest. Walking and mincing as they go; i.e. taking short steps in an affectedly childish way. Making a tinkling with their feet. This meaning is generally accepted, though not very certain. It has been suggested that the anklets which they wore (ver. 18) had silver bells attached to them. The prophet's meaning is evident enough. But inasmuch as it is the curse of sin to distort the knowledge of what is most obvious and self-evident, and even to take it entirely away, the prophet dwells still longer upon the fact that all sinning is self-destruction and self-murder, placing this general truth against its opposite in a palillogical Johannic way, and calling out to his contemporaries in Isaiah 3:10, Isaiah 3:11 : "Say of the righteous, that it is well with him; for they will enjoy the fruit of their doings. Woe to the wicked! it is ill; for what his hands have wrought will be done to him." We cannot adopt the rendering "Praise the righteous," proposed by Vitringa and other modern commentators; for although âmar is sometimes construed with the accusative of the object (Psalm 40:11; Psalm 145:6, Psalm 145:11), it never means to praise, but to declare (even in Psalm 40:11). We have here what was noticed from Genesis 1:4 onwards - namely, the obvious antiptsis or antiphonsis in the verbs ראה (cf., Isaiah 22:9; Exodus 2:2), ידע (1 Kings 5:17), and אמר (like λέγειν, John 9:9): dicite justum quod bonus equals dicite justum esse bonum (Ewald, 336, b). The object of sight, knowledge, or speech, is first of all mentioned in the most general manner; then follows the qualification, or more precise definition. טוב, and in Isaiah 3:11 רע (רע without the pause), might both of them be the third pers. pret. of the verbs, employed in a neuter sense: the former signifying, it is well, viz., with him (as in Deuteronomy 5:30; Jeremiah 22:15-16); the latter, it is bad (as in Psalm 106:32). But it is evident from Jeremiah 44:17 that הוּא טוב and הוּא רע may be used in the sense of καλῶς (κακῶς) ἔχει, and that the two expressions are here thought of in this way, so that there is no לו to be supplied in either case. The form of the first favours this; and in the second the accentuation fluctuates between אוי tiphchah לרשׁע munach, and the former with merka, the latter tiphchah. At the same time, the latter mode of accentuation, which is favourable to the personal rendering of רע, is supported by editions of some worth, such as Brescia 1494, Pesaro 1516, Venice 1515, 1521, and is justly preferred by Luzzatto and Br. The summary assertions, The righteous is well, the wicked ill, are both sustained by their eventual fate, in the light of which the previous misfortune of the righteous appears as good fortune, and the previous good fortune of the wicked as misfortune. With an allusion to this great difference in their eventual fate, the word "say," which belongs to both clauses, summons to an acknowledgment of the good fortune of the one and the misfortune of the other. O that Judah and Jerusalem would acknowledge their to their own salvation before it was too late! For the state of the poor nation was already miserable enough, and very near to destruction.
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