Isaiah 3:18
In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon,
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(18) Tinkling ornaments.—These were anklets, i.e., rings of metal, with or without bells, which produced the tinkling of Isaiah 3:16. The “cauls” were probably wreaths, or plaits of gold or silver net-work, worn over the forehead from ear to ear, but have been taken by some scholars as sun-like balls worn like a necklace.

Round tires like the moon.—The crescent ornaments which were hung on the necks of the camels of the Midianites in the time of Gideon (Judges 8:21), and are still worn by Arabian women. It is not improbable that they were connected with the worship of Ashtaroth. Among modern Arabian women they are regarded as a charm against the evil eye. (See Note on Jeremiah 44:17-19.)

Isaiah 3:18. In that day the Lord, &c. — “Punishment, which, though slow, always follows vice, is here denounced upon the luxurious and proud women: first, taking away, not only the ornaments, wherewith they set off their beauty, but also their garments, which were of necessary use, to Isaiah 3:24; secondly, deprivation of their husbands and children, Isaiah 3:25-26; thirdly, the consequence hereof, by which this loss might be repaired, Isaiah 4:1” see Vitringa. Will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments, &c. — It is justly observed by a learned commentator here, that the words which describe the women’s ornaments in this and the following verses are of very doubtful signification; the modes of every age and country varying so often, that the succeeding fashion makes the former to be quickly forgotten, and the words that express it to become obscure, or even unintelligible. Probably a hundred years hence the names of some of the ornaments that are now in use in our own land will be as little understood as some of those here named. It is judged unnecessary and improper, therefore, to trouble the reader here with the different interpretations which learned men have given of them. It is agreed by all, that they were ornaments used by the women in Judea at that time, and that they were made the means of increasing their pride and other vices, and therefore were displeasing to God. And it is of no concern exactly to understand the differences of them. Instead therefore of spending time on this barren subject, we shall content ourselves with laying before the reader Bishop Lowth’s translation of the Hebrew terms used to express them, with some occasional observations which he has made on some of the articles. In that day will the Lord take away from them the ornaments of the feet-rings, and the net-works, and the crescents, Isaiah 3:18. The pendents, and the bracelets, and the thin veils, Isaiah 3:19. The tires, and the fetters, and the zones, and the perfume-boxes, and the amulets, Isaiah 3:20. The rings, and the jewels of the nostril, Isaiah 3:21. Many commentators explain this of jewels, or strings of pearl, hanging from the forehead, and reaching to the upper part of the nose. But it appears from many passages of Holy Scripture, that the phrase is to be literally and properly understood of nose-jewels, rings set with jewels, hanging from the nostrils, as ear-rings from the ears, by holes bored to receive them. Ezekiel, enumerating the common ornaments of women of the first rank, has not omitted this particular, and is to be understood in the same manner, Ezekiel 16:11-12; see also Genesis 24:47, and Proverbs 11:22.3:16-26 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.In that day - That is, in the time when he would inflict this exemplary punishment on them - probably the calamitous times of the Babylonian captivity.

The Lord will take away - By the agents that he shall choose to employ in this work. - The prophet proceeds to specify the various ornaments that composed the female apparel in his time. It is not easy to describe them particularly, nor is it necessary. The "general" meaning of the passage is plain: and it is clear from this, that they greatly abounded in ornaments.

The bravery - This word "we" apply to valor or courage. The word here used, however, meaus "ornament, adorning," or "glory."

Of their tinkling ornaments - This is the same word which is used in Isaiah 3:16, and refers to the chains or clasps with which they ornamented their feet and ankles, and which made a tinkling noise as they walked.

And their cauls - Margin, 'net-works.' The Septuagint is the same. It is commonly supposed to mean "caps of net-work" worn on the head. According to others, the word refers to small "suns" or "spangles" worn on the hair, answering to the following word "moons." 'The caul is a strap, or girdle, about four inches long, which is placed on the top of the head, and which extends to the brow, in a line with the nose. The one I have examined is made of gold, and has many joints; it contains forty-five rubies, and nine pearls, which give it a net-work appearance.' - "Roberts."

Their round tires like the moon - Hebrew "moons." This refers to small ornaments in the shape of crescents, or half-moons, commonly worn on the neck. They were also sometimes worn by men, and even by camels; Judges 8:21 (margin), Judges 8:26. It is probable that these ornaments might originally have had some reference to the moon as an object of worship, but it does not appear that they were so worn by the females of Judea - They are still worn by the females of Arabia. - "Rosenmuller." Roberts says of such ornaments in India, 'The crescent is worn by Parvati and Siva, from whom proceed the lingam, and the principal impurities of the system. No dancing girl is in full dress without her round tires like the moon.' This ornament is still found under the name of "chumarah." 'The chumarah, which signifies moon, is a splendid ornament worn by the women of western Asia in front of their head-dresses. It is usually made of gold, set with precious stones and pearls. They are sometimes made of the crescent form, but the most common are such as the engraving represents. They often have Arabic characters inscribed upon them, and sometimes a sentence from the Koran is used by the Mahometan women of Arabia Felix.'

18. bravery—the finery.

tinkling—(See Isa 3:16).

cauls—network for the head. Or else, from an Arabic root, "little suns," answering to the "tires" or neck-ornaments, "like the moon" (Jud 8:21). The chumarah or crescent is also worn in front of the headdress in West Asia.

Cauls: as for this and the other Hebrew words here following, I judge it unnecessary and improper to trouble the English reader with the differing interpretations given of them by learned men, which the curious may find in my Latin Synopsis. It is agreed by all that they were ornaments used by that people in those times, and made fuel to their lusts. And it is of no concernment to the direction, either of our faith or manners, exactly to understand the nature and differences of them. And therefore I shall take them as they are in our translation.

Round tires like the moon; there were in ancient time, and at this day there are, some jewels or other ornaments worn which carry a manifest resemblance to the moon or half moon. Compare Judges 8:21,26. In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet,.... With which they made a tinkling as they went, Isaiah 3:16 it being about the shoe, and made a noise; or seeing the word used signifies "stocks", and is so rendered Proverbs 7:22, it may design some sort of attire about the feet, as golden chains, as the Talmudists say (t), which being fastened to both, directed their motion in walking, and prevented them taking too large steps: or rather these may intend some ornaments of the feet, used by the eastern nations; which, according to Golius, as related by De Dieu on the place, were plates of gold, one or two fingers broad, and sometimes four, which were put about the ankles of infants of rich families; not to make a tinkling, nor to direct their walk, but for ornament, and to distinguish them from the meaner sort. The Targum renders it, "the ornament of the shoes"; these were put about the place where the shoes were tied; and in the Talmud (u) the word is explained by "shoes"; which the gloss interprets of wooden shoes: the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, are, "the ornament of their clothing"; as if this was the general name for the particulars that follow:

and their cauls: the attire of the head, of network: the word is used in the Misnah (v) for the ornament of cauls; which was, as one of their commentators (w) says, a picture made upon the caul for ornament; it was placed upon the forehead, and reached from ear to ear; and it was made by itself, so that it might be removed, and put upon another caul. Under these cauls they plaited their hair; hence the Septuagint render the word "the plaiting and the curls"; and to the same purpose the Syriac and Arabic versions.

And their round tires like the moon; these were not tires for the head, as our version suggests; much less were they clasps, buckles, or strings for the shoes, in the form of a half moon; such as were the "lunuloe" which the Roman senators had on their feet, to distinguish them from the common people; and were used by Evander and the Arcadians, to show that they sprung from the moon; which custom the noblemen of Rome followed; and some say (x) they put them under their feet, see Revelation 12:1 but these were ornaments wore about the necks, such as those which were found upon the necks of the kings of Midian, and even upon the necks of their camels, Judges 8:21 where the same word is used as here; they were no other than bracelets, necklaces, or golden chains, in the form of the moon; and the word is in the Talmud (y) rendered "chains". See also footnote (z).

(t) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 63. 2. Maimon. in Misn. Sabbat, c. 6. sect. 4. (u) T. Hieros. Sabbat, fol. 8. 2.((v) Misn. Sabbat, c. 28. sect. 10. & Negaim, c. 11. sect. 11. (w) Bartenora in Misn. Sabbat, ib. (x) Vid. Scacch, Sacrer. Eleaochr. Myrothec. 1. c. 49. col. 248. (y) T. Hieros. Sabbat, fol. 8. 2.((z) Vid. Bynaeus de Calceis Heb. l. 1. c. 9.

In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon,
18. tinkling ornaments about their feet] anklets, see on Isaiah 3:16, where the verb “tinkling” is a denominative from this word. cauls … round tires like the moon] Probably the little suns (others, “wreaths”) and the little moons (Jdg 8:21; Jdg 8:26, R.V. “ornaments”). Both articles are said to be still worn by Arab women.

18–23. A long and obscure inventory of articles of feminine attire, occurring “in a profusion which it is difficult to represent” (Cheyne). It is reassuring to be reminded by Dillmann that all these things (21 in number) were not necessarily worn at one time. It should also be noted that many of the ornaments specified were used as charms, as is the case with Eastern ornaments to the present day.Verse 18. - The bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet; rather, of their anklets. Anklets were worn by the Egyptian women from the time of the twelfth dynasty (about B.C. 1900). They were, in general, plain rings of metal, but appear to have been sometimes set with precious stones (see Lepsius, 'Denkmaler,' pt. 2. pls. 128, 129). No bells appear attached to any; but bells were known in Assyria from the time of Sennacherib ('Ancient Monarchies,' vol. 1. p. 417, 2nd edit.). Their cauls; margin, networks. The marginal rendering is probably correct (comp. LXX., ἐμπλόκια). Network caps to contain the hair seem to be intended (so Kimchi, Saadiah, Jarchi, Rosenmüller, Kay). Mr. Cheyne prefers "wreaths worn round the forehead, reaching from one ear to the other." Round tires like the moon; rather, crescents. Flat ornaments in metal, like a young moon, generally worn suspended round the neck (see Judges 8:26, where the same word occurs). "My people, its oppressors are boys, and women rule over it; my people, thy leaders are misleaders, who swallow up the way of thy paths." It is not probable that me‛olel signifies maltreaters or triflers, by the side of the parallel nâshim; moreover, the idea of despotic treatment is already contained in nogesaiv. We expect to find children where there are women. And this is one meaning of me‛olel. It does not mean a suckling, however, as Ewald supposes (160, a), more especially as it occurs in connection with yonek (Jeremiah 44:7; Lamentations 2:11), and therefore cannot have precisely the same meaning; but, like עולל and עולל (the former of which may be contracted from meolēl), it refers to the boy as playful and wanton (Lascivum, protervum). Bttcher renders it correctly, pueri, lusores, though meolēl is not in itself a collective form, as he supposes; but the singular is used collectively, or perhaps better still, the predicate is intended to apply to every individual included in the plural notion of the subject (compare Isaiah 16:8; Isaiah 20:4, and Ges. 146, 4): the oppressors of the people, every one without exception, were (even though advanced in years) mere boys or youths in their mode of thinking and acting, and made all subject to them the football of their capricious humour. Here again the person of the king is allowed to fall into the background. but the female rule, referred to afterwards, points us to the court. And this must really have been the case when Ahaz, a young rake, came to the throne at the age of twenty (according to the lxx twenty-five), possibly towards the close of the reign of Jotham. With the deepest anguish the prophet repeats the expression "my people," as he passes in his address to his people from the rulers to the preachers: for the meassherim or leaders are prophets (Micah 3:5); but what prophets! Instead of leading the people in a straight path, they lead them astray (Isaiah 9:15, cf., 2 Kings 21:9). This they did, as we may gather from the history of this crowd of prophets, either by acting in subservience to the ungodly interests of the court with dynastic or demagogical servility, or by flattering the worst desires of the people. Thus the way of the path of the people, i.e., the highway or road by whose ramifying paths the people were to reach the appointed goal, had been swallowed up by them, i.e., taken away from the sight and feet of the people, so that they could not find it and walk therein (cf., Isaiah 25:7-8, where the verb is used in another connection). What is swallowed up is invisible, has disappeared, without a grace being left behind. The same idea is applied in Job 39:27 to a galloping horse, which is said to swallow the road, inasmuch as it leaves piece after piece behind it in its rapid course. It is stated here with regard to the prophets, that they swallow up the road appointed by Jehovah, as the one in which His people were to walk, just as a criminal swallows a piece of paper which bears witness against him, and so hides it in his own stomach. Thus the way of salvation pointed out by the law was no longer to be either heard of or seen. The prophets, who ought to have preached it, said mum, mum, and kept it swallowed. It had completely perished, as it were, in the erroneous preaching of the false prophets.
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