|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:1-58 In this chapter God's dealings with the Jewish nation, and their conduct towards him, are described, and their punishment through the surrounding nations, even those they most trusted in. This is done under the parable of an exposed infant rescued from death, educated, espoused, and richly provided for, but afterwards guilty of the most abandoned conduct, and punished for it; yet at last received into favour, and ashamed of her base conduct. We are not to judge of these expressions by modern ideas, but by those of the times and places in which they were used, where many of them would not sound as they do to us. The design was to raise hatred to idolatry, and such a parable was well suited for that purpose.
Verse 12. - A jewel on thy forehead; better, with the Revised Version, a ring upon thy nose. The word has the same meaning in Genesis 24:47 ("earring" in the Authorized Version); Isaiah 3:21 (where the Authorized Version gives "nose jewels"); Proverbs 11:22. Jerome, however, notes (in loc.) that the Syrian women of his time wore pendants or lockets that hung from the forehead to the nostrils. The crown, or diadem (LXX., στέφανος καυχήσεως), the thin circlet of gold confining the hair, completed the catalogue of ornaments. The Chaldee Targum continues its spiritual interpretation: "I gave the ark of my covenant to be among you, and the cloud of my glory overshadowed you, and the angel of my presence led you in the way." And, if we assume, as we legitimately may assume, that Ezekiel, above all others, the prophet of symbolism, did not fill up his picture with details which were only meant to fill it up, this seems a not unfitting interpretation.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And I put a jewel on thy forehead,.... The same with the nose jewel, which was hung upon the forehead, and reached down to the nose and mouth; and, however disagreeable it may seem to us, was reckoned very ornamental in the eastern countries, Isaiah 3:21; and where now, as in Persia, as well as in all the Levant, the women put rings through their noses, which they pierce with needles, as Monsieur Thevenot (z) relates; so Dr. Shaw (a) says that nose jewels are used still by the Levant Arabs. The Targum applies it to the ark, thus,
"and I put the ark of my covenant among you;''
but may be better applied a public profession of religion, which every good man ought to make, and take up from principles of grace received; this is bearing the name of Christ and the name of his Father in their foreheads; which is very ornamental to the believer, and well pleasing to Christ, Romans 10:9;
and earrings in thine ears. The Targum is,
"and the clouds of my glory overshadowed you;''
but it may be better interpreted of the spiritual ears God gives his people in conversion; by which they hear his word, so as to understand it; hear the voice of Christ, so as to distinguish it from the voice of a stranger; and hear his Gospel, so as to believe and receive it, approve of it, and love it, and act in conformity to it:
and a beautiful crown upon thine head. The Targum paraphrases it thus,
"and an angel, sent from before me, led at the head of you:''
referring to Exodus 23:20; with which Jarchi compares Micah 2:13 but may be better illustrated by the beautiful crown of twelve stars, the doctrine of the twelve apostles of Christ, said to he upon the head of the church; and is upon the head of every believer that holds the mystery of the faith in pure conscience; that holds fast the faithful word, and will not let it go, that so no man may take away his crown, Revelation 12:1.
(z) Travels, par. 2. B. 2. c. 9. p. 94. (a) Travels, p. 241. Ed. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
12. jewel on thy forehead—rather, "a ring in thy nose" (Isa 3:21).
a crown—at once the badge of a bride, and of her being made a queen, as being consort of the King; the very name Israel meaning "a prince of God." So they are called "a kingdom of priests" (Ex 19:6; compare Re 1:6). Though the external blessings bestowed on Israel were great, yet not these, but the internal and spiritual, form the main reference in the kingly marriage to which Israel was advanced.
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