|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 23. - The glasses; rather, the mirrors. In ancient times these were not made of glass, but of some metal which took a high polish. Most commonly, the material seems to have been bronze. Many such mirrors have been found in Egypt, a few in Assyria, in Etruria a considerable number. They are of small size, intended to be carried in the hand, and have for that purpose a metal or a wooden handle, which is sometimes highly artistic. The fine linen; rather, the muslin robes. Sedin, the Hebrew word used, is probably a corruption or analogue of sin-don, the Greek name for Indian fabrics. It is only used here and in Judges 14:12, 13; Proverbs 31:24. The hoods, and the vails; or, the turbans and the scarfs. The word translated" hood" is nearly the same as that which designates the head-dress of the high priest in Exodus (Exodus 28:4, 37, 39; Exodus 29:6, etc.) and Leviticus (Leviticus 8:9; Leviticus 16:4), which seems to have been a "turban" (see note on Exodus 28:4). The other word, here translated "vail," occurs only in this place and Song of Solomon 5:7. Its exact meaning is uncertain; but it can scarcely be a veil; since "veils" have been already mentioned (ver. 19).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The glasses,.... Looking glasses, by which they dressed themselves, see Exodus 38:8 and so Kimchi explains the word; but elsewhere (e) he says it signifies thin garments, so called because the flesh is seen through them, being so exceeding thin; which sense is favoured by the Septuagint version, which renders it by garments which the Lacedemonians wore, which were so thin and transparent, that the naked body might be seen through them:
and the fine linen; of which several of their garments and ornaments were made, and particularly their veils, with which they veiled themselves, as Jarchi observes:
and the hoods; the word is used for a diadem and mitre, Isaiah 62:3 the Targum renders it "crowns"; and such the Jewish women wore; see Gill on Isaiah 3:20 and particularly newly married women (f):
and the veils; so the word is rendered in Sol 5:7 with which women covered their heads, either through modesty, or as a token of subjection to their husbands, see Genesis 24:65 but, according to the Targum and Kimchi, these were thin garments which women wore in summertime; Jarchi says they are the same which the French call "fermelan", and are of gold, which they put about the cloak the woman is covered with; perhaps they were a sort of umbrellas, to keep off the heat of the sun.
(e) Ib. (In Sepher Shorash.) rad. (f) Misn. Sota, c. 9. sect. 14.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
23. glasses—mirrors of polished metal (Ex 38:8). But the Septuagint, a transparent, gauze-like, garment.
hoods—miters, or diadems (Isa 62:3; Zec 3:5).
veils—large enough to cover the head and person. Distinct from the smaller veils ("mufflers") above (Ge 24:65). Token of woman's subjection (1Co 11:10).
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