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). Isaiah 3:18The prophet then proceeds to describe still further how the Lord would take away the whole of their toilet as plunder. "On that day the Lord will put away the show of the ankle-clasps, and of the head-bands, and of the crescents; the ear-rings, and the arm-chains, and the light veils; the diadems, and the stepping-chains, and the girdles, and the smelling-bottles, and the amulets; the finger-rings, and the nose-rings; the gala-dresses, and the sleeve-frocks, and the wrappers, and the pockets; the hand-mirrors, and the Sindu-cloths, and the turbans, and the gauze mantles." The fullest explanation of all these articles of female attire is to be found in N. W. Schrder's work, entitled Commentarius de vestitu mulierum Hebraearum ad Jes. Isaiah 3:16-24, Ludg. Batav 1745 (a quarto volume), and in that of Ant. Theod. Hartmann, consisting of three octavo volumes, and entitled Die Hebrerin am Putztische und als Braut (The Jewess at the Toilet-table, and as Bride, 1809-10); to which we may also add, Saalschtz, Archaeologie, chapter iii., where he treats of the dresses of men and women. It was not usually Isaiah's custom to enter into such minute particulars. Of all the prophets, Ezekiel was the one most addicted to this, as we may see, for example, from Ezekiel 16. And even in other prophecies against the women we find nothing of the kind again (Isaiah 32:9.; Amos 4:1.). But in this instance, the enumeration of the female ornaments is connected with that of the state props in Isaiah 3:1-3, and that of the lofty and exalted in Isaiah 2:13-16, so as to form a trilogy, and has its own special explanation in that boundless love of ornament which had become prevalent in the time of Uzziah-Jotham. It was the prophet's intention to produce a ludicrous, but yet serious impression, as to the immeasurable luxury which really existed; and in the prophetic address, his design throughout is to bring out the glaring contrast between the titanic, massive, worldly glory, in all its varied forms, and that true, spiritual, and majestically simple glory, whose reality is manifested from within outwards. In fact, the theme of the whole address is the way of universal judgment leading on from the false glory to the true. The general idea of tiphereth (show: rendered "bravery" in Eng. ver.) which stands at the head and includes the whole, points to the contrast presented by a totally different tiphereth which follows in Isaiah 4:2. In explaining each particular word, we must be content with what is most necessary, and comparatively the most certain. "Ankle-clasps" (acâsim): these were rings of gold, silver, or ivory, worn round the ankles; hence the denom. verb (icces) in Isaiah 3:16, to make a tinkling sound with these rings. "Head-bands," or "frontlets" (shebisim, from shâbas equals shâbatz: plectere), were plaited bands of gold or silver thread worn below the hair-net, and reaching from one ear to the other. There is some force, however, in the explanation which has been very commonly adopted since the time of Schrder, namely, that they were sun-like balls ( equals shemisim), which were worn as ornaments round the neck, from the Arabic ‛sumeisa (‛subeisa), a little sun. The "crescents" (saharonim) were little pendants of this kind, fastened round the neck and hanging down upon the breast (in Judges 8:21 we meet with them as ornaments hung round the camels' necks). Such ornaments are still worn by Arabian girls, who generally have several different kinds of them; the hilâl, or new moon, being a symbol of increasing good fortune, and as such the most approved charm against the evil eye. "Ear-rings" (netiphoth, ear-drops): we meet with these in Judges 8:26, as an ornament worn by Midianitish kings. Hence the Arabic munattafe, a woman adorned with ear-rings. "Arm-chains:" sheroth, from shâra, to twist. According to the Targum, these were chains worn upon the arm, or spangles upon the wrist, answering to the spangles upon the ankles. "Fluttering veils" (re'âloth, from râ'al, to hang loose): these were more expensive than the ordinary veils worn by girls, which were called tza'iph.

"Diadems" (pe'erim) are only mentioned in other parts of the Scriptures as being worn by men (e.g., by priests, bride-grooms, or persons of high rank). "Stepping-chains:" tze'âdoth, from tze'âdah, a step; hence the chain worn to shorten and give elegance to the step. "Girdles:" kisshurim, from kâshar (Cingere), dress girdles, such as were worn by brides upon their wedding-day (compare Jeremiah 2:32 with Isaiah 49:18); the word is erroneously rendered hair-pins (kalmasmezayyah) in the Targum. "Smelling-bottles:" botte hannephesh, holders of scent (nephesh, the breath of an aroma). "Amulets:" lechashim (from lâchash, to work by incantations), gems or metal plates with an inscription upon them, which were worn as a protection as well as an ornament. "Finger-rings:" tabbâ'oth, from tâba, to impress or seal, signet-rings worn upon the finger, corresponding to the Chothâm worn by men upon the breast suspended by a cord. "Nose-rings" (nizmê hâaph) were fastened in the central division of the nose, and hung down over the mouth: they have been ornaments in common use in the East from the time of the patriarchs (Genesis 24:22) down to the present day. "Gala-dresses" (machalâtsoth) are dresses not usually worn, but taken off when at home. "Sleeve-frocks" (ma'atâphâh): the second tunic, worn above the ordinary one, the Roman stola. "Wrappers" (mitpâchoth, from tâphach, expandere), broad cloths wrapped round the body, such as Ruth wore when she crept in to Boaz in her best attire (Ruth 3:15). "Pockets" (Charitim) were for holding money (2 Kings 5:23), which was generally carried by men in the girdle, or in a purse (Cis). "Hand-mirrors" (gilyonim): the Septuagint renders this διαφανῆ λακωνικὰ, sc. ἱμάτια, Lacedaemonian gauze or transparent dresses, which showed the nakedness rather than concealed it (from gâlâh, retegere); but the better rendering is mirrors with handles, polished metal plates (from gâlâh, polire), as gillâyon is used elsewhere to signify a smooth table. "Sindu-cloths" (sedinim), veils or coverings of the finest linen, viz., of Sindu or Hindu cloth (σινδόνες) - Sindu, the land of Indus, being the earlier name of India.

(Note: The Mishna (Kelim xxiv 13) mentions three different sedinin: night dresses, curtains, and embroidery. The sindon is frequently referred to as a covering wrapped round the person; and in b. Menachoth 41a, it is stated that the sindom is the summer dress, the sarbal (cloak) the winter dress, which may help to explain Mark 14:51-52.)

"Turbans" (tseniphoth, from tsânaph, Convolvere), the head-dress composed of twisted cloths of different colours. "Gauze mantles" (redidim, from râdad, extendere, tenuem facere), delicate veil-like mantles thrown over the rest of the clothes. Stockings and handkerchiefs are not mentioned: the former were first introduced into Hither Asia from Media long after Isaiah's time, and a Jerusalem lady no more thought of suing the latter than a Grecian or Roman lady did. Even the veil (burko) now commonly worn, which conceals the whole of the face with the exception of the eyes, did not form part of the attire of an Israelitish woman in the olden time.

(Note: Rashi, however, makes a different statement (Sabbath 65a), viz., that "Israelitish women in Arabia go out with veils which conceal the face, and those in Media with their mantles fastened about the mouth.")

The prophet enumerates twenty-one different ornaments: three sevens of a very bad kind, especially for the husbands of these state-dolls. There is no particular order observed in the enumeration, either from head to foot, or from the inner to the outer clothing; but they are arranged as much ad libitum as the dress itself.

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