The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The chains.—Better, as in Judges 8:26, where they are also ornaments of Midianite kings, earrings. These and the “bracelets “were probably of gold. The “mufflers” were the long flowing veil, or mantilla, worn so as to cover the head, as now in Spain, or Egypt, or Turkey.
And the bracelets - For the wrists. The Chaldee translates it, 'bracelets for the hands.' These ornaments were very ancient; see Genesis 24:22; Numbers 31:50. - Mahomet promises to those who shall follow him, gold and silver bracelets. 'The bracelets are large ornaments for the wrists, in which are sometimes enclosed small bells.' - "Roberts."
Mufflers - Margin, "spangled ornaments." The word used here is derived from a verb, "to tremble, to shake" - רעל râ‛al - and the name is given to the ornament, whatever it was, probably from its "tremulous" motion. Perhaps it means a "light, thin veil;" or possibly, as in the margin, spangled ornaments, producing a tremulous, changing aspect. In Zechariah 7:2, the word is used to denote 'trembling' - giddiness, or intoxication. It was early customary, and is still common in Oriental countries, for the females to wear veils. No female ventures abroad without her veil. That which is supposed to be intended here, is described by the Arabian scholiast Safieri, quoted by Gesenius. It is drawn tight over the upper part of the head, but the part around the eyes is open, and a space left to see through, and the lower part is left loose and flowing, and thus produces the "tremulous" appearance indicated in this place; see the notes and illustrations at Isaiah 3:24.
mufflers—veils covering the face, with apertures for the eyes, close above and loosely flowing below. The word radically means "tremulous," referring to the changing effect of the spangles on the veil.Judges 8:26 these were drop bottles, or vessels of gold, in which were put stacte or balsam; and the former says here, they were such in which balsam was put, and women hung about their necks; though, he observes, some interpret them of chains, which were made of small stones of bdellium; hence pure bdellium is called in the Arabic tongue and so Jarchi renders the word "chains"; and they are called by this name, because they hang about the neck, and drop upon the breast, and are in the form of precious stones, bored and strung:
and the bracelets; hand bracelets, according to the Targum; such as Abraham's servant gave to Rebekah, Genesis 24:22,
and the mufflers; these were veils which covered the whole face, excepting the eyes, the same that we call masks: it is said (a) of the Arabian women, that they went out that is, as Bartenora explains it, they were veiled about the head, so that the whole face was covered, excepting their eyes; though Maimonides interprets them of little bells, which the Arabian women went out with; the Targum here explains the word by "women's veils"; though some think only the "spangles" which were on them are meant, so called from their trembling and shaking motion.The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)19. The ear-drops (Jdg 8:26, R.V. “collars”) and the arm-chains and the veils—the last (the Arabian ra‘l) is in two parts, one thrown back over the head from above the eyes, the other hanging down over the face.Verse 19. - The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers; rather, the ear-drops, and the armlets, and the veils. Earrings were worn from very ancient times by both the Assyrians and the Egyptians. The ring had frequently a pendant hanging from it. Men wore armlets in Assyria, and both men and women in Egypt (Lepsius, 'Denktamer,' pt. 3. pl. 1). Veils have always been regarded in the East as almost a necessary part of female attire. Isaiah 2:19, Isaiah 2:21; Isaiah 33:10); and when He assumes the judgment-seat in the sight of all the world, this is called "sitting down" (yashab, Psalm 9:5, Joel 3:12); when, having come down from heaven (Micah 1:2.), He comes forward as accuser, this is called "standing" (nizzab or amad, Psalm 82:1 : amad is coming forward and standing, as the opposite of sitting; nizzab, standing, with the subordinate idea of being firm, resolute, ready). This pleading (ribh, Jeremiah 25:31) is also judging (din), because His accusation, which is incontrovertible, contains the sentence in itself; and His sentence, which executes itself irresistibly, is of itself the infliction of punishment. Thus does he stand in the midst of the nations at once accuser, judge, and executioner (Psalm 7:8). But among the nations it is more especially against Israel that He contends; and in Israel it is more especially against the leaders of the poor misguided and neglected people that He sets Himself.
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