Isaiah 3:19
The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers,
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(19) 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.

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.The chains - Margin, "sweet balls." The word used here is derived from the verb נטף nâṭaph, to drop, to fall in drops, or to distil," as juice from a plant. Hence, it means that which "resembles drops" - as pearls, or precious stones, used as ornaments for the neck or ears. We retain a similar word as applicable to the ornaments of the ears, by calling them "drops." The Chaldee renders this "chains," and so also the Vulgate. The Septuagint understands it of a "hanging" or "pendant" ornament - and this is its undoubted meaning - an ornament pendant like gum distilling from a plant. 'These consist, first, of one most beautifully worked, with a pendant ornament for the neck; there is also a profusion of others which go round the same part, and rest on the bosom. In making curious chains, the goldsmiths of England do not surpass those of the East.' - "Roberts."

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.

19. chains—rather, pendants, hanging about the neck, and dropping on the breast.

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.

No text from Poole on this verse. The chains,.... According to Kimchi and R. Levi ben Gersom on 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.

(a) Misn. Sabbat, c. 6. sect. 6.

The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers,
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. This was how it stood. There was but little to be expected from the exhortations of the prophet; so that he had to come back again and again to the proclamation of judgment. The judgment of the world comes again before his mind. - "Jehovah has appeared to plead, and stands up to judge the nations." When Jehovah, weary with His long-suffering, rises up from His heavenly throne, this is described as "standing up" (kum, 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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