Moreover the LORD said, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes…
The habits and the morale in general of the court and the aristocracy are a sure index of the state of the nation. Fashion guides, but is in a measure controlled by the general opinion. Wanton pride and luxury in high places bespeak a general want of moral tone.
I. THEIR PRIDE. The picture is minute and scathingly satirical. The daughters of Zion walk with "necks held up."
II. THEIR LASCIVIOUSNESS. The "rolling eyes" are often mentioned as characteristic of Aphrodite or Ashtoreth, the unchaste goddess of sensual love.
III. THEIR FINERY AND LUXURY. A complete catalogue of articles of personal adornment is given. The instinct for dress and decoration, so strong in women and so graceful if followed with moderation, easily passes beyond the bounds, and becomes an offence and vice.
IV. THE REVERSE OF THE PICTURE. The perfumes will be exchanged for a stench, the waistband for the rough cord of poverty, the abundance of flowing hair will be replaced by repulsive baldness. "A brand instead of beauty!" Their husbands will fall in the war. There will be melancholy groups gathering at the public place, the gates; and in vain will they, once lapped in luxury, seek the protection and the honor of the marriage state (cf. 1 Corinthians 7:36). One of our poets has called up the picture of Venice and her women in old days of mirth and folly, which may be compared.
"As for Venice and her people, merely born to bloom and drop,
Here on earth they bore their fruitage - mirth and folly were the crop.
What of soul was left, I wonder, when the kissing had to stop?
Dust and ashes!" Only the "sweet and virtuous soul" can give to woman an immortal charm, and ensure her from corrupting and being corrupted. - J.
Parallel VersesKJV: Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: