Isaiah 3:22
The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins,
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(22) The changeable suits of apparel.—Better, state, or festal, dresses. The word is used in Zechariah 3:4, of the high priest’s garments, “gold and blue, and purple, and fine linen” (Exodus 28:6).

The mantles.—Better, tunics. The uppermost of the two garments, commonly richly embroidered.

Wimples.—The obsolete English word describes accurately enough the large shawl, like a Scotch plaid, worn over the tunic, as in the “vail” worn by Ruth (Ruth 4:15).

The crisping pins.—Better, purses (2Kings 5:23), the small embroidered bags, or reticules, attached to the girdles. The girdle itself was used as a purse by men. This was a refinement of female luxury.

Isaiah 3:22-24. The embroidered robes, and the tunics, and the cloaks, and the little purses, Isaiah 3:22. The transparent garments — A kind of silken dress, transparent like gauze; worn only by the most delicate women, and such as dressed themselves, as Sallust observes, “elegantius quam necesse esset probis,” more elegantly than was necessary for modest women. This sort of garments was afterward in use among the Greeks. And the fine linen vests; and the turbans, and the mantles, Isaiah 3:23. And there shall be, instead of perfume, a putrid ulcer — A principal part of the delicacy of the Asiatic ladies consists in the use of baths, and of the richest oils and perfumes; an attention to which is, in some degree, necessary in those hot countries. Frequent mention (as we have seen) is made of the rich ointments of the spouse in the Song of Solomon; and the preparation for Esther’s being introduced to King Ahasuerus was a course of bathing and perfuming for a whole year; six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, Esther 2:12. A diseased and loathsome habit of body, instead of a beautiful skin, softened and made agreeable with all that art could devise, and all that nature, so prodigal, in those countries, of the richest perfumes, could supply, must have been a punishment the most severe and the most mortifying to the delicacy of these haughty daughters of Zion. And, instead of well-girt raiment, rags; and, instead of high- dressed hair, baldness; and, instead of a zone, a girdle of sackcloth: a sun-burnt skin, instead of beauty, Isaiah 3:24.3:16-26 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 articles which are mentioned in the remaining part of this description, are entire articles of apparel; those which had preceded were chiefly single ornaments.

The changeable suits of apparel - The word which is used here in the original comes from a verb signifying "to pull of" as a shoe; to unclothe one's-self; and it here denotes the more "costly" or "valuable" garments, which are not worn on common occasions, and which are "laid aside" in ordinary employments. This does not refer to any "particular" article of dress, but to splendid and costly articles in general. 'The Eastern ladies take great pride in having many changes of apparel, because their fashions never alter. Thus the net brocades worn by their grandmothers are equally fashionable for themselves.' - "Roberts."

And the mantles - From the verb "to cover," or "to clothe." The word "mantle" does not quite express the force of the original. It means the fuller "tunic" which was worn over the common one, with sleeves, and which reached down to the feet. 'A loose robe,' says Roberts, 'which is gracefully crossed on the bosom.'

And the wimples - Our word "wimple" means a "hood," or "veil," but this is not the meaning of the Hebrew word in this place. It means a wide, broad garment, which could be thrown over the whole, and in which the individual usually slept. 'Probably the fine muslin which is sometimes thrown over the head and body.' - "Roberts."

And the crisping-pins - This phrase with us would denote "curling-irons." But the Hebrew here denotes a very different article. It means "money-bags," or "purses." These were often made very large, and were highly ornamented; compare 2 Kings 5:23. Frequently they were attached to the girdle.

22. Here begin entire articles of apparel. Those before were single ornaments.

changeable—from a root, "to put off"; not worn commonly; put on and off on special occasions. So, dress-clothes (Zec 3:4).

mantles—fuller tunics with sleeves, worn over the common one, reaching down to the feet.

wimples—that is, mufflers, or hoods. In Ru 3:15, "veils"; perhaps here, a broad cloak, or shawl, thrown over the head and body.

crisping pins—rather, money bags (2Ki 5:23).

Of silver or gold, either used to curl the hair, or rather fastened and worn in the hair; which custom is not altogether disused at this day. The changeable suits of apparel,.... To put on and off upon occasion; Kimchi says they were beautiful garments, and so they stand opposed to filthy ones, Zechariah 3:3.

and the mantles: or "cloaks", as the Targum; Jarchi translates the word by "bedclothes", or coverings for the bed, such as tapestry, rugs, quilts, &c. which were worked with purple; hence the Septuagint makes use of words to express it by of such a signification:

and the wimples; according to Jarchi, these were "towels" or linen cloths, with which they wiped their hands; but, according to Kimchi, they were "veils" with which women covered themselves; and so the word is rendered in Ruth 3:15 and elsewhere (d) he observes, that some interpret it of "gloves"; some think "aprons" are meant: our English word "wimples" comes from the Dutch word "wimpel", a muffler, or plaited linen cloth, which nuns wear to cover their necks and breasts; the word is also used for a streamer or flag:

and the crisping pins: with which they used to part their hair, and curl their locks, and keep them so: according to Kimchi, they were "purses"; and such made of silk, and wrought with gold and silver, may very well be reckoned among the ornaments of women; and the word is rendered "bags" in 2 Kings 5:23 some think needle cases are meant; the word by which the Targum explains it seems to design "hooks" or "clasps", with which women clasped their garments, that they might be kept close about them.

(d) In Sepher Shorash. rad.

The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins,
22. The festal garments (Zechariah 3:4) and the tunics and the shawls (Ruth 3:15) and the purses (2 Kings 5:23).Verse 22. - The changeable suite of apparel; rather, the festival robes (Revised Version), or the full-dress suits; i.e. those worn upon grand occasions, and then put off and set aside. The mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping-pins; rather, the upper petticoats, the wraps, and the purses. An inner and an outer tunic or petticoat were commonly worn by females of the higher class in the East. The inner tunic was a simple linen vest; but the outer was generally of a better material, and richly ornamented. Outside this, a sort of wrap, or cloak, was worn occasionally (see Ruth 3:15). Purses were, no doubt, carried by wealthy persons of both sexes; but their mention in this list does not seem very appropriate. Perhaps toilet-bags of some kind or other are intended (see 2 Kings 5:23). But notwithstanding the dramatic vividness with which the prophet pictures to himself this scene of judgment, he is obliged to break off at the very beginning of his description, because another word of Jehovah comes upon him. This applies to the women of Jerusalem, whose authority, at the time when Isaiah prophesied, was no less influential than that of their husbands who had forgotten their calling. "Jehovah hath spoken: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk about with extended throat, and blinking with the eyes, walk about with tripping gait, and tinkle with their foot-ornaments: the Lord of all makes the crown of the daughters of Zion scabbed, and Jehovah will uncover their shame." Their inward pride (gâbah, as in Ezekiel 16:50; cf., Zephaniah 3:11) shows itself outwardly. They walk with extended throat, i.e., bending the neck back, trying to make themselves taller than they are, because they think themselves so great. The Keri substitutes the more usual form, נטוּית; but Isaiah in all probability intentionally made use of the rarer and ruder form netuvoth, since such a form really existed (1 Samuel 25:18), as well as the singular nâtu for nâtui (Job 15:22; Job 41:25 : Ges. 75, Anm. 5). They also went winking the eyes (mesakkeroth, for which we frequently find the erratum mesakkeroth), i.e., casting voluptuous and amatory glances with affected innocence (νεύματα ὀφθαλμῶν, lxx). "Winking:" sâkar is not used in the sense of fucare (Targ. b. Sabbath 62b, Jome 9b, Luther) - which is all the more inappropriate, because blackening the eyelids with powder of antimony was regarded in the East of the Old Testament as indispensable to female beauty - but in the sense of nictare (lxx, Vulg., Syr., syn. remaz, cf., sekar, Syr. to squint; Targ. equals shâzaph, Job 20:9). Compare also the talmudic saying: God did not create woman out of Adam's ear, that she might be no eavesdropper (tsaithânith), nor out of Adam's eyes, that she might be no winker (sakrânith).

(Note: Also b. Sota 47b: "Since women have multiplied with extended necks and winking eyes, the number of cases has also multiplied in which it has been necessary to resort to the curse water (Numbers 5:18)." In fact, this increased to such an extent, that Johanan ben Zakkai, the pupil of Hillel, abolished the ordeal (divine-verdict) of the Sota (the woman suspected of adultery) altogether. The people of his time were altogether an adulterous generation.)

The third was, that they walked incedendo et trepidando. The second inf. abs. is in this case, as in most others, the one which gives the distinct tone, whilst the other serves to keep before the eye the occurrence indicated in its finite verb (Ges. 131, 3). They walk about tripping (tâphop, a wide-spread onomato-poetic word), i.e., taking short steps, just putting the heel of one foot against the toe of the other (as the Talmud explains it). Luther renders it, "they walk along and waggle" (schwnzen, i.e., Clunibus agitatis). The rendering is suitable, but incorrect. They could only take short steps, because of the chains by which the costly foot-rings (achâsim ) worn above their ankles were connected together. These chains, which were probably ornamented with bells, as is sometimes the case now in the East, they used to tinkle as they walked: they made an ankle-tinkling with their feet, setting their feet down in such a manner that these ankle-rings knocked against each other. The writing beraglēhem (masc.) for beraglēhen (fem.) is probably not an unintentional synallage gen.: they were not modest virgines, but cold, masculine viragines, so that they themselves were a synallage generis. Nevertheless they tripped along. Tripping is a child's step. Nevertheless they tripped along. Tripping is a child's step. Although well versed in sin and old in years, the women of Jerusalem tried to maintain a youthful, childlike appearance. They therefore tripped along with short, childish steps. The women of the Mohammedan East still take pleasure in such coquettish tinklings, although they are forbidden by the Koran, just as the women of Jerusalem did in the days of Isaiah. The attractive influence of natural charms, especially when heightened by luxurious art, is very great; but the prophet is blind to all this splendour, and seeing nothing but the corruption within, foretells to these rich and distinguished women a foul and by no means aesthetic fate. The Sovereign Ruler of all would smite the crown of their head, from which long hair was now flowing, with scab (v'sippach, a progressive preterite with Vav apodosis, a denom. verb from sappachath, the scurf which adheres to the skin: see at Habakkuk 2:15); and Jehovah would uncover their nakedness, by giving them up to violation and abuse at the hands of coarse and barbarous foes - the greatest possible disgrace in the eyes of a woman, who covers herself as carefully as she can in the presence of any stranger (Isaiah 47:3; Nahum 3:5; Jeremiah 13:22; Ezekiel 16:37).

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