Isaiah 47:2
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"Take the millstones and grind meal. Remove your veil, strip off the skirt, Uncover the leg, cross the rivers.

King James Bible
Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers.

Darby Bible Translation
Take the millstones, and grind meal; remove thy veil, lift up the train, uncover the leg, pass over rivers:

World English Bible
Take the millstones, and grind meal; remove your veil, strip off the train, uncover the leg, pass through the rivers.

Young's Literal Translation
Take millstones, and grind flour, Remove thy veil, draw up the skirt, Uncover the leg, pass over the floods.

Isaiah 47:2 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Take the millstones, and grind meal - The design of this is plain. Babylon, that had been regarded as a delicately-trained female, was to be reduced to the lowest condition of poverty and wretchedness - represented here by being compelled to perform the most menial and laborious offices, and submitting to the deepest disgrace and ignominy. There is an allusion here to the custom of grinding in the East. The mills which were there commonly used, and which are also extensively used to this day, consisted of two stones, of which the lower one was convex on the upper side, and the upper one was concave on thee lower side, so that they fitted into each other. The hole for receiving the grain was in the center of the upper stone, and in the process of grinding the lower one was fixed, and the upper one was turned round, usually by two women (see Matthew 24:41), with considerable velocity by means of a handle. Watermills were not invented until a little before the time of Augustus Caesar; and windmills long after. The custom of using handmills is the primitive custom everywhere, and they are still in use in some parts of Scotland, and generally in the East. (See Mr. Pennant's "Tour to the Hebrides," and the Oriental travelers generally. Grinding was usually performed by the women, though it was often regarded as the work of slaves. It was often inflicted on slaves as a punishment.

Molendum in pistrino; vapulandum; habendae compedes.

Terent. Phormio ii. 1. 19.

In the East it was the usual work of female slaves see (Exodus 11:5, in the Septuagint) 'Women alone are employed to grind their corn.' (Shaw, "Algiers and Tunis," p. 297) 'They are the female slaves that are generally employed in the East at those handmills. It is extremely laborious, and esteemed the lowest employment in the house.' (Sir John Chardin, Harmer's Obs. i. 153) Compare Lowth, and Gesen. "Commentary uber Isaiah." This idea of its being a low employment is expressed by Job 31:10 : 'Let my wife grind unto another.' The idea of its being a most humble and laborious employment was long since exhibited by Homer:

A woman next, then laboring at the mill,

Hard by, where all his numerous mills he kept.

Gave him the sign propitious from within.

twelve damsels toiled to turn them, day by day

Meal grinding, some of barley, some of wheat,

Marrow of man The rest (their portion ground)

All slept, one only from her task as yet

Ceased not, for she was feeblest of them all;

She rested on her mill, and thus pronounced:

'Jove, Father, Governor, of heaven and earth!


Isaiah 47:2 Parallel Commentaries

The Iranian Conquest
Drawn by Boudier, from the engraving in Coste and Flandin. The vignette, drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a statuette in terra-cotta, found in Southern Russia, represents a young Scythian. The Iranian religions--Cyrus in Lydia and at Babylon: Cambyses in Egypt --Darius and the organisation of the empire. The Median empire is the least known of all those which held sway for a time over the destinies of a portion of Western Asia. The reason of this is not to be ascribed to the shortness of its duration:
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 9

Cross References
Matthew 24:41
"Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.

1 Corinthians 11:5
But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved.

Genesis 24:65
She said to the servant, "Who is that man walking in the field to meet us?" And the servant said, "He is my master." Then she took her veil and covered herself.

Exodus 11:5
and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; all the firstborn of the cattle as well.

Job 31:10
May my wife grind for another, And let others kneel down over her.

Ecclesiastes 12:4
and the doors on the street are shut as the sound of the grinding mill is low, and one will arise at the sound of the bird, and all the daughters of song will sing softly.

Isaiah 3:23
hand mirrors, undergarments, turbans and veils.

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