Isaiah 3:21
Parallel Verses
New International Version
the signet rings and nose rings,

King James Bible
The rings, and nose jewels,

Darby Bible Translation
the finger-rings, and the nose-rings;

World English Bible
the signet rings, the nose rings,

Young's Literal Translation
Of the seals, and of the nose-rings,

Isaiah 3:21 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Nose-jewels "The jewels of the nostril" - נזמי האף nizmey haaph. Schroederus explains this, as many others do, of jewels, or strings of pearl hanging from the forehead, and reaching to the upper part of the nose; than which nothing can be more ridiculous, as such are seldom seen on an Asiatic face. But it appears from many passages of Holy Scripture that the phrase is to be literally and properly understood of nose-jewels, rings set with jewels hanging from the nostrils, as ear-rings from the ears, by holes bored to receive them.

Ezekiel, enumerating the common ornaments of women of the first rank, has not omitted this particular, and is to be understood in the same manner, Ezekiel 16:11, Ezekiel 16:12. See also Genesis 24:47 : -

"And I decked thee with ornaments;

And I put bracelets upon thine hands,

And a chain on thy neck:

And I put a jewel on thy nose,

And ear-rings on thine ears,

And a splendid crown upon thine head."

And in an elegant proverb of Solomon, Proverbs 11:22, there is a manifest allusion to this kind of ornament, which shows it to have been used in his time: -

"As a jewel of gold in the snout of a swine;

So is a woman beautiful, but wanting discretion."

This fashion, however strange it may appear to us, was formerly and is still common in many parts of the East, among women of all ranks. Paul Lucas, speaking of a village or clan of wandering people, a little on this side of the Euphrates, says, (2d Voyage du Levant, tom. i., art. 24), "The women, almost all of them, travel on foot; I saw none handsome among them. They have almost all of them the nose bored; and wear in it a great ring, which makes them still more deformed." But in regard to this custom, better authority cannot be produced than that of Pietro della Valle, in the account which he gives of the lady before mentioned, Signora Maani Gioerida, his own wife. The description of her dress, as to the ornamental parts of it, with which he introduces the mention of this particular, will give us some notion of the taste of the Eastern ladies for finery. "The ornaments of gold and of jewels for the head, for the neck, for the arms, for the legs, and for the feet (for they wear rings even on their toes) are indeed, unlike those of the Turks, carried to great excess, but not of great value: for in Bagdad jewels of high price are either not to be had, or are not used; and they wear such only as are of little value, as turquoises, small rubies, emeralds, carbuncles, garnets, pearls, and the like. My spouse dresses herself with all of them according to their fashion; with exception, however, of certain ugly rings of very large size, set with jewels, which, in truth, very absurdly, it is the custom to wear fastened to one of their nostrils, like buffaloes: an ancient custom, however, in the East, which, as we find in the Holy Scriptures, prevailed among the Hebrew ladies even in the time of Solomon, Proverbs 11:22. These nose-rings, in complaisance to me, she has left off, but I have not yet been able to prevail with her cousin and her sisters to do the same; so fond are they of an old custom, be it ever so absurd, who have been long habituated to it." Viaggi, Tom. i., Let. 17.

It is the left nostril that is bored and ornamented with rings and jewels. More than one hundred drawings from life of Eastern ladies lie now before me, and scarcely one is without the nose-jewel: both the arms and wrists are covered with bracelets, arm-circles, etc., as also their legs and feet; the soles of their feet and palms of their hands coloured beautifully red with henna, and their hair plaited and ornamented superbly. These beautiful drawings are a fine comment on this chapter.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

rings

Genesis 41:42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it on Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in clothing of fine linen...

Esther 8:12 On one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.

Songs 5:14 His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.

Luke 15:22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

James 2:2 For if there come to your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;

nose jewels

Genesis 24:47 And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter are you? And she said, the daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bore to him...

1 Timothy 2:9,10 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with modesty and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold...

1 Peter 3:3,4 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel...

Library
A Paradox of Selling and Buying
'Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money.'--ISAIAH iii. 3. THE first reference of these words is of course to the Captivity. They come in the midst of a grand prophecy of freedom, all full of leaping gladness and buoyant hope. The Seer speaks to the captives; they had 'sold themselves for nought.' What had they gained by their departure from God?--bondage. What had they won in exchange for their freedom?-- only the hard service of Babylon. As Deuteronomy puts it:
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Personal History of Herod - the Two Worlds in Jerusalem.
It is an intensely painful history, [581] in the course of which Herod made his way to the throne. We look back nearly two and a half centuries to where, with the empire of Alexander, Palestine fell to his successors. For nearly a century and a half it continued the battle-field of the Egyptian and Syrian kings (the Ptolemies and the Seleucidæ). At last it was a corrupt High-Priesthood - with which virtually the government of the land had all along lain - that betrayed Israel's precious trust.
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

"All Our Righteousnesses are as Filthy Rags, and we all do Fade as a Leaf, and Our Iniquities, Like the Wind, have Taken us Away. "
Isaiah lxiv. 6, 7.--"All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, and we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." Not only are the direct breaches of the command uncleanness, and men originally and actually unclean, but even our holy actions, our commanded duties. Take a man's civility, religion, and all his universal inherent righteousness,--all are filthy rags. And here the church confesseth nothing but what God accuseth her of, Isa. lxvi. 8, and chap. i. ver.
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

"Thou Shalt Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother. "
From this Commandment we learn that after the excellent works of the first three Commandments there are no better works than to obey and serve all those who are set over us as superiors. For this reason also disobedience is a greater sin than murder, unchastity, theft and dishonesty, and all that these may include. For we can in no better way learn how to distinguish between greater and lesser sins than by noting the order of the Commandments of God, although there are distinctions also within the
Dr. Martin Luther—A Treatise on Good Works

Cross References
Genesis 24:47
"I asked her, 'Whose daughter are you?' "She said, 'The daughter of Bethuel son of Nahor, whom Milkah bore to him.' "Then I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms,

Exodus 35:22
All who were willing, men and women alike, came and brought gold jewelry of all kinds: brooches, earrings, rings and ornaments. They all presented their gold as a wave offering to the LORD.

Isaiah 3:22
the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses

Ezekiel 16:12
and I put a ring on your nose, earrings on your ears and a beautiful crown on your head.

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