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2 Kings 9:30

    2 Kings 9:30 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her eyes, and attired her head, and looked out at the window.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And when Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel had news of it; and, painting her eyes and dressing her hair with ornaments, she put her head out of the window.

    Webster's Revision

    And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her eyes, and attired her head, and looked out at the window.

    World English Bible

    When Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her eyes, and attired her head, and looked out at the window.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her eyes, and tired her head, and looked out at the window.

    Clarke's Commentary on 2 Kings 9:30

    She painted her face, and tired her head - She endeavored to improve the appearance of her complexion by paint, and the general effect of her countenance by a tiara or turban head-dress. Jonathan, the Chaldee Targumist, so often quoted, translates this וכחלת בצדידא עינהא vechachalath bitsdida eynaha: "She stained her eyes with stibium or antimony." This is a custom in Astatic countries to the present day. From a late traveler in Persia, I borrow the following account: -

    "The Persians differ as much from us in their notions of beauty as they do in those of taste. A large soft, and languishing black eye, with them constitutes the perfection of beauty. It is chiefly on this account that the women use the powder of antimony, which, although it adds to the vivacity of the eye, throws a kind of voluptuous languor over it, which makes it appear, (if I may use the expression), dissolving in bliss. The Persian women have a curious custom of making their eye-brows meet; and if this charm be denied them, they paint the forehead with a kind of preparation made for that purpose." E. S. Waring's Tour to Sheeraz, 4th., 1807, page 62.

    This casts light enough on Jezebel's painting, etc., and shows sufficiently with what design she did it, to conquer and disarm Jehu, and induce him to take her for wife, as Jarchi supposes. This staining of the eye with stibium and painting was a universal custom, not only in Asiatic countries, but also in all those that bordered on them, or had connections with them. The Prophet Ezekiel mentions the painting of the eyes, Ezekiel 23:40.

    That the Romans painted their eyes we have the most positive evidence. Pliny says, Tanta est decoris affectatio, ut tinguantur oculi quoque. Hist. Nat. lib. xi., cap. 37. "Such is their affection of ornament, that they paint their eyes also." That this painting was with stibium or antimony, is plain from these words of St. Cyprian, De Opere et Eleemosynis, Inunge aculos tuos non stibio diaboli, sed collyrio Christi, "Anoint your eyes, not with the devil's antimony, but with the eye-salve of Christ." Juvenal is plain on the same subject. Men as well as women in Rome practiced it: -

    Ille supercilium madida fuligine tactum

    Obliqua producit acu pingitque trementes

    Attollens oculos.

    Sat. ii., ver. 93.

    "With sooty moisture one his eye-brows dyes,

    And with a bodkin paints his trembling eyes."

    The manner in which the women in Barbary do it Dr. Russel particularly describes: -

    "Upon the principle of strengthening the sight, as well as an ornament, it is become a general practice among the women to black the middle of their eye-lids by applying a powder called ismed. Their method of doing it is by a cylindrical piece of silver, steel, or ivory, about two inches long, made very smooth, and about the size of a common probe. This they wet with water, in order that the powder may stick to it, and applying the middle part horizontally to the eye, they shut the eye-lids upon it, and so drawing it through between them, it blacks the inside, leaving a narrow black rim all round the edge. This is sometimes practiced by the men, but is then regarded as foppish." Russel's Nat. Hist. of Aleppo, page 102. See Parkhurst, sub voc. פך

    Barnes' Notes on 2 Kings 9:30

    Painted her face - literally, "put her eyes in antimony " - i. e., dyed the upper and under eyelids, a common practice in the East, even at the present day. The effect is at once to increase the apparent size of the eye, and to give it unnatural brilliancy. Representations of eyes thus embellished occur on the Assyrian sculptures, and the practice existed among the Jews (marginal reference; and Jeremiah 4:30).

    Tired her head - Dressed (attired) her head, and no doubt put on her royal robes, that she might die as became a queen, in true royal array.

    A window - Rather, "the window." The gate-tower had probably, as many of those in the Assyrian sculptures, one window only.