on Isaiah 3 :18
Ornaments about their feet "The ornaments of the feet rings" - The late learned Dr. Hunt, professor of Hebrew and Arabic in the University of Oxford, has very well explained the word עכס both verb and noun, in his very ingenious Dissertation on Prov, Isaiah 7:22, Isaiah 7:23. The verb means to skip, to bound, to dance along, and the noun, those ornaments of the feet which the Eastern ladies wore; chains or rings, which made a tinkling sound as they moved nimbly in walking. Eugene Roger, Description de la Terre Sainte, 54:2 Chronicles 2, speaking of the Arabian women, of the first rank in Palestine, says,"Au lieu de brasselets elles ont de menottes d'argent, qu'elles portent aux poignets et aux pieds; ou sont attachez quantite de petits annelets d'argent, qui font un cliquetis comme d'une cymbale, lorsqu'elles cheminent ou se mouvent quelque peu." See Dr. Hunt's Dissertation; where he produces other testimonies to the same purpose from authors of travels. Hindoo women of ill fame wear loose ornaments one above another on their ankles, which at every motion make a tinkling noise. See Ward.
And their cauls "the net-works" - I am obliged to differ from the learned Schroederus almost at first setting out. He renders the word שביסים shebisim by soliculi, little ornaments, bullae, or studs, in shape representing the sun, and so answering to the following word שהרנים saharonim, lunulae, crescents. He supposes the word to be the same with שמישים shemishim, the י yod in the second syllable making the word diminutive, and the letter מ mem being changed for ב beth, a letter of the same organ. How just and well founded his authorities for the transmutation of these letters in the Arabic language are, I cannot pretend to judge; but as I know of no such instance in Hebrew, it seems to me a very forced etymology. Being dissatisfied with this account of the matter, I applied to my good friend above mentioned, the late Dr. Hunt, who very kindly returned the following answer to my inquiries: -
"I have consulted the Arabic Lexicons, as well MS. as printed, but cannot find שביסים shebisim in any of them, nor any thing belonging to it; so that no help is to be had from that language towards clearing up the meaning of this difficult word. But what the Arabic denies, the Syriac perhaps may afford; in which I find the verb שבש shabas, to entangle or interweave, an etymology which is equally favorable to our marginal translation, net-works, with שבץ shabats, to make chequer work, or embroider, (the word by which Kimchi and others have explained שביס shabis); and has moreover this advantage over it, that the letters ש sin and ס samech are very frequently put for each other, but צ tsaddi and ס samech scarcely ever. Aben Ezra joins שביסים shebisim and עכסים achasim, which immediately precedes it, together; and says that שביס shabis was the ornament of the leps, as עכס eches was of the feet. His words are, שביס תכשיט של שוקים כמו עכס של רגלים - L."
on Isaiah 3 :18
In that day - That is, in the time when he would inflict this exemplary punishment on them - probably the calamitous times of the Babylonian captivity.
The Lord will take away - By the agents that he shall choose to employ in this work. - The prophet proceeds to specify the various ornaments that composed the female apparel in his time. It is not easy to describe them particularly, nor is it necessary. The "general" meaning of the passage is plain: and it is clear from this, that they greatly abounded in ornaments.
The bravery - This word "we" apply to valor or courage. The word here used, however, meaus "ornament, adorning," or "glory."
Of their tinkling ornaments - This is the same word which is used in Isaiah 3:16, and refers to the chains or clasps with which they ornamented their feet and ankles, and which made a tinkling noise as they walked.
And their cauls - Margin, 'net-works.' The Septuagint is the same. It is commonly supposed to mean "caps of net-work" worn on the head. According to others, the word refers to small "suns" or "spangles" worn on the hair, answering to the following word "moons." 'The caul is a strap, or girdle, about four inches long, which is placed on the top of the head, and which extends to the brow, in a line with the nose. The one I have examined is made of gold, and has many joints; it contains forty-five rubies, and nine pearls, which give it a net-work appearance.' - "Roberts."
Their round tires like the moon - Hebrew "moons." This refers to small ornaments in the shape of crescents, or half-moons, commonly worn on the neck. They were also sometimes worn by men, and even by camels; Judges 8:21 (margin), Judges 8:26. It is probable that these ornaments might originally have had some reference to the moon as an object of worship, but it does not appear that they were so worn by the females of Judea - They are still worn by the females of Arabia. - "Rosenmuller." Roberts says of such ornaments in India, 'The crescent is worn by Parvati and Siva, from whom proceed the lingam, and the principal impurities of the system. No dancing girl is in full dress without her round tires like the moon.' This ornament is still found under the name of "chumarah." 'The chumarah, which signifies moon, is a splendid ornament worn by the women of western Asia in front of their head-dresses. It is usually made of gold, set with precious stones and pearls. They are sometimes made of the crescent form, but the most common are such as the engraving represents. They often have Arabic characters inscribed upon them, and sometimes a sentence from the Koran is used by the Mahometan women of Arabia Felix.'
on Isaiah 3 :18
3:18 Cauls - It is agreed by all, that this and several words that follow, were ornaments used in those times. And it is of no concern, exactly to understand the nature and differences of them. The moon - There were in ancient times, and at this day there are some ornaments worn, which carry a manifest resemblance to the moon or half moon.