Isaiah 3:18-23. “In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon, The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, The rings, and nose jewels, apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the veils.”
So what exactly are some of these items of self-adornment that are going to disappear for the women of Judah and Jerusalem? It’s interesting stuff, and before I get into definitions I want to say again that it is NOT sin to dress nicely and present yourself well. The problem is one of the heart. When our whole focus is on our appearance, on having all the latest fashions, jewelry, and so on, then we’re in trouble. It’s just another form of idolatry.
Tinkling ornaments about their feet: Go look at yesterday’s illustration.
Cauls: Probably wreaths or braids of gold worn around the forehead; some believe it may have been a golden pendant hanging on a neck chain.
Round tires like the moon: The crescent ornaments which were hung on the necks of the camels of the Midianites in the time of Gideon (Judges 8:21), and are still worn by Arabian women. It is not improbable that they were connected with the worship of Ashtaroth. Among modern Arabian women they are regarded as a charm against the evil eye.
Chains and bracelets: Self-explanatory
Mufflers: A long flowing veil similar to a mantilla
Bonnets: This one is uncertain. It could be a reference to the head gear worn by the High Priest; it could simply be an elaborate turban, or even similar to a tiara.
Ornaments of the legs: Chains connecting the anklets, which forced a mincing or tripping style of walking.
Headbands, tablets, and earrings: Better, girdles, always the most highly ornamented part of an Eastern dress, such as were worn by brides (Jeremiah 2:32; Isaiah 49:18). The tablets are more like scent bottles, or amulets worn around the neck; the earrings are associated with charms against evil spirits.
Rings and nose jewels: signet rings worn by the wealthy; pendant jewels dangling from the nose.
Changeable suits of apparel, mantles, wimples, crisping pins: festive clothing sometimes fashioned after the priest’s robes; a mantle was a tunic, the top part of an outfit; a wimple was a large shawl that could be used to carry things, somewhat like Ruth wore in the gleaning fields, only these were made of very fine cloth and were exclusively for decoration; a better word for crisping pin would be a small purse, worn hanging from the girdle, often elaborately embroidered.
Glasses, fine linen, hoods and veils: The glass was a polished metal mirror that a lady carried with her to check on her face and her finery. The fine linen was like a chemise, the garment worn next to the skin. The turban was the dressing of the hair and head, often covered by a fine veil.
It seems these women had a great deal of time to spend on their adornment.
I wonder if they called it “ME time.”