483. Dancing Girls' Anklets

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Isaiah 3:1616Moreover the Lord saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: (Isaiah 3:16). Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched-forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet.
1. Roberts finds in this and in the following verses an accurate description of the Hindu dancing-girls who are trained for service in idolatrous temples. “When these females dance they stretch forth their necks, and hold them awry, as if their heads were about to fall off their shoulders.” “As the votaries glide along they roll their eyes, (which are painted,) and cast wanton glances on those around.” Oriental Illustrations, p. 386.
2. Some suppose the “mincing” refers to a tripping step in the dance; others think that the reference is to slender golden chains reaching from one ankle to another, and compelling them to take short and rapid steps. See note on verse 20 (#486).
3. The “tinkling with their feet” may have been made simply by the striking of anklets one upon another, or by bells or other small ornaments attached to the anklets. These anklets were of gold, silver, or iron, according to the taste or means of the wearer, and are still worn by Oriental women. They are sometimes quite heavy, and special pains are taken to strike them together, in order to make a jingle. When they are hollow, as is often the case, the sharp sound is increased. In Egypt and in India some of the anklets have small round bells attached to them, and these bells sometimes have little pebbles in them, which strike like tiny clappers. Leyrer (Herzog's Real. Ency., vol. 7, p. 731) suggests that it may have been in some such way that the wife of Jeroboam announced her presence, “when Abijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door” (1 Kings 14:66And it was so, when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, that he said, Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam; why feignest thou thyself to be another? for I am sent to thee with heavy tidings. (1 Kings 14:6)).