486. Sundry Articles, Useful and Ornamental

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Isaiah 3:2020The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, (Isaiah 3:20). The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the ear-rings.
1. The “bonnets” of the Oriental women, it is hardly necessary to say, bear no resemblance to the articles known by that name among us. They resemble the turbaned head-dresses of the men, but are less bulky and of finer materials. A cap is put on the head around which are wound rich handkerchiefs or shawls, folded high and flat. Gold and silver ornaments and jewels are added according to the taste of the wearer. The original word peer conveys the idea of ornament, and is rendered beauty” in Isaiah 61:33To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3); “ornaments” in Isaiah 61:1010I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10) and “tire” in Ezekiel 24:17,2317Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, and eat not the bread of men. (Ezekiel 24:17)
23And your tires shall be upon your heads, and your shoes upon your feet: ye shall not mourn nor weep; but ye shall pine away for your iniquities, and mourn one toward another. (Ezekiel 24:23)
. Saalschutz supposes the peer to have been a metallic crown of filigree work, fastened around the cap.
2. “The ornaments of the legs” (tseadoth) were probably step-chains, that is, “short chains which Oriental females wore attached to the ankle-band of each foot, so as to compel them to take short and mincing steps, to walk mincingly” (Gesenius).
3. Kishshurim, “headband,” are supposed by some critics to denote fillets for the hair. Others, however, interpret them to mean girdles. The same word is rendered “attire” in Jeremiah 2:3232Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number. (Jeremiah 2:32).
4. Battey-hannephesh, “tablets,” is literally “houses of breath.” The margin has, “houses of the soul.” There is thought by some to be a reference here to boxes or bottles which were filled with perfume, and fastened to the necklace or the girdle. Chardin mentions having seen the women in Persia with small golden boxes of filigree work, which were filled with a black mixture of musk and amber.
Roberts, however, disputes this interpretation, and thinks these “houses of the soul” find their counterpart in certain ornaments which are worn by Hindu women, and made of silver or gold, and richly adorned with precious stones. He says: “The dancing-girls, the wives of the pandarams, and many other women, wear an ornament resembling a house, and sometimes a temple, which contains an image corresponding with the φαλλος of tile Greeks and the Priapus of the Romans” (Oriental Illustrations, p. 388).
5. Lechashim, “ear-rings,” are thought to have been charms or amulets made of gold, silver, or precious stones, perhaps in the shape of serpents, or with serpents engraved on them. They may have been used as ear-rings also. See note on Genesis 35:44And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. (Genesis 35:4) (#66).