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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Isaiah 3

Verses 1-26

1. Stay and the staff] A prophecy of famine: cp. Isaiah 3:7, as the clause following explains. But if the latter clause is a gloss then ’stay and staff’ would refer to the classes upon which the stability of the life of the community depends. ’Staff’ in the Heb. is the fern, form of ’stay.’

2. The prudent] RV ’the diviner,’ at this time in high estimation (Isaiah 2:6). The ancient] RM ’the elder,’ who held offices in villages and towns (Ruth 4:2, Ruth 4:4; 2 Kings 10:1).

3. Artificer] cp. Jeremiah 24:1 but RM ’charmer.’ Eloquent orator] ’skilful enchanter.’

4. Children.. babes] in character rather than in years.

6, 7. The meaning is, the state of society shall be such that a man who apparently has the bare necessaries of life shall be invited to be dictator, but in vain.

9. The shew of their countenance] i.e. their expression; the meaning being that their character may be read in their face. But RM has, ’Their respecting of persons doth witness,’ etc.

12. Cp. Isaiah 3:4. They which lead thee] lit. ’they that set thee right,’ i.e. they that should set thee aright. The reference is to king Ahaz and his counsellors, amongst whom the queen-mother was prominent.

13. People] RV ’peoples.’

14. Ancients] see Isaiah 3:2. For ye] the pronoun is emphatic: RV ’It is ye that have eaten up.’

16f. A protest against prevalent luxury as evidenced in the extravagant toilette of the ladies of Jerusalem.

16. Tinkling] caused by silver bells on the ankles.

18. Cauls] RM ’networks.’ Round tires like the moon] RV ’crescents’; mentioned as Midianitish ornaments (Judges 8:21, Judges 8:26).

19. Chains] RV ’pendants,’ or ’eardrops’; mentioned as Midianitish ornaments (Judges 8:26).

20. Bonnets] RV ’headtires.’ The same word is used of a bridegroom’s headdress (Isaiah 61:10).

Ornaments of the legs] RV ’ankle-chains.’

Headbands] RV ’sashes,’ such as were worn by brides (Isaiah 49:18; Jeremiah 2:32). Tablets] RV ’perfume boxes.’ Earrings] RV ’amulets.’

21. Nose jewels] fastened to the nostril: see Genesis 24:22.

22. Changeable suits of apparel] RV ’festival robes.’ Wimples] RV ’shawls.’ Crisping pins] RV ’satchels.’

23. Glasses] RV ’hand mirrors.’ Hoods] RV ’turbans.’

24. Instead of, etc.] RV ’instead of sweet spices there shall be rottenness.’ Rent] RV ’rope,’ i.e. binding the captive. Burning] RV ’branding.’ i.e. of a slave.

25. 26. Thy, her] the pronouns refer to. Zion.

26. Sit upon the ground] a posture of mourning: cp. Lamentations 1:1.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 3". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.