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Book of Isaiah

Isaiah Chapter 3

Theme: The cause of Israel's undoing: weak government; loose and low morals. It sounds just like today’s world.

This chapter continues the prophecy begun in chapter 2, and continues through chapter 5. This section is on judgment, and chapter 3 reveals God's judgment leveled mainly against the nation of Israel. Although it applies to other nations, the majority absolutely refers to Israel. Further along in this judgment section we will see God's judgment of surrounding nations, which are among the most remarkable prophecies in the Word of God, and many of them have been literally fulfilled.
We find that God's judgment against Israel is always more severe and intense than against any other nation. WHY? Because Israel was the nation that God had chosen in a peculiar way (Ex.19:5; Deut.14:2; 26:18; Ps.135:4). They were special to Him, and it gave them an especially close relationship to God, but . . . privilege creates responsibility. It seems that privilege always creates responsibility, and I believe that God will judge the United States much more severely than He will judge any of our present-day nations. The United States has been privileged to know the Word of God as no other nation has . . . except Israel.

God's judgment is extremely offensive to millions of people. But I warn you, IF you hide your head in the sand like the legendary ostrich, and try to dismiss His judgment from your mind, it will NOT do any good! God has always judged sin, starting way back in the Book of Genesis! He has judged sin in the past, and He shall judge sin in the future. You, me or NO one else can avoid their time to stand before the Great Judge Jesus! http://www.judgmentcoming.org/judgment_day.htm

The prophecy before us is a picture of Isaiah's day, and that has been fulfilled. However, there shall be another fulfillment coming in the latter days because the conditions described will prevail again at the end times and will bring down the wrath of God in judgment  . . . not only upon Israel but also upon the nations of the world.

The first fifteen verses deal with the subject of weak government, the rudeness of the people, followed by women's dress. These seem to be totally unrelated subjects, but they are not as far away from each other as they seem to be. Weak government is caused by a lack of leadership, as evidenced by women rulers . . . and we will see what Isaiah means by this, for he speaks for Almighty God.

Weak Government (3:1-15)

Isaiah 3:1 For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water, (KJV)

For, behold . . . a continuation of Isaiah 2:22.
The Lord, the LORD of hosts . . . is well able to do as He says. They can look upon it as a thing as certain as if it were already done.
Doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff . . . existing for the future, so very certain is the accomplishment.
The whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water . . . this will be quite a change from the previous luxuries (Isa.2:7)! This was fulfilled in the siege by King Nebuchadnezzar (2 Ki.25), and afterwards by Titus in 70 AD. This verse confines us to Jerusalem and Judah. http://rjgeib.com/thoughts/desolation/josephus.html
Although man does not live by bread alone, he surely needs it to survive. This famine is a judgment of God. There are thirteen famines mentioned in the Word of God, and every one of them is a judgment from Him upon the nation of Israel. See Special Comments on Famines at the end of this chapter.

Isaiah 3:2 The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, (KJV)

The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet . . . strong and valiant men; the judge is the civil magistrates; the prophet is either strictly so called, the want of whom is matter of grief (Ps.74:9); or largely, so as to include all skillful and faithful teachers.
And the prudent, and the ancient . . . prudent often means a soothsayer (Deut.18:10-14), so it means the diviners on whom they rely, shall in that day fail. It is found in a good sense (Pro.16:10), from which Passage the Jews interpret it a king; without whom Israel long has been (Hos.3:4). The ancient are those old and experienced (1Ki.12:6-8), whose wisdom was increased by long experience. Fulfilled (2 Ki.24:14).

Isaiah 3:3 The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator. (KJV)

The captain of fifty . . . there shall not be a man left able to command and manage fifty soldiers, and much less such as could command hundreds or thousands, which yet were necessary.  
And the honourable man, and the counsellor . . . men of high birth, and place, and power, and reputation. The counsellor; wise and learned statesmen.
And the cunning artificer . . .skilled craftsman. The repairman’s business will come to a standstill in the siege and following desolation of the state; artisans are not a stay among a nation's safeguards. The cunning artificer could make either ornaments for times of peace, or instruments for war; which therefore conquerors took away from those nations whom they subdued (1 Sam.13:19-20; 2 Ki.24:14).
And the eloquent orator . . .the skillful of charm, whom he threatens to take away, not as if such persons were blessings to a people, or the removing of such were a curse, but only because they made great use of them, and trusted in them. And so Isaiah means that God would remove all the grounds of their confidence, both right and wrong, and make their case desperate.

*****God is going to remove not only bread and water but all the men of leadership. Qualified men for high positions were lacking, and this is a judgment from God. Have you ever considered the fact that there are no really great men on the modern-day scene? There are many who pass themselves off as great, but they would have been pygmies in the days gone by! There are many ambitious people, men and women . . . but they have almost no qualifications as leaders. A hundred years ago they would have been called cheap politicians, but today they are called statesmen!

We have men of war, but we have NO great generals. Our army would not be in the situation it is in today if it had strong leadership. There is lack of leadership in our governmental system. Where is the prophet, the prudent, and the ancient? We have is a group of supposedly clever politicians who know how to compromise. I am simply saying that it is always the mark of a corrupt age and the judgment of God when a nation is not producing great men.

What about the field of the arts? What greatness do you see on TV? Where is greatness in the field of education? We used to believe that the educators had the solution to the problems of the world. Today it is clear that educators cannot control their own campuses. How far this country has fallen!

Isaiah 3:4 And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. (KJV)

Children in the ability for governing; totally opposite to the ancient (vs.12; Ecc.10:16). Babes in warlike power; totally opposite to the mighty and man of war.

*****As far as ability is concerned, men in high positions today act as though they have no intelligence at all. Juvenile adults are our rulers, many of them on drugs, and completely unimpressive. That is exactly what brought Israel down to ruin in Isaiah’s day. Their leaders had the mental level of children, and God sent them into captivity (2 Ki.24:11-16; 2 Ki.25; 2 Chron.36; Jer.52:28-30). God judged them.

Isaiah 3:5 And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable. (KJV)

The people shall be oppressed . . . by the command or involvement of such childish rulers.
Every one by another, and every one by his neighbor . . . they were harmful and un-neighborly one towards another. The people shall be troubled by their neighbor.
The child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable . . . foolish and unworthy men shall by wicked arts gain the favor and abuse the power of the prince, and thereby behave themselves disrespectfully towards their betters. Their princes (rulers), being children, will NOT restrain the oppressors or relieve the oppressed, therefore they bite and devour one another and will soon be consumed one of another. The guest and the host are in danger from each other. Their princes were insolent and disorderly towards their superiors. It is an bad omen  when the rising younger generation among them are in general stubborn, rude and ungovernable, and when the child behaves arrogantly against the ancient, while he should instead rise up before the hoary head and honor the face of the old man (Lev.19:32). When young people are brazen, conceited and self-important, and behave scornfully towards their superiors, their conduct is not only a rebuke to themselves, but of hostile consequence to the public; weakening the power of government and the hands that hold them. It is also sad when persons of honor cannot maintain their authority, but are insulted by the corrupt and immoral, when judges are disrespected and their powers rebelled by the mob. The disorder resulting under such imbecilic rulers (vs.4); the unjust demands of payment; the forms of respect violated (Lev.19:32) are compared to similar marks of the last days. 2 Timothy 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, (KJV)

Isaiah 3:6 When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, saying, Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and let this ruin be under thy hand: (KJV)

A man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father . . . brother, one having no better hereditary claim to be ruler than the man requesting him. Envy usually reigns in near relations, when one brother is advanced far above all the rest.
Saying, Thou hast clothing . . . we are utterly undone, and have neither food nor raiment; but thou hast something yet left to support the dignity which we offer to thee, and to enable thee to execute thine office. Changes of raiment are considered wealth in the East (2 Ki. 5:5),
Be thou our ruler . . . this seems to show that misgovernment should cause the termination of the government, and that the former governors should be removed either by foreign force, or by domestic insurrection.
Let this ruin be under thine hand . . . to heal it, as it is explained in the next verse. Undertake the charge of this tottering state. Let our ruined affairs be committed to thee to retrieve.

Isaiah 3:7 In that day shall he swear, saying, I will not be an healer; for in my house is neither bread nor clothing: make me not a ruler of the people. (KJV)

In that day, he shall swear, saying . . . swear literally lift up, namely, His Hand (Gen.14:22; Deut.32:40); the gesture used in solemn confirmation, or, His Voice (Eze.1:24, 28; 10:5), to cry aloud, to show His earnestness in refusing the offer.
I will not be an healer . . . a repairer of the ruins of the state, healer of the body politic, incurably diseased (Isa.1:6).  
For in my house is neither bread nor clothing . . . I have not sufficient provisions, either of food or raiment, for my own family; much less, as you falsely suppose, for the discharge of so high a trust. Neither clothing to relieve the people and maintain a ruler's dignity. A nation's state must be bad indeed, when none among the men is willing to accept the office.

Isaiah 3:8 For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of his glory. (KJV)

The reason why God brought things to this sad time, even among His own people, it was not for want of good will to His country, but because He saw the case desperate and far beyond relief, and it would be to no purpose to try it. Jerusalem is ruined and Judah is fallen; and they have only themselves to thank. They had brought their destruction down on their own heads, because their tongue and their actions were against the LORD. In word and action they broke the law of God and they planned to disrespect and insult Him . . . they deliberately and willingly intended to offend Him, in total disrespect of His authority and disobedience of His justice. Their tongue was on fire against the Lord (Ps.64:3; 140:3; Pro.16:27; 26:20-21; Isa.30:27; Jam.3:6), for they contradicted and opposed His prophets; and their actions were no better than their words, for they acted as they spoke. They aggravated their sin because God's eye was upon them, and because His glory was clearly exhibited among them. They provoked Him to His face, as if the more they knew of His glory the greater pride they took in abusing it, and turning it into shame. This is WHY Jerusalem is ruined and Judah is fallen! The ruin of people is owed totally to their sins. If they did not provoke God, He would do them NO hurt (Jer.25:6).

*****Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen, that is what the prophet says. In today’s world, we do NOT have many of God's men standing up, pointing at our nation, and saying, Our cities are ruined, although it is just as true today as it was in Isaiah's time. But, because the vast majority (Mat.7:13) of tongues and actions are against the LORD, they provoke the eyes of his glory. This is the key to the chapter, and it is the key to the ruin of Israel and of any other nation. God judges nations by their relationship to Him.

The United States has a BIG problem, and that is that God has been run out of Washington, D.C. Our government is trying to forbid God in every area of our lives. These fool think they can rule the world. They have NO Godly wisdom whatsoever! They have absolutely NO fear of God (Ps.111:10; Pro.1:7). The princes continue merrily on their way, coasting downhill on the broad road to Hell! They pay NO attention to Almighty God or what He states in His Holy Word! The do NOT tremble at His Word!!! Do YOU tremble at God’s Word???

Isaiah 3:9 The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves. (KJV)

The show of their countenance doth witness against them . . . their arrogance, pride, immorality, shamelessness and wickedness clearly reveals itself in the way that they look and carry themselves, and shall be a swift witness against them both before God and men.
They declare their sin as Sodom . . . they act it out publicly, casting off all fear of God, and reverence to men, and they glory in it. THIS is being fulfilled today!
They hide it not . . . when I was young, we knew of homosexuals, but it was a hush-hush subject. It was considered wrong among nearly all people at that time. But, 70 years later, it is no longer hush-hush! People in high places of government, news media, the rich and famous, and the common people no longer try to hide the fact of their sin (Lev.18:22-24; 20:13-16; Rom.1:24-32; 1 Cor.6:9-11; 1 Tim.1:8-11), for people have no modesty remaining and NO fear of God left in them. YES!!! God does consider homosexuality SIN! And unless you change your ways, He shall punish you for it. His idea, not mine.
Woe unto their soul! . . . dear one, your soul is ETERNAL! Where do you want it to spend eternity? The bliss of Heaven (Rev.21) or the horror of Hell (Rev.20:15)? You do have a choice! The answer lies in YOUR hands!
For they have rewarded evil unto themselves . . . obtained a fit payment for their wickedness . . . their utter eternal ruin. They CANNOT blame God! He warns over and over in His Book, and this Book can easily be found to open it and look!

*****Sin is out in the open. What used to be done behind closed doors, now takes place in broad daylight on the streets! They brag about it now, that they are more honest. They may be more honest about their sin, but they are still the same hypocrites that their fathers were. The fathers were hypocrites because they hid their sin, they are hypocrites because they sin out in the open and try to say that the sin is good! This is exactly what Israel was saying and it led to big trouble! Dear one, God punishes sin, ALL sin of the wicked!
Multiple Woes in Isaiah, in Special Comments at end of this chapter.

Isaiah 3:10 Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. (KJV)

Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him . . . God hath said it, and does now say it by Isaiah, and the priests and Levites were to say it in their sermons to the people.
For they shall eat the fruit of their doings . . . the faithlessness of the majority is no proof that all are faithless. Though nothing but croaking of frogs is heard on the surface of the pool, we are not to think that there are no fish beneath (Isa.1:19-20). The LORD always leaves a remnant (Isa.1:9), so let them not fear, for God will be their safeguard and portion in the common calamity. The fruit of their doings (Pro.1:31), NOT salvation by works, but by fruit-bearing faith (Isa.45:24; Jer.23:6).
God promises to deliver His own people.

Isaiah 3:11 Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him. (KJV)

Woe unto the wicked! . . . dreadful heavy judgments are intended against the wicked, and the LORD shall certainly find all the guilty, even though they be mixed in with the righteous.
It shall be ill with him . . . ill isthe opposite to good or well (vs.10). A forceful contraction of the words.
For the reward of his hands shall be given him . . . because whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Ecc.8:12-13). Galatians 6:7-9 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (KJV)

Isaiah 3:12 As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths. (KJV)

As for my people, children are their oppressors . . . oppressors is literally demanding princes, those who should be protectors are exactors. See vs.4.
And women rule over them . . . women, either, #1. Properly so called, by their favor and power with the rulers; Or, #2. Weak and effeminate rulers, such being called women both in sacred and profane writings. It is also thought that they were under the influence of their harem, the women of their court.
O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths . . . they which lead thee, their rulers, civil and religious, whose duty it is to show them the right way. Or, their false prophets, which flatter thee, and speak peace to thee (Isa.57:21; Jer.6:14; 8:11; Eze.7:25;      13:10, 16). Destroy the way of thy paths, keeps them from the knowledge or practice of that way which leads to their salvation, and mislead them into evil paths, by their wicked counsels and/or examples.

*****The greatest problem in our day is juvenile delinquency. The greatest increase in crime is among young people, and the age keeps getting less and less each year.
And women rule over them . . . women's lib do NOT like Isaiah. They which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths . . . whether women rulers are meant here or effeminate men (1 Cor.6:9), is not clear, possibly some of each.

The Roman Empire that once ruled the world collapsed, NOT because they were attacked by someone on the outside, but because they fell from within. See: The Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire, in Special Comments at the end of this chapter.

Isaiah 3:13 The LORD standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people. (KJV)

The LORD standeth up . . . standeth up He is no longer sitting in silence. He will shortly and absolutely stand up as a Judge (2 Pet.3:8), to inquire into the cause, and to give sentence to ALL people who have ever lived! And plead against a wicked people (Isa.66:16; Eze.20:35).http://www.hisservants.org/judgment_h_s.htm
To judge the people . . . to defend and deliver them, or to judge for them, as this phrase is oft used.

Isaiah 3:14 The LORD will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses. (KJV)

The LORD will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof . . . the ancients, andthe princes or rulers (vs.1-2), who are often called elders, because they were usually and fitly chosen when they were ripe in years.
For ye have eaten up the vineyard . . . destroyed instead of preserving and caring for the vineyard, as they should have done. The church and nation of Israel is often called God's vineyard (Ps.80:8, 14-15; Isa.5:1; Jer.2:21), and here the vineyard, by way of eminency; or, the vineyard which was committed to their care to keep.
The spoil of the poor is in your houses . . . all that they had violently taken away from the poor, was in their houses. Nasty people then, as now!

*****The ancients and the princes are the leaders of the nation. God lays the blame on the adult leadership. The juvenile problem did NOT begin with young people, it started with their parents! Most of today’s parents do NOT even begin to teach right from wrong to their kids. Multitudes of youth today are on alcohol and dangerous drugs, because many of the parents themselves have abundant alcohol in the home and are on drugs.

In Isaiah's time there were a few who were trying to get rich and rule over everyone else. Godless capitalism and godless labor are big problems in our nation, and there are just a few that hold the greater part of the wealth in the world. God is standing up ready to judge, and He will let the nation determine which it will be. We can trust and obey the LORD, or we can be like Israel, and go against the LORD! It is in our hands! He will judge rightly!

Isaiah 3:15 What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord GOD of hosts. (KJV)

What mean ye? . . . what right have you to beat my people to pieces? How dare you to presume to do it?
Grind, or batter as the word is used (Ex.32:20); smite them cruelly (Isa.58:4).
What right have ye to beat (Ps.94:5; Mic.3:2-3). Grind by demanding payments, so as to leave them nothing.

Women's Dress (3:16-26)

Isaiah 3:16 Moreover 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: (KJV)

The daughters of Zion are haughty . . . Isaiah now rebukes the women; as he previously reproved the men. Luxury had become great in Uzziah's prosperous reign (2 Chron.26:5).
Walk with stretched forth necks . . . affecting stateliness, proudly elevated (Ps.75:5), making them seem taller.
Wanton eyes . . . wanton, eyes glancing about, flirting wantonly (Pro.6:13). Women's eyelids in the East are often painted (2 Ki.9:30; Jer.4:30), their eyes twinkling (flirting, winking) in a lascivious (lustful) manner, or blinking their eyes in an immoral way. Lasciviousness: (Mk.7:22; 2 Cor.12:21; Gal.5:19; Eph.4:19; 1 Pet.4:3; Jude 1:4).
Walking and mincing as they go . . . mincing is taking agile, short graceful steps. And making a tinkling with their feet . . .  tinkling, with their ankle rings on both feet, joined by small chains, which sound as they walk, and sometimes little bells were attached and compel them to take short steps (vs.18-20), after the manner of loose and wanton persons. This is Isaiah’s picture of womanhood!

***** The prophet specifically assures God's authority for what he said. The Lord saith it. Thus saith the Lord GOD; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house (Eze.2:5, 7; 3:11, 27). The folly and vanity of proud women, is seen by the LORD, and His eyes are even aware of how they dress. There are two things that they stand accused of: their haughtiness and wantonness (immorality, lasciviousness, lustful desires), of which these are directly opposite to humility, modesty, shamefaced and self-restraint, with which all women should adorn themselves (1 Tim.2:9). They are haughty, for they walk with stretched-forth necks, as proud and arrogant thinking nobody was good enough to speak to them or to receive a look or a smile from them. Their eyes are wanton, meaning they were out to deceive with their ardent glances, drawing men into their snares. They go mincing, gracefully nimble, making a tinkling with their feet, having, as some think, chains, or little bells, upon their shoes or ankles that made a noise. Such an appearance is not only a power upon that which is natural, but also was ridiculous before men who had any sense. It is evidence of a hopeless mind, and it is offensive to God. And two things aggravated it here: #1. These were the daughters of Zion, the holy mountain, who should have behaved with the seriousness that becomes women professing godliness. #2. It should seem, that they being the wives and daughters of the princes who spoiled and oppressed the poor (vs.14-15), that they might keep the pride and luxury of their families.

Isaiah 3:17 Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts. (KJV)

Will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion . . .  smite with a scab is to literally make bald by disease. He will send scabs, or by other ways, to take off the hair of their head, which is a woman's glory (1 Cor.11:15), and which no doubt hindered their pride and wantonness.
And the LORD will discover their secret parts . . .  this could refer to a scarcity of clothing or to being literally stripped of clothing and suffering the shame and indignities that women slaves often had to endure at the hands of their captors. Zechariah speaks of the women being ravished in the battle of Armageddon, and this could be the direct reference (Zec.14:1-5). Discover . . . cause them to suffer the greatest indignity that can befall female captives, namely to be stripped naked, and have their all exposed (Isa. 20:4; 47:3).

*****I think that God, through Isaiah is talking about a disease. Do you know that there is an epidemic of venereal disease in our nation right now? So many young girls look attractive, but they are instead like deadly snakes, as many a men are finding out.

Isaiah 3:18 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, (KJV)

In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls . . . cauls were anetwork for the head, cauls were a woman’s headdress, ornaments used by that people in those times, and made fuel to incite their lusts.
And their round tires like the moon . . . there were in ancient time, and today there are some jewels or other ornaments worn which carry a clear resemblance to the moon or half-moon (Judg.8:21, 26).

***** The women were extremely fond and proud of their ornaments; but God will strip them of those ornaments, when their houses shall be plundered, their treasures rifled, and they themselves led into captivity. The prophet here specifies many of the ornaments which they used, as if he had been the keeper of their wardrobe or had attended them in their dressing-room. It is not at all necessary to know what sort of ornaments these were and whether the translations rightly express the original words. 100 years from now, the names of some of the ornaments that are now in use in our own land will be as little understood as some of those here mentioned now are. Fashions change, and so do the names of them . . . but the mention of them is NOT in vain, for it is designed to expose the folly of the daughters of Zion. Many of these things, we may think were very odd and ridiculous, but they supposedly were in fashion at that time. They would have been more fit as toys for children to play with, than ornaments for grown people to go to Mount Zion in.

Isaiah 3:19 The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, (KJV)

Chains . . . or pendants, hanging about the neck, and dropping on the breast.
Some women even had scent bottles containing drops of perfume hanging on pendants, strings of pearls and jewels, and even gold chains were commonly used by both men and women (Gen.41:42; Ex.28:14-22, 24; 39:17-18; Num.31:50; Song 1:10; 4:9; Eze.16:11; Dan.5:7, 16, 29).
Bracelets . . . . arm bands, made of gold wire, and wreathed or woven (Gen.24:22, 30, 47; 38:19, 25; Ex.35:22; Num.31:50; Eze.16:11; 23:42). 
Mufflers . . . . were loosely flowing veils covering the face, with openings for the eyes. There was a changing effect because of the spangles or sequins on the veil.

Isaiah 3:20 The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, (KJV)

The bonnets . . .  these were ornaments to cover the head, common both to men and to women (Ex.39:28). A bonnet was a tiara, headdress, or turban which was worn almost universally in the East (Ex.28:40; 29:9; 39:28; Lev.8:13; Eze.44:18). The turbans of women were similar to those of the men, but less bulky and made of finer material. Gold and silver ornaments were added according to the taste of the wearer.
Ornaments of the legs . . . Eastern women wore these attached to the ankle ring of each foot to force them to take short, mincing steps.
Headbands . . . girdles for the hair.
Tablets . . . scent bottles or boxes of perfume fastened to the girdle or hung around the neck.
Earrings . . . an amulet or charm suspended from the neck or ears, with a magic formula inscribed, also translated enchantment (Ecc.10:11), prayer (Isa.26:16); and charmed (Jer.8:17).

Isaiah 3:21 The rings, and nose jewels, (KJV)

Rings . . . a signet ring for making a seal in wax; or a ring of any kind worn on the finger (Ex.35:22; Num.31:50)..
Nose jewels . . .a ring or ornament for the nose (Gen.24:22, 30; 24:47; 35:4; Judg.8:24-26; Job 42:11; Pro.11:22; 25:12; Eze.16:12; Hos.2:13). Both women and men wore nose rings, usually in the left nostril. The ornament often had a ruby between two pearls.

Isaiah 3:22 The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, (KJV)

Changeable suits of apparel (Zec.3:4) . . . these were costly garments used only on festival occasions. Some consider them robes of state, implying these were court ladies and wives of government officials. They no doubt compared with the costly array of 1 Tim.2:9. 
Mantles . . . the outer cloaks or tunics reaching down to the feet (1 Ki.19:19; 2 Ki.2:8, 13-14).
Wimples . . . large cloths or veils which could be thrown over the whole body, and in which one usually slept. Translated veil (Ruth 3:15).
Crisping pins . . . richly ornamented purses or bags of gold and embroidery work that hung from the girdle. Translated bags (2 Ki.5:23). Crisping pins were silver or gold, used either to curl the hair, or worn in the hair; which custom is also used today.

Isaiah 3:23 The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails. (KJV)

Glasses, mirrors of polished metal (Ex.38:8; Job.37:18; 1 Cor.13:12; 2 Cor.3:18; Jam.1:23). Eastern women were very fond of their mirrors that they hung them upon their breasts and many would not lay them aside even when working.
Fine linen . . . the most delicate and fine garments were made of linen, even underclothing (Pro.31:24). Translated sheets (Judg.14:12-13).
Hoods . . .means to wrap around, and was a special headpiece. Also translated diadem (Isa.62:3; Job 29:14) and mitre (Zec.3:5). Both of these terms are used of the official headdress of rulers and priests. This suggests that the daughters of Zion were princesses, court ladies and wives of government men. 
Vails . . . (Song 5:7).These differed from the mufflers in that they were head veils worn at home, not designed to cover the features like those worn in public. They were very light and made of a long strip of muslin embroidered with threads of colored silk and gold, making one of the most beautiful articles of female attire in the East.

Isaiah 3:24 And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty. (KJV)
And it shall come to pass . . . this phrase is found 131 times in the KJV of the Bible, and means exactly what it states! What the LORD states is, IT SHALL COME TO PASS!
Instead of sweet smell . . . of those perfumes mentioned in vs.20, there shall be stink, from their scabs, mentioned in vs.17.
Instead of a girdle . . . which were fine and costly, and useful to gird their garments about them, there would be a rent, either #1. a rope, an emblem of poverty; the poor have nothing else to gird up their clothes with, or #2. the rending of their garments for grief; or torn and tattered garments, not sufficient to cover their bodies. Instead of a beautiful sash, the poor had nothing but a rope to hold up their clothes.
And instead of well set hair baldness . . . instead of well-set hair, beautifully plaited and powdered, there shall be baldness, the hair being plucked off or shaven, as was usual in times of great affliction (Isa.15:2; Jer.16:6), or in great servitude (Eze.29:18).
And instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth . . . instead of a stomacher (a scarf or sash), there shall be a girding of sackcloth, symbolizing deep humiliation;
And burning instead of beauty . . . when they are carried into captivity shall be by the heat of the sun tanned and sun-burnt; for it is observed that the best faces are ones the quickest injured by the weather (Song 1:6). .

*****Women's dress is the indicator of any civilization. When women's dress is modest it reveals something about the nation as a whole.

In these last few verses, over 20 articles of women's wear are mentioned by name. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a woman dressing in style . . . IF the style is not arrogant, indecent or immoral. God is NOT condemning the women of Israel for dressing in the style of their day. He is talking about the inner life (what is in the heart). They were haughty (proud, arrogant) and brazen (bold, shameless). Genuine adornment comes from beneath the skin, NOT from the skin outward. Women's dress is the key to a nation's morals.

To Lay All Waste by the Sword of War (3:25-26)

Isaiah 3:25 Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war. (KJV)

I think this looks into the future, to the last days. I think it refers to the slaying of the many men in Judah in the war when Jerusalem will be surrounded and half the city taken by Antichrist before Christ comes to deliver them (Zec.14:1-3, 14; Rev.19:11-21).

*****The design of all the ornaments mentioned above are meant to charm the men, and win their affections (Pro.7:15-27), but there, in the last days, none will be charmed by them. Thy men (the men of Jerusalem) shall fall by the sword, and the mighty in the war. The fire shall consume them, and then the maidens shall not be given in marriage (Ps.78:63). When the sword comes by command, the mighty usually fall first, because they venture the most forward. And when Zion's guards are cut off, it is no wonder that Zion's gates lament and mourn (vs.26), the enemies having made themselves masters of them; and the city itself, being desolate, being emptied or swept, shall sit upon the ground like a depressed widow. If sin be harbored (concealed) within the walls, lamentation and mourning are near the gates.

Isaiah 3:26 And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground. (KJV)

Her gates . . . the gates of Zion or Jerusalem, which, by a figure often used in sacred Scripture by its authors, are said to lament, to imply the great desolation of the place, that there should be no people to go out and come in by the gates, or to meet together in the gates, as they used to do. Her gates will be like a mournful widow grieving the loss of her husband and children because of the judgment of sin handed down by a righteous God of wrath. Gates . . . the place that represented mourning for the loss of the multitudes which once visited it.
And she being desolate shall sit upon the ground . . . the figure under which Judea was represented after the destruction by Titus . . . a female sitting under a palm tree in a posture of grief (Job 2:13; Lam 2:10). Here, the destruction by Nebuchadnezzar is referred to (2 Ki. 24 & 25).

Special Comments

Thirteen Famines in Scripture

#1. In Canaan in Abraham's day (Gen. 12:10)
#2. In Canaan in Isaac's day (Gen. 26:1)
#3. In Canaan in Jacob's day (Gen. 41:54-57)
#4. In Canaan during the judges (Ruth 1:1)
#5.In Canaan in David's day (2 Sam. 21:1)
#6. In Canaan in Elijah's day (1 Ki. 17:1)
#7. In Canaan in Elisha's day (2 Ki. 4:38)
#8. In Samaria in Elisha's day (2 Ki. 6:25)
#9. In Canaan in Elisha's day (2 Ki. 8:1)
#10. In Jerusalem in Zedekiah's day (2 Ki. 25:3; Jer. 14)
#11. In Canaan in Nehemiah's day (Neh. 5:3)
#12. In a far country (Lk. 15:14)
#13. In the Roman Empire in Paul's day (Acts 11:28)

Famines were always judgments of God wrath. They are mentioned elsewhere in connection with His judgments (2 Sam 24:13; Ps.105:16; Isa.51:19; Jer.14:15; 15:2; 24:10; 27:8; Eze.5:12; 12:16), and are prophesied as a sign of the Second Coming of Christ (Mt.24:7; Lk.21:11). Promises were made by God during the famines (2 Chr.32:11; Job 5:20-22; Ps.33:18-21; 34:10; 37:3, 19; 111:5; Pro.10:3; Isa.33:16; Lk.12:29-31; Rom. 8:35).

Multiple Woes in Isaiah

#1. To the sinner’s soul (Isa. 3:9)
#2. The wicked (Isa. 3:11)
#3. The covetous (Isa. 5:8)
#4. The drunkards (Isa. 5:11)
#5. To those who carry heavy loads of sin (Isa. 5:18)
#6. To those who call evil good (Isa. 5:20)
#7. To the self-conceited (Isa. 5:21)
#8. The drunkards who justify the wicked for reward and cause the righteous to stumble (Isa.5:223)
#9. To Isaiah, a man dwelling in a people of unclean lips (Isa.6:5)
#10. To those who judge unrighteously (Isa.10:1)
#11. To the many people who fight against God and His people (Isa.17:12)
#12. The land shadowing with wings (Isa.18:1)
#13. Treacherous dealers (Isa.24:16)
#14. The crown of pride and the drunkards of Ephraim (Isa.28:1)
#15. To Jerusalem for her sins (Isa.29:1)
#16. The deceivers (Isa.29:15)
#17. The rebellious children (Isa.30:1)
#18. To them that trust in Egypt (Isa.31:1)
#19. To Assyria (Isa.33:1)
#20.To those who strive against God (Isa.45:9)
#21. To those who do not honor parents (Isa. 45:10)

Fall of the Roman Empire

Edward Gibbon, in “The Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire” said there were 5 reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire:
#1. The undermining of the dignity (self-respect) and sanctity (purity) of the home, which is the basis of human society.
#2. Higher and higher taxes; the spending of public money for free bread and circuses for the populace. In today’s world, millions of able-bodied people are being supported by the government, when they should be working to support themselves. My heathen grandma had it right: No work, no eat . . . and that is backed up by the Bible! 2 Thes. 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. (KJV) . . . There are many people who indeed should be helped by the government, the poor elderly, the handicapped, etc., but NOT able-bodied men and women. THAT is stealing!
#3. The mad craze for pleasure; sports becoming every year more exciting, more brutal, more immoral. This certainly speaks of our day!
#4. The building of great armaments when the great enemy was within; the decay of individual responsibility. We do need to protect our land, but the decay of people’s responsibility has deteriorated something awful.
#5. The decay of religion, fading into a mere form, losing touch with life, losing power to guide the people. The Name of Jesus is so blasphemed, it is terrible! And our government now prohibits His Holy Name from being spoken by chaplains and pastors.


Commentaries on Old Testament Books

Book of Isaiah . . Isaiah's Mini-Bible

Isaiah Ch.1 . . Isaiah Ch.2 . . Isaiah Ch.3 . . Isaiah Ch.4 . . Isaiah Ch.5 . . Isaiah Ch.6 . . Isaiah Ch.7 . . Isaiah Ch.8 . . Isaiah Ch.9 . . Isa.Ch.10 . . Isa.Ch.11 . . Isa.Ch12 . . Home Page

JUDGMENT ON THE NATIONS . . . . . Isaiah Ch.13 . . Isaiah Ch.14 . . Isaiah Ch.15 . . Isaiah Ch.16 . . Isaiah Ch.17 . . Isaiah Ch.18 . . Isaiah Ch.19 . . Isaiah Ch.20 . . Isaiah Ch.21 . . Isaiah Ch.22 . . Isaiah Ch.23 . . Home Page

ISAIAH’S APOCALYPSE . . . . . Isaiah Ch.24 . . Isaiah Ch.25 . . Isaiah Ch.26 . . Isaiah Ch.27 . . Home Page

ISAIAH'S SIX WOES . . . Isaiah Ch.28 . . Isaiah Ch.29 . . Isaiah Ch.30 . . Isaiah Ch.31 . . Isaiah Ch.32 . . Isaiah Ch.33 . . Isaiah Ch.34 . . Isaiah Ch.35 . . Home Page

Isaiah's Historic Part . . Isaiah Ch.36 . . Isaiah Ch.37 . . Isaiah Ch.38 . . Isaiah Ch.39 . . Home Page

Isaiah Speaks of Messiah's Incarnation. . Isaiah Ch.40 . . Isaiah Ch.41 . . Isaiah Ch.42 . . Isaiah Ch.43 . . Isaiah Ch.44 . . Isaiah Ch.45 . . Isaiah Ch.46 . . Isaiah Ch.47 . . Isaiah Ch.48 . . Home Page

Isaiah's Introduction to the Suffering Servant

Isaiah's Suffering Servant Prophecy. . . Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Isaiah's Redemption Through the Suffering Servant . . . Isaiah Ch.49 . . Isaiah Ch.50 . . Isaiah Ch.51 . . Isaiah Ch.52 . . Isaiah Ch.53 . . Isaiah Ch.54 . . Isaiah Ch.55 . . Isaiah Ch.56 . . Isaiah Ch.57 . . Home Page

Isaiah's Vision of the Dispersion . . . Isaiah Ch.58 . . Isaiah Ch59 . . Isaiah Ch.60 . . Isaiah Ch.61 . . Isaiah Ch.62 . . Isaiah Ch.63 . . Isaiah Ch.64 . . Isaiah Ch.65 . . Isaiah Ch.66 . . Home Page



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