We end off this week with Isaiah 3:18-26
v18: Note: This society emphasized, and was obsessed over, the outward appearance – putting attention upon the physical body – especially the bodies of women.
- In that day: This is an expression that speaks about judgment. Assyria were going to come against this southern kingdom but because Hezekiah repented (2 Kings 19) G-d held off His judgment for a longer period of time. Therefore, it was eventually Babylon that captured this southern kingdom (2 Kings 24).
- Finery: Splendour. Glory. There was a call and an anointing upon Judah, but because they were not faithful to G-d, He promised to remove all of the things that they held dear – all of the things that emphasised their outward appearance.
- Jingling anklets: G-d does not want us to call attention to ourselves. He wants us to rather call attention to His holiness, His righteousness, His purposes etc so that people might receive His truth.
v19: Veils: Veils could be used for modesty (covering up), but they could also be used for seduction. Context tells us that these veils are being used inappropriately, which is why G-d is going to remove them.
v20: Headdresses…leg ornaments …: These objects call attention to different parts of a woman’s anatomy – her physical appearance. The commentators say these things lend themselves to a degrading of women, making them simply physical/visible objects for man’s pleasure/fleshly purposes.
v21: Rings: Referring to finger and toe rings.
v22: Note: In this verse we move away from ornamentation, jewellery, and focus on the clothes themselves. There are many things that we latch onto in life – shoes, bags, etc Even these things we need to bring captive into the obedience of Messiah. We should not use our things for self-exaltation, but we need to use everything we have to glorify G-d.
- Festal apparel: Festival garments. These were garments that related to the redemption, the freedom, the release that G-d had given the Israelites from the bondage of sin. These garments were not being used for the purpose of praising, thanking or worshipping G-d. They were being used by the women for their own purposes and desires.
v24: Note: The measure that we use will be measured back to us. When we walk in obedience, G-d blesses us. When we walk in disobedience (and disobedience is always rooted in selfishness) G-d removes from us and judges us.
- Stench: A word in modern Hebrew that is related to gangrene.
- Sash: Belt. Some of the commentators point out that exchanging a sash for a rope speaks of a fall into poverty.
- Baldness: In this context, baldness speaks of shame.
- Branding: Branding speaks about ownership. Branding produces scars that are very difficult, if not impossible, to get rid of.
v25: Note: This verse foreshadows war and the exile to follow it.
- Mighty men: Heroes.
v26: Her: Referring to Jerusalem.
- Desolate: Made empty.