“Bring Thy Sons in Their Arms”

K. Douglas Bassett

(Isa. 49:20)

“In their arms” may also be rendered in their bosom… . The large lap or pocket made by the folds of the outer garment … was a convenient and comfortable place for carrying a child… . It was customary for fathers to carry their infants in this manner when going on a journey.
Another Oriental mode of carrying children is on the shoulders. This is sometimes done by placing them astride the neck… . At other times the child is placed astride one shoulder, usually the left, with one leg hanging down on the back and the other on the breast. In either case the child steadies itself by putting its arms around the parent’s head, and by clinging with its feet. In Egypt women are often seen carrying a child on one shoulder and a jar of water on the other.

(James M. Freeman, Manners and Customs of the Bible [Plainfield, New Jersey: Logos International, 1972], 730.)

Commentaries on Isaiah: In the Book or Mormon