“Daughters of Zion Are Haughty and Walk with Wanton Eyes, Mincing as They Go”

Monte S. Nyman

Several insignificant words that are italicized in the King James text do not appear in the Book of Mormon text (vv. 18, 23, 24). The words were apparently placed there to make the text read more smoothly in English.

The term “daughter of Zion” probably has more than one meaning, and must be interpreted in context each time it occurs in the scriptures. Nephi’s commentary on these Isaiah chapters that he wrote on the plates, seem to identify them as the inhabitants of America (see 2 Nephi 26:19–30), and will be discussed more fully later. The dictionary definitions of “ haughty,” “ wanton,” and “ mincing,” also suggest that Isaiah could easily have been referring to the inhabitants of the Americas, the Zion spoken of by the Old Testament prophets. The haughty are defined as those who are proud of self and scornful of others. Wanton is defined as undisciplined, unmanageable, lewd. Mincing is defined as short, feminine steps, or as plain speech. These definitions could apply to the attitudes and practices of many inhabitants in the Americas.

Many of the words in verses 18 through 23 may refer to religious garb of modern-day sectarians. These verses were designated in the chapter outline as a description of the religious conditions of Zion, and verses 16 and 17 as a description of the social conditions. These conclusions are based on the uses of those words according to modern dictionaries. A caul is a little cap. A chain is anything that binds or restrains. A mantle is a loose cloak without sleeves. A wimple is a cloth for the head arranged in folds about the head, cheek, chin, worn by nuns and formerly by other women.

Book of Mormon Commentary: I Nephi Wrote This Record