“That Day”

K. Douglas Bassett

(Isa. 3:18; refer in this text to 2 Ne. 12:11)

Since Jerusalem has been invaded so many times, it is difficult to identify which destruction best fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy. Since the warning of destruction is prefaced in verse 18 with the phrase “in that day,” Isaiah could be pointing to a fulfillment in the last days. Some students of Jewish history observe parallels in the Nazi Holocaust. Also, it seems that the last verses of Isaiah 3 might even describe the effects of a nuclear holocaust. (Recent statements by the First Presidency indicate an inspired concern about the dangers of nuclear proliferation; see Bruce R. McConkie, CR, Apr. 1979, 133.) Of course, other disasters, such as disease, plague, or famine, could fulfill these conditions in the last days.

(Victor L. Ludlow, Isaiah: Prophet, Seer, and Poet [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 108.)

“Of Their Tinkling Ornaments”

(Isa. 3:18–24; refer in Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Bassett, to Alma 1:6 & Alma 31:28)

In this section a very complete list of feminine jewelry and ornaments is furnished by the prophet. We notice “tinkling ornaments,” probably rings worn on the feet; “cauls,” nets, or perhaps diadems; “round tires,” necklaces (v. 18); “chains, bracelets and mufflers;” probably, earrings, bracelets and veils (v. 19); “ornaments of the legs,” chains connecting the legs, to prevent the wearer from taking too long steps when walking; “headbands, tablets and ear-rings,” (v. 20), also translated, “girdles, perfume bottles and amulets, or charms;” “glasses,” (v. 20) means “mirrors.” The Lord would cause all these to be removed. Instead of finery there would be the misery of women in slavery, even “burning instead of beauty” (v. 24), which evidently refers to the mark of the cruel brand-iron on slaves.

(George Reynolds and Janne M. Sjodahl, Commentary on the Book of Mormon, ed. Philip C. Reynolds, 7 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1955–1961], 328–29.)

He describes the party-people, the fast set: … Stupefied by the endless beat of the Oriental music which has become part of our scene: … And of course the total subservience to fashion: “Because the daughters of Zion are haughty and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go”—in the immemorial manner of fashion models. An instructive list of words from the boutiques that only the fashion-wise will know… . (3:18–21) and of course clothes … (3:22) their beauty-aids will defeat their purpose as hair falls out and perfumes are overpowered (3:24).
The costly fashions reflect a world in which people are out to impress and impose themselves on others.

(Hugh W. Nibley, “Great Are the Words of Isaiah,” Sidney B. Sperry Symposium [Provo, Utah: Religious Instruction, BYU, January 28, 1978], 199–200.)

Definitely a conservative society, the Hebrews resisted change in clothing styles—at least among the lower classes. They chose wool as their fabric, which they could produce from the backs of the sheep that they raised… . Men, women and children wore long tunics, extending from the neck almost to the ankles. Women and older girls also had long capes that covered their heads and reached to the bottom of their tunics… . We know they often wore [girdles or belts] if for no other reason than to provide a place to tuck the bottom of their tunics when working, or to keep their clothing from billowing in a breeze… . Much of the time they were [barefoot] both inside and out of their houses. Sometimes they did wear sandals… .
Isaiah severely criticized the well-to-do women of Jerusalem for their ostentation… . (Isa. 3:18–24).
Here we see, among other things, that like the Assyrians the Judeans wore gold or silver bands around their ankles, bracelets for the wrist, armlets for the upper arm, earrings (crescents), turbans or head bands, veils, fabric of linen, pendants of precious or semi-precious stones, amulets (to ward off evil or as good luck charms), and had their hair elaborately dressed. In addition, they even wore nose rings.

(Howard F. Vos, Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Manners and Customs [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999], 295.)

Bravery of Tinkling Ornaments… . Bravery means “display, show, ostentation, and splendour.” … The Hebrew word used by Isaiah has nothing to do with a modern day reference to a “brave” person… . The Hebrew term … translated tinkling ornaments has reference to “a band circling the flesh, particularly, an ornament of women loving display.” …
Cauls… . A covering of the head worn by women like a net or fine mesh of parallel threads intersecting at right angles worn on the head and probably secured by a headband… .
Round Tires Like The Moon… . Ornaments worn on the necks of men, women, and even camels. See Judges 8:21, 26… . The reason for the King James use of the word “tires” comes from the fact that originally that word “tyre” meant “an ornamentation, dress or apparel.” The word “attire” comes of the same origin and the modern reference to an automobile tire, etc., comes from the original sense that the tire was the “attire”, “clothing”, or covering of the wheel.
Chains… . The usual English understanding of this word describes a type of earring, especially when made with pearls or drops… .
Bracelets… . This term comes from the root word “to twist or to twine,” from the idea of “turning, twisting, or going in a circle or being wreathed.” This particular word is the feminine plural form and, hence, bracelets… .
Mufflers… . “A woman’s veil.” …
Bonnets… . An ornamental head covering and the term was used in Exodus 39:28 to describe the linen cap worn by the sons of Aaron as part of the priestly robes worn in the Temple.
Ornaments of The Legs… . This may refer to a stepping chain which was worn by women fastened to the ankle band of each leg so that the wearer was forced to walk elegantly with short steps. Bells were often attached to this chain to make a sound… .
Head-bands… . It has nothing to do with a band or anything else worn about the head. It is a good example of how reading an ancient language translated into old English may be misleading. The term in Hebrew meant “a band or sash worn around the waist.” …
As to the meaning of the term “head-band” in English, in 1611 when the King James translation was made one definition meant “a sash at the top of or head of the trousers.”
Tablets… . As to the origin of the English word “tablet” the King James translators may have used that word to designate “an ornament of precious metal or jewelry of a flat form, worn about the person.” …
Other translators have interpreted the terms to refer to “receptacles or places for intimate things.” Some have thought that the term meant “smelling bottles or perfume bottles.” … The phrase translated “tablets” may be a reference to amulets or special small boxes containing items, “tablets” or scrolls, upon which sacred or intimate things were written. This conclusion would also be consistent with the fact that there developed a practice among the Jews of wearing small boxes or containers usually on the left arm and forehead secured to the body by connected leather ties… . Some Jews used this as a manner of exhibiting their own greatness, wisdom, piety and devotion; while at the same time demeaning others. The practice was condemned in Matthew 23:5… .
Ear-rings… . This term … stands for amulets, or superstitious ornaments, commonly gems and precious stones, or plates of gold and silver, on which magical formula were inscribed… . A mention of the earrings having religious significance related to the worship of idols is made in Genesis 35:4, in which all the household of Jacob were commanded to give up all their idols… .
Rings… . A signet ring or seal ring which is pressed into a soft substance to affix a seal or signet… .
Nose-jewels… . This was an item similar to an earring except that it was worn in the nose.
Changeable Suits of Apparel… . “Splendid or costly garments which at home are put off or not worn.” …
Mantels… . A spreading garment or cloak worn over other clothing. It was like a large tunic reaching to hands and feet… .
Wimples… . A spreading garment of a woman… .
Crisping-pins… . “Something turned or curved, especially a conical pouch or purse.” …
Glasses… . Mirrors or thin plates made of polished metal… .
Fine Linen… . A wide garment made of linen, worn on a naked body, under the outer clothes.
Hoods… . “A head-piece or band wound around the head of a man.” …
[Veils]. The word veil, spelled with an “e” denotes a piece of linen or other material forming part of a head-dress and worn so as to fall over the head and shoulders and down each side of the face.”

(Loren D. Martin, Isaiah: An Ensign to the Nations [Salt Lake City: Valiant Publications, 1982], 165–74.)

Commentaries on Isaiah: In the Book or Mormon