Isaiah on jewelry

Silver bells or galagil

In Isaiah 3, 16-23, Isaiah mentions many types of jewelry that the women of Sion wear. The many translations of the passage indicate a lack of understanding of Middle Eastern costume and jewelry by the western translators. Below, you will find a translation from the New International Version of the Bible. The links lead to examples of the jewelry described. These are not the exact jewelry, but serve as an indication of the type of jewelry worn in the region.


The Lord says,
“The women of Zion are haughty,
walking along with outstretched necks,
flirting with their eyes,
tripping along with mincing steps,
with ornaments jingling on their ankles.
Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion;
the Lord will make their scalps bald.”

In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery:
the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces,
the earrings and bracelets and veils,
the headdresses and ankle chains and sashes,
the perfume bottles and charms,
the signet rings and nose rings,
the fine robes and the capes and cloaks,
the purses and mirrors,
and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls.