Last week, we ran into the oddity of one verse that, even correctly translated, gave us several translations. This week, we hit one that is almost unanimous in one translation. After missing on Song Of Solomon, we go to Isaiah 3:16:
Isa 3:16 The LORD said: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty and walk with outstretched necks, glancing wantonly with their eyes, mincing along as they go, tinkling with their feet...
Now, I have two places to go today with this- and neither of them having to deal with the "scab on the crown of their heads" that God promises in the next verse. While this particular verse is pretty self explanatory (with only the concept that this was the state of Judah after Azariah- or, as Isaiah references him, Uzziah- dies and the kingdom begins to drift into the sins of Israel needed to add to it), there is one spot which actually is considered a mistranslation. And that will lead into my first discussion and a BIG bunny trail.
The part about "glancing wantonly" seems to fit right in. But where the word used in most translations gives the sense of winking, as in winking to deceive or lead on- hence wantonly- others translate it as the custom of the day for rich women to paint their eyes, as in using what we call mascara. So, does that mean that wearing mascara is wrong? Well, like anything in life, that is a "yes-and-no" answer, depending on the reason and use- and theirs might be a little more no than yes.
Remember, this is a highly superstitious world, and the connections to idolatry are many. I would like, just for fun, to flesh one of those connections out, as it connects to a discussion Laurie and I had not long ago.
We start this journey in Genesis 6:
Gen 6:1 When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them,
Gen 6:2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose.
Gen 6:3 Then the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years."
Gen 6:4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.
Gen 6:5 The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Gen 6:6 And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
Gen 6:7 So the LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them."
Gen 6:8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
Gen 6:9 These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.
Gen 6:10 And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Gen 6:11 Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight, and the earth was filled with violence.
Gen 6:12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.
The Nephilim have been a subject of controversy ever since. Are they fallen angels interbreeding with human women? Are they the descendants of Cain corrupting the descendants of Seth? Why were their children the men of renown? And what does this have to do with make-up?
So one of the Apocrypha associated with the Scriptures is the fragmentary Book of Enoch. The early part of this book develops the Nephilim as fallen angels, otherwise known as the Watchers. They indeed, it says, intermixed with human women- and some other things, perhaps- creating as descendants giants "over 3,000 ells tall". (An ell is a bit of a controversial word as well; some people claim that makes the giants 450 feet tall, others, over two miles. Either way, we were NOT referencing merely "tall men").
There were 19 or 20 named Watchers in Enoch, and many of them had a certain skill that they taught the children of men. Araqiel or Arakiba taught earth signs; Shamshiel /Samsapeel taught sun signs; Sariel taught the course of the moon. Baraqiel taught astrology, aided by Kokabiel, who taught the constellations. Weather signs were taught by Ezeqeel; Armaros, the resolving of enchantments. But the main guy- or guys, it is hard to tell for sure which- is Semiazaz, or Semjaza, or perhaps Azazel, who may be a separate angel. He/they seemed to have two different areas of expertise. One was more magical- enchantments, the "cutting of roots" (which I surmise is yet another form of divination), and the use of plants in spells. The other involved metalworking, the making of weapons of war- and jewelry and make-up. Considering so much of the rest of what was taught went into the occult, one assumes, then, that the original use of make-up and jewelry had an occult basis.
Just to tie up the story, let me go on just a bit. The Book of Enoch tells how the "children" of the Watchers, the Nephilim, which they delighted in, were not only the heroes of old, but they that were thinking only evil continually. They were not only active in the corruption of mankind, but were embarking on a genocide against it. The four great angels, Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel- went to God, reported the story- along with the the question, "We know You know everything, and know these things- what do You want us to do about it?" And God gave them assignments. Uriel was the one who went to Noah and told him what to do; Gabriel was to stir up a civil war amongst the Nephilim, while Raphael and Michael bound the rest, so that they could watch their beloved "descendants" destroy each other before man was judged in the Flood, and THEY were judged by being chained to the seven burning stars in the void- that same void that the demon-collective Legion begged Jesus not to send them to.
Weird, wild stuff.
Now let us return to more actually Biblical lines. I noted something curious just before the judgment on the Daughters of Zion, in v 11-12:
Isa 3:11 Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him.
Isa 3:12 My people--infants are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, your guides mislead you and they have swallowed up the course of your paths.
Now, did the Prophet actually mean infants and women? Actually, no. Azariah got cursed with some form of leprosy after trying to take on priestly duties against the Law, and his son Jotham was a co-regent for the next 11 years before becoming king in his own right. He was 25 at the time, so far from a child. BUT, it wasn't a child by age Isaiah was referencing...
Ecc 10:16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning!
Ecc 10:17 Happy are you, O land, when your king is the son of the nobility, and your princes feast at the proper time, for strength, and not for drunkenness!
Neither Isaiah nor Solomon were talking about little kids; they were talking about fools, who had more partying than ruling on their minds- not the wielding of power, but wallowing in its benefits.
And women? Well, here the word is best translated "effeminate"- and let us be clear what we are talking about here. At no place in the Bible does God approve of, and in many places such as this, does He condemn homosexuality. And leadership that is allowing homosexual "rights" (by which they mean homosexual domination) is thus condemned by God RIGHT HERE as being misleading, "swallowing up your paths" to lead you into accepting evil.
Now Chris, aren't you mis-representing that verse? Well, back up just two spots...
Isa 3:9 For the look on their faces bears witness against them; they proclaim their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves.
I didn't say it; God did. What I am saying, what is our judgment when we listen to this very kind of guide today, in the name of "tolerance"? Look at how Keli and Dietzsch explain it...
Thus the way of the path of the people, i.e., the highway or road by whose ramifying paths the people were to reach the appointed goal, had been swallowed up by them, i.e., taken away from the sight and feet of the people, so that they could not find it and walk therein (cf., Isa_25:7-8, where the verb is used in another connection). What is swallowed up is invisible, has disappeared, without a grace being left behind.
And that not only describes today's world, it increasingly describes today's church.