The Facts (chapter number: Verse)
3:12 - "My people - children are their oppressors, and women rue over them. O my people, your leaders mislead you, and confuse the course of your paths."
3:16-26 - "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; the Lord will afflict with scabs the heads of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will lay bare their secret parts.
"In that day the Lord will take away the finery of the anklets, the headbands, and the crescents; the pendants, the bracelets, and the scarfs; the headdresses, the armlets, the sashes, the perfume boxes, and the amulets; the signet rings and nose rings; the festal robes, the mantles, the cloaks, and the handbags; the garments of gauze, the linen garments, the turbans, and the veils. Instead of perfume there will be stench; and instead of a sash, a rope; and instead of well-set hair, baldness; and instead of a rich robe, a binding of sackcloth; instead of beauty, shame. Your men shall fall by the sword and your warriors in battle. And her gates shall lament and mourn; ravaged, she shall sit upon the ground."
4:1 - "Seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying, 'We will eat our own bread and wear out own clothes; just let us be called by your name; take away our disgrace.'"
4:3-4 - "Whoever is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem, once the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning."
Gotta say, I just LOVE the detail that is put into the punishment of the daughters of Zion. The Bible just waxes poetic about how they will be disfigured and removed of all their clothes and jewels. Really, it just lingers on them. The punishment of others doesn't contain nearly as much detail (when any detail is even given). The men simple die but the women are stripped and shamed and left to suffer for the rest of their disgusting and shameful lives.
You know what, I think I'll let the Dread Pirate Roberts explain this one.
And lest we have forgotten already, women ruling over you is HORRIBLE! Truly, if it has come to that your leaders have led you astray and you are all on the wrong path!
Women are bad bad bad evil bad!
In case you forgot.
No, really, I honestly have no idea why the most evil thing out of all of Zion is the women. Why? Other than recently the Bible has been on a real "women are the root of all of men's shortcomings" kick, I don't see any other reason for this to be the focus. Or why is the fact that the daughters of Zion desire to look nice such a huge issue? There is no evidence that they place their looks above God or their duties or have caused them to slut it up, though I assume that is what is being implied. Because they looked good and wore makeup and fancy dress they have suddenly stopped caring about their duties and their loyalty to God. Or their fancy dress and good looks are meant to lure men away to the depths of Sheol.
Really, why is this the reason they are being punished? Is it too much to want an explanation for this? Was the answer to this question just so painfully obvious to those who lived during these times that further explanation was unnecessary?
Also, I am uncertain what exactly to make of "the Lord will lay bare their secret parts." Does this just mean he strips them of their finery so much that they will be naked or does this mean that he actually invites their rape as a punishment? But it doesn't seem like He leaves them naked since later it describes what their fine clothes are replaced by - sackcloth for robes and ropes for sashes. It even says there will be lamenting and mourning, and "ravaged" she shall sit upon the ground.
From this section, it really looks to me like God is advocating rape as a punishment for women who dare to draw attention to themselves by way of their looks. I'm just gonna go ahead and make that call. Just from the words that were chosen and the extreme disdain in which these women are held I'm pretty sure that is exactly what is going on. If only one of those things was present, the parts laid bare or the ravaged women I would say that they were probably just stripped and that's that. But to have women laid bare and ravaged it's too much together. It seems like a description of rape to me.
What a stand up guy, that God. Totally worthy of our worship and praise, right?
Wednesday: Isaiah 5-6