And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking
Having had enough to abate their thirst and satisfy them, by means of Rebekah's drawing water for them: that the man took a golden earring;
out of his pocket, or out of a box or parcel that was upon the camels; it is in the margin of our Bibles, "a jewel for the forehead"; or, as some render it, a "nose jewel" F25; and so in ( Genesis 24:47 ) , "an earring upon her face", or "nose"; and this was a jewel that hung from the forehead upon a lace or ribbon between the eyes down upon the nose; and such the daughters of Sion wore in later times, ( Isaiah 3:21 ) ; see ( Ezekiel 16:12 ) ; and nose jewels are still in use with the Levant Arabs, as Dr. Shaw F26 relates. Rauwolff F1, who travelled through Mesopotamia and the parts adjacent in 1574, says of the women in those parts that are of greater substance, and have a mind to be richer and finer in their dress, that they wear silver and gold rings in one of their nostrils, wherein are set garnets, turquoise, rubies, and pearls: and in Egypt they wear nose jewels F2 and small gold rings in their right nostrils, with a piece of coral set in them
F3 and this earring or jewel was of half a shekel weight;
which was eighty barley corns, for a whole shekel weighed one hundred and sixty. The Targum of Jonathan is,
``the weight of a drachma, which was the half of a didrachma or common shekel:''and two bracelets for her hands, of ten [shekels] weight of gold;
a shekel of gold, according to Calmet F4, was worth eighteen shillings and three pence of English money, so that ten of them amount to nine pounds two shillings and six pence; according to Waserus F5, these made twenty Hungarian pieces of gold, which were worth upwards of ninety pounds of Swiss money. A handsome present this was, and suitable to a virgin. Jarchi and Jonathan allegorize the two bracelets of the two tables of the law, and the ten shekels of the ten commands on them.
F25 (Mzn) "imponeret naso ejus monile aureum", Junius & Tremellius.
F26 Travels, p. 241. Ed. 2.
F1 Travels, par. 2. ch. 5. p. 128, 129.
F2 Pitts's Account of Mahometanism, p. 68.
F3 Egmont and Heyman's Travels, vol. 2. p. 85.
F4 Dictionary, in the word "Shekel".
F5 De Antiqu. numis, Heb. l. 2. c. 10.