Isaiah 3:24

24 Instead of fragrance there will be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well-dressed hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth; instead of beauty, branding.

Isaiah 3:24 in Other Translations

KJV
24 And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.
ESV
24 Instead of perfume there will be rottenness; and instead of a belt, a rope; and instead of well-set hair, baldness; and instead of a rich robe, a skirt of sackcloth; and branding instead of beauty.
NLT
24 Instead of smelling of sweet perfume, she will stink. She will wear a rope for a sash, and her elegant hair will fall out. She will wear rough burlap instead of rich robes. Shame will replace her beauty.
MSG
24 Instead of wearing seductive scents, these women are going to smell like rotting cabbages; Instead of modeling flowing gowns, they'll be sporting rags; Instead of their stylish hairdos, scruffy heads; Instead of beauty marks, scabs and scars.
CSB
24 Instead of perfume there will be a stench; instead of a belt, a rope; instead of beautifully styled hair, baldness; instead of fine clothes, sackcloth; instead of beauty, branding.

Isaiah 3:24 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 3:24

And it shall come to pass, [that] instead of sweet smell
there shall be a stink
Instead of "spice", or in the place where they put spices, carried musk, or had their smelling bottles, of precious and aromatic ointment, balsam, and myrrh, and such like things {g}, namely, in their bosoms, there should be a "stink" or putrefaction, arising from ulcers and diseases of the body, ( Zechariah 14:12 ) the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, render it "dust"; or this may refer to the anointing of their hair with ointment of myrrh and other things, which gave an agreeable scent; but instead of this there would be a scab, giving an ill scent, ( Isaiah 3:17 ) and instead of a girdle a rent;
such as is made in times of mourning and distress, or by the enemy. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, a "rope"; instead of fine curious girdles, wrought with gold and silver, they should have nothing but a rope about their loins. The Targum is,

``in the place where they bind the girdles, shall be marks of smiting;''
stripes, cuts, see ( Isaiah 10:34 ) as either by blows from the enemy, by whom they should be taken, or by the hand of God, being smitten with sores and ulcers, so that they should not be able to bear girdles upon them; or "holes", in their clothes or skin: and instead of well set hair baldness;
instead of plaited hair, and curled locks, kept in order, there would be scabs, ulcers, leprosy, or such diseases as would cause the hair to fall off, and leave a baldness. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, "instead of the golden ornament of the head, thou shall have baldness for thy works"; and the Syriac version, "instead of gems, incisions": and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth;
the word for a "stomacher" is only used in this place; according to Kimchi, it signifies a very broad girdle; but Aben Ezra says it was a thin garment embroidered, which was put over all the rest of the clothes; perhaps something like a "mantelet". The Septuagint version renders it, "instead of the garment worked with purple"; and so the Syriac version, "instead of their hyacinths, or purples"; and the Arabic version, "instead of thy silken garment thou shall be girt with sackcloth"; which was usually done in times of distress and mourning: [and] burning instead of beauty;
either through the scorching beams of the sun, being stripped of their hoods and veils; or rather this is to be understood of carbuncles, and such like hot burning ulcers in their faces, which once were beautiful, and they prided themselves in; though the Hebrew word (yk) seems rather to be a preposition than a noun; so Jarchi, whose note is,
``for this is fit to be unto them instead of beauty, with which they have prided themselves,''
or have lifted up themselves; and so in his gloss upon the Talmud F8, where this clause, with the context, is cited and paraphrased,
``for all these things shall come unto thee instead of thy beauty;''
and this clause may be read in connection with the following, "because of beauty", or "instead of beauty, thy men shall fall" and so the Targum,
``this vengeance shall be taken on them, because they have committed fornication in their beauty; thy beautiful men shall be killed by the sword.''
The Syriac version is, "because their beauty shall be corrupted", and those versions which seem to have left out this clause, yet retain something of it in the beginning of the next verse ( Isaiah 3:25 ) . The Vulgate Latin version is, "thy most beautiful men also shall fall by the sword". The Septuagint and Arabic versions begin it thus, "and thy beautiful son, whom thou lovest, shall fall by the sword".
FOOTNOTES:

F7 Misn. Sabbat, c. 6. sect. 3.
F8 T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 62. 2.

Isaiah 3:24 In-Context

22 the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses
23 and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls.
24 Instead of fragrance there will be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well-dressed hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth; instead of beauty, branding.
25 Your men will fall by the sword, your warriors in battle.
26 The gates of Zion will lament and mourn; destitute, she will sit on the ground.

Cross References 7

  • 1. S Esther 2:12
  • 2. Isaiah 4:4
  • 3. Proverbs 31:24
  • 4. S ver 17; S Leviticus 13:40; S Job 1:20; Isaiah 22:12
  • 5. S Genesis 37:34; Job 16:15; Isaiah 20:2; Jeremiah 4:8; Lamentations 2:10; Ezekiel 27:30-31; John 3:5-8
  • 6. 1 Peter 3:3
  • 7. S 2 Samuel 10:4; Isaiah 20:4