"In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their anklets . . ." I can understand that 'bravery' can possibly be words like 'finery' but recently heard from one of the more esoterically inclined that 'bravery' means 'magic power'. Based on this they claim that the power in their charms and amulets come from God. Can the Hebrew word possibly mean this?

1 Answer 1


In v16-26, the physical adornments and beauty of the women are being emphasized: finery, anklets, scarves, crescents, pendants, bracelets, veils, headdresses, leg ornaments, headbands, perfume boxes, charms, rings, nose jewels, festal apparel, mangles, outer garments, purses, mirrors, fine linen, turbans, robes (NKJV).

Their condemnation is because of their pride and immorality: they are proud because they are beautiful, and use their beauty immorally: "Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with outstretched necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, making a jingling with their feet"

Therefore they will be condemned, and their beauty and ornaments will be taken away from them: "And so it shall be: Instead of a sweet smell there shall be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well-set hair, baldness; instead of a rich robe, a girding of sackcloth; and branding instead of beauty."

This context is emphasizing the sins (i.e. pride and lasciviousness) associated with beauty. There is no contextual reason why superstitions/magic/sorcery should make its appearance here.

Having examined the context, let's take a look at the word translated "finery" in the NKJV and "bravery" in the KJV. The word is "tiferet". Accordint to HALOT, it can mean 1) beauty, ornament, 2) glory, splendour, radiance, 3) fame, honour, 4) pride. Some translations treat "tiferet" as its own independent nominal concept unrelated to the "anklets", while some treat "tiferet" as an adjectival modifier of "anklets". Both work grammatically. Thus the translation could be either "finery, anklets" (~NKJV), or "finery of the anklets" (ESV). Unless I am greatly mistaken, there is no linguistic or contextual reason whatsoever to understand the bracelets as having magic powers.

  • Tried to vote you up twice. Didn't work. Thank you for the trouble you went to. There is a Psalm they use as well but I can't remember the number. Something about 'wrought unseen'. Suspect that is nonsense as well. Oct 22, 2013 at 20:23
  • Thanks, glad to answer! I've actually studied that passage in Isaiah a while back, but had never heard the interpretation that the anklets were magic. Seems like a really weird interpretation.
    – Niobius
    Oct 22, 2013 at 20:49

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