Nose rings: A Biblical Symbol of Modesty
|Snippet from Bailey's book showing woman
wearing shnaf nose ring.
“Nose rings play a role in the modesty of women, about which the Bedouin are zealous. …[F]ar-reaching obligations to, and burdens upon, clansmen are weighty—too weighty to be borne for people not of their blood. Thus, the possibility of an outsider implanting strange seed in their wives is something that Bedouin are ardent to avoid...
...In their society, modesty primarily consists of covering the mouth, since the mouth is physiologically suggestive of the vagina. Hence, just as a Bedouin term for the vagina is fur'a (lit. opening or ravine), so an unveiled woman, her mouth exposed, is called a far'a, a word using the same radicals as the Arabic image. Indeed, further to draw attention away from her mouth, a Bedouin woman, though veiled, wears a nose ring above the mouth veil; and to highlight its diversionary purpose, it is deliberately termed an “embellishment” (shnaf).
In the Bible, therefore, it is not surprising that the patriarch Abraham’s servant, on his mission to find a bride for his master’s son Isaac, put a ring on Rebecca’s nose (Gen. 24:47) for her to wear and attract attention while keeping her mouth covered, out of consideration for her modesty. Veiling as a rule of feminine reserve was also apparently familiar to Rebecca, who, upon spotting Isaac after her long return journey to the Negev with his father’s servant, was careful to “put on her veil and cover herself” (Gen. 24:65)."
When I read this, I was immediately reminded of the evangelical head covering movement--modern Christians that argue on the basis of 1 Cor. 11:2-16 that women should return to veiling themselves.
All you conservative Christian girls trying to be "biblically modest" should go get your body mods now. It's what Jesus wants. 😝