821. The Tunic

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χιτων was a tunic or inner garment which was worn next to the skin. It usually had sleeves, and generally reached to the knees, though sometimes to the ankles. It is mentioned in Matthew 5:4040And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. (Matthew 5:40); Luke 6:2929And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. (Luke 6:29); Acts 9:3939Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. (Acts 9:39). Sometimes, for luxury, two tunics were worn at the same time. This our Lord forbade his disciples. See Matthew 10:1010Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. (Matthew 10:10); Mark 6:99But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats. (Mark 6:9); Luke 3:11; 9:311He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. (Luke 3:11)
3And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. (Luke 9:3)
. When a person had on no garment but this he was said to be “naked.” See note on 1 Samuel 19:2424And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets? (1 Samuel 19:24) (#261).
These tunics were sometimes woven in one piece. Braun, a German theologian of the seventeenth century, wrote a quarto volume in Latin descriptive of the dress of the Jewish priests. In this he describes at length the manner in which seamless coats were woven, and gives pictorial illustrations. He had one of them made for himself by a weaver, according to directions which he gave, and on a loom made for the purpose. Seamless coats are still found in India and in other parts of the East.