Garments

Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

Concise Bible Dictionary:

Several words are used both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament for raiment, clothing, or apparel, without defining what particular garments are alluded to; and when a single garment is intended it is variously translated in the AV. In the East few garments were needed, and they were probably much the same as those worn there at present by the natives.
1. The inner garment is the kethoneth, a long tunic worn by men and women. It was made of wool, cotton, or linen. This was the garment God made of skins for Adam and Eve, and what Jacob made of many colors for Joseph (Gen. 3:2121Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them. (Genesis 3:21); Gen. 37:3,23-333Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors. (Genesis 37:3)
23And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colors that was on him; 24And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it. 25And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt. 26And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood? 27Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content. 28Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt. 29And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes. 30And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go? 31And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; 32And they sent the coat of many colors, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or no. 33And he knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces. (Genesis 37:23‑33)
). It formed part of the priest’s dress. At times another is worn over it. The bride said she had put off her “coat” for the night, which was probably the outer one, though the Hebrew word is the same (Song of Sol. 5:33I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them? (Song of Solomon 5:3)). The kethoneth answers to the χιτών of the New Testament, mostly translated “coat.” The disciples were not to take two when the Lord sent them out (Matt. 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)). It was this garment of the Lord’s that was woven in one piece (John 19:2323Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. (John 19:23)); and the word is used of the coats made by Dorcas (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)).
2. The other principal garment was the simlah, a cloak, or wide outer mantle, worn by men and women, and in which they wrapped themselves at night. This might be of any texture according to the season, and according to the station in life of the wearer. The peasants often wear such, called an “abba” of camels’ or goats’ hair. This garment if taken in pledge had to be returned in the evening, for without it “wherein shall he sleep?” (Ex. 22:26-2726If thou at all take thy neighbor's raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down: 27For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious. (Exodus 22:26‑27); compare Deut. 24:1313In any case thou shalt deliver him the pledge again when the sun goeth down, that he may sleep in his own raiment, and bless thee: and it shall be righteousness unto thee before the Lord thy God. (Deuteronomy 24:13)). The simlah is the garment that was rent in grief (Gen. 37:3434And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. (Genesis 37:34); Gen. 44:1313Then they rent their clothes, and laded every man his ass, and returned to the city. (Genesis 44:13); Josh. 7:66And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the Lord until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads. (Joshua 7:6)). This corresponds to the ἱμάτιον in the New Testament. It is translated “cloak” (Matt. 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)); and it is the robe of purple with which the soldiers mocked the Lord (John 19:2,52And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, (John 19:2)
5Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! (John 19:5)
). It is the “garment” the edge of which the woman touched (Matt. 14:3636And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole. (Matthew 14:36)); and the “garments” of which the scribes and Pharisees enlarged the borders (Matt. 23:55But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, (Matthew 23:5)). It is otherwise used for “garments” in general, as in Matthew 27:3535And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. (Matthew 27:35) and John 19:23-2423Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. 24They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did. (John 19:23‑24); and is often translated “raiment” and “clothes.”
3. Another prominent article of apparel and one often richly ornamented was the GIRDLE. These three, with sandals, and a handkerchief or other covering for the head, constituted the usual dress in the East.
Besides the above we read of “changeable suits of apparel” for women (Isa. 3:2222The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, (Isaiah 3:22)).
4. Also, the MANTLE, or ROBE, meil, described as “a large tunic, worn over the common one, but without sleeves.” It was worn by priests (Ex. 28:3131And thou shalt make the robe of the ephod all of blue. (Exodus 28:31); 1 Sam. 28:1414And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself. (1 Samuel 28:14); Ezra 9:3, 53And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied. (Ezra 9:3)
5And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the Lord my God, (Ezra 9:5)
): by kings and princes (1 Sam. 18:44And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle. (1 Samuel 18:4); 1 Sam. 24:4, 114And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the Lord said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe privily. (1 Samuel 24:4)
11Moreover, my father, see, yea, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand: for in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe, and killed thee not, know thou and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in mine hand, and I have not sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul to take it. (1 Samuel 24:11)
): by men of rank (Job 1:2020Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, (Job 1:20); Job 2:1212And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven. (Job 2:12)): and by women (2 Sam. 13:1818And she had a garment of divers colors upon her: for with such robes were the king's daughters that were virgins apparelled. Then his servant brought her out, and bolted the door after her. (2 Samuel 13:18)).

From Anstey’s Doctrinal Definitions:

1. Machelatsoth “changeable suits of apparel,” were costly garments of any kind which were used only on festival occasions, and put off when at home. The same word is rendered “change of raiment” in Zechariah 3:44And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. (Zechariah 3:4).
2. Maataphoth, “mantles,” are supposed by some to have been cloaks or mantles of ample folds, which were worn outside of the other garments; while others think that they were a fashionable sort of upper tunic.
3. Mitpachoth, “wimples,” were wide upper garments, the distinction between which and maataphoth is not clear, unless the latter explanation above given is correct. The word is rendered “veil” in Ruth 3:1515Also he said, Bring the vail that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city. (Ruth 3:15), where see the note (#246).
4. Charitin, “crisping-pins,” are now thought by the best authorities to have had nothing to do with the hair, as our translators supposed, but to have been richly ornamented purses of gold or embroidered work, long and round in form, perhaps like an inverted cone, and suspended from the girdle. We have the idea more correctly expressed in 2 Kings 5:2323And Naaman said, Be content, take two talents. And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and laid them upon two of his servants; and they bare them before him. (2 Kings 5:23), where the same word is translated “bags.”

From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

The distinction between the dress of the sexes being less than with us, there was the greater need of this regulation. There is reason to believe that the law was made not merely to preserve decency, but because the heathen were in the habit of pursuing a different course as a part of their idolatrous worship. Maimonides says: “In the books of the idolaters it is commanded that when a man presents himself before the Star of Venus, he shall wear the colored dress of a woman; and when a woman adores the Star of Mars, she shall appear in armor.” Pagan idols were frequently represented with the features of one sex and the dress of the other, and their worshipers endeavored to be like them. It is not at all unlikely that this custom was as old as the time of Moses, and was a partial reason for the enacting of this law.