Garments

Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

[DRESS

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. 3:21; Gen. 37:3,23-33). 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. 5:3). 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. 10:10). It was this garment of the Lord’s that was woven in one piece (John 19:23); and the word is used of the coats made by Dorcas (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. 22:26-27; compare Deut. 24:13). The simlah is the garment that was rent in grief (Gen. 37:34; Gen. 44:13; Josh. 7:6). This corresponds to the ἱμάτιον in the New Testament. It is translated “cloak” (Matt. 5:40; Luke 6:29); and it is the robe of purple with which the soldiers mocked the Lord (John 19:2,5). It is the “garment” the edge of which the woman touched (Matt. 14:36); and the “garments” of which the scribes and Pharisees enlarged the borders (Matt. 23:5). It is otherwise used for “garments” in general, as in Matthew 27:35 and 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. 3:22).
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. 28:31; 1 Sam. 28:14; Ezra 9:3, 5): by kings and princes (1 Sam. 18:4; 1 Sam. 24:4, 11): by men of rank (Job 1:20; Job 2:12): and by women (2 Sam. 13:18).
5. The WIMPLE or VEIL, a wide upper garment or shawl, which covered the head and part of the body. Ruth was able to carry in such a veil six measures of barley (Ruth 3:15; Isa. 3:22). There are four other Hebrew words translated “veils.”
6. The STOMACHER, apparently a wide ornamented girdle. The word occurs only in Isaiah 3:24.

From Anstey’s Doctrinal Definitions:

Isaiah 3:22. The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins.
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 3:4.
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 3:15, 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 5:23, where the same word is translated “bags.”

“200. Distinction in Dress” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Deuteronomy 22:5. The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.
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.

“205. The Outer Garment” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Deuteronomy 24:12-13. If the man be poor, thou shalt not sleep with his pledge: in any case thou shalt deliver him the pledge again when the sun goeth down, that he may sleep in his own raiment.
From this it would seem that the most common article of pledge was a part of the clothing. The words salmah and simlah (as it is in the parallel passage, Ex. 22:26) were used to denote clothing in general, but especially the large outer garment, or wrapper, which was skillfully wound around the person, and was as useful at night for a bed covering as during the day for clothing. This is the “raiment” of the text. The Orientals do not change their clothes on retiring to rest, and hence this large outer garment becomes very serviceable. To keep such a garment from a poor man over night was indeed an act of inhumanity which is justly condemned by the law. Tile consequences of such cruelty are touchingly described by Job where he speaks of the works of wicked men: “They cause the naked to lodge without clothing, that they have no covering in the cold. They are wet with the showers of the mountains, and embrace the rock for want of a shelter” (Job 24: 7-8).
The abba of the modern Bedawi is supposed to bear a close resemblance to the ancient garment spoken of. It is made of wool and hair, of various degrees of fineness; is sometimes entirely black, and sometimes entirely white; and is marked with two broad stripes. It is altogether shapeless, being like a square sack, with an opening in front, and with slits at the sides to let out the arms. Very similar to this is the hyke, which is worn by the Moors of Northern Africa, and used by them for a covering at night and for a cloak by day. Dr. Shaw speaks of several varieties of the hyke, both as to size and quality. It is a loose but troublesome garment, being frequently disconcerted and falling to the ground; so that the person who wears it is every moment obliged to tuck it up and fold it anew about his body” (Travels, p. 224). It is often used to wrap up burdens that are to be carried, and in this way the Israelites carried their kneading troughs wrapped up in the folds of their outer garments, and borne on their shoulders (Ex. 12:34).
The outer garment is in the New Testament represented by the word ιμύτιον, which in the Septuagint is the word used in this text and in Exodus 22:26. It is called a cloak in Matthew 5:40; raiment in Matthew 27:31; vesture in Revelation 19:13; garment in Matthew 14:36. In most of the passages in the New Testament where the word “garment” is used this is the article meant.
This outer garment was easily and frequently laid aside. See Matthew 21:7-8; 24:18; John 13:4,12; Acts 7:58; 22:20,23.

“229. Embroidered Garments” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Judges 5:30. To Sisera a prey of divers colors, a prey of divers colors of needlework, of divers colors of needlework on both sides.
Rikmah, hero rendered “needlework,” means work made in different colors, whether by means of the needle or the loom. Precisely how this beautiful cloth was made is not now known. The Israelites were doubtless able to make figured cloth either with the needle or by weaving, since there is evidence from the Egyptian monuments that both methods were Very ancient. The Israelites could therefore have learned the art in Egypt. Elegant and highly ornamented garments have ever been greatly prized by the Orientals. Babylon was anciently specially famous for their manufacture; whence the expression, “Babylonish garments” (Josh. 7:21). In the sacking of cities or camps all these variegated cloths were considered highly desirable booty. Thus Deborah, in this fine battle-poem, represents the ladies who attended on the mother of Sisera as suggesting to her that her son was detained because of the valuable spoil he had taken. Gold thread was sometimes used in the manufacture of beautiful garments. See Psalm 45:13-14. The prophet Ezekiel refers to the fondness of the Assyrians for costly clothing. See Ezekiel 23:12, and the note on that passage (#579).

“472. White Garments” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Ecclesiastes 9:8. Let thy garments be always white.
In the warm countries of the East white clothing is more frequently and generally worn than with us. This allusion to white garments is a beautiful figurative exhortation to perpetual purity of character, and one that would be readily appreciated by the Oriental mind. “May God blacken his face” is a common imprecation in the East. Mohammed is often called “He of the white face.” In the Bible there are a number of references to white garments as typical of purity. In Daniel 7:9, the Deity is represented as clad in a “garment white as snow.” When Jesus was transfigured “his raiment was white as the light” (Matt. 17:2). The angels appeared in white robes when the disciples visited the tomb of their risen Lord (Matt. 28:3; Mark 16:5; Luke 24:4; John 20:12), and also when he ascended into heaven (Acts 1:10). The redeemed are to be clothed in white (Rev. 7:13; Rev. 19:14).

“487. Apparel” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Isaiah 3:22. The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins.
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 3:4.
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 3:15, 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 5:23, where the same word is translated “bags.”

“488. Various Articles of Attire” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Isaiah 3:23. The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the wails.
1. Gilyonim, “glasses,” are probably the small metallic mirrors wherewith Oriental women adorn their persons. See note on Exodus 38:8 (#139). The Septuagint, however, and a number of eminent commentators, understand the word to mean “transparent garments,” referring to the garments of thin gauze or other material so delicately made as to reveal the form of the wearer. Such were the celebrated (loan garments of classic writers, and dresses of this sort are still used in the East, often richly ornamented with gold spangles.
2. Sedinim, “fine linen,” is mentioned in Judges 14:12-13, as a part of the gift which Samson offered to any who would guess his riddle. In our version the word is there rendered “sheets.” It also occurs in Proverbs 31:24, in Solomon’s description of “a virtuous woman.” The sedinim were inner garments or tunics.
3. Tseniphoth, “hoods,” were coverings for the head, the difference between which and the peerim, or bonnets,”of verse 20 it is not easy now to determine. The etymology of the two words would suggest that the tseniphoth were simply the turbaned wrappers which were wound around the heads, while the peerim were the same, with rich ornaments attached. Some writers, however, suppose the tseniphoth to have been merely ribbons for binding the hair or fastening the tiara. The word in the singular is rendered” diadem “ in Job 29:14 and Isaiah 62:3.
4. Redidim, “veils,” differed somewhat from the realoth, “mufflers,” of verse 19. Kitto supposes the “radid to have been a kind of head veil which ladies wear at home, and which, not being intended for concealment of the features, rests upon the head and falls down over the back. It is of very light texture, being usually a long strip of muslin embroidered with threads of colored silk and gold, forming altogether one of the most graceful articles in the female attire of the East” (Daily Bible Illustrations, vol. 6, p. 53).

“489. Hair Dressing - Girdle” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Isaiah 3:24. Instead of well set hair baldness, and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth.
1. The women of the East have always paid special attention to dressing the hair. Folds, braids, and tresses in every variety are a source of pride.
See note on 1 Peter 3:3 (#886). On the other hand, baldness is considered a great calamity and is made an occasion for contempt. See note on 2 Kings 2:23 (#328). Thus the change from “well-set hair” to “baldness” would be regarded as a serious misfortune.
2. Pethigil, “stomacher,” is supposed by some to have been a girdle, made of beautiful and costly materials and richly embroidered. Others, from the etymology of the word, and from the contrast between the “stomacher” and the “girding of sackcloth,” suppose it to have been a wide loose flowing mantle characteristic of luxury and wantonness.

“593. Various Garments” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Daniel 3:21. Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments.
It is not easy to tell the precise articles of costume intended by the original words which our translators have rendered as above, though the improved sources or exposition in our day add to the knowledge which they possessed. Bevan, in Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, vol.1, p. 457, renders as follows:
1. Sarbalin, “coats,” (marg., “mantles,”) were drawers, which made the distinctive feature in the Persian as compared with the Hebrew dress.
2. Patish, “hosen,” was an inner tunic.
3. Carbala, “hat,” (marg., “turban,”) was an upper tunic.
4. Lebush, “garments,” was a cloak which was worn over all.

“821. The Tunic” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

John 19:23. The coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.
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 5:40; Luke 6:29; Acts 9:39. Sometimes, for luxury, two tunics were worn at the same time. This our Lord forbade his disciples. See Matthew 10:10; Mark 6:9; Luke 3:11; 9:3. When a person had on no garment but this he was said to be “naked.” See note on 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.