Camels Hair

Camels' Hair (τρίχες καμήλου), a material of clothing. John the Baptist was habited in raiment of camels' hair (Mt 3:4; Mr 1:6), and Chardin states that such garments are worn by the modern dervishes. There is a coarse cloth made of camels' hair in the East, which is used for manufacturing the coats of shepherds and camel-drivers, and also for the covering of tents (Harmar, Obs. 2:487; comp. Elian, Nat. Hist. 17:34). It was doubtless this coarse kind which was adopted by John. By this he was distinguished from 'those residents in royal palaces who wore soft raiment. Elijah is said in the English Bible to have been "a hairy man" (2Ki 1:8); but it may mean "a man dressed in hair" — that is, camels' hair. In Zec 13:4, "a rough garment" — that is, a garment of a hairy manufacture — is characteristic of a prophet. (See Manufactures of the Ancients, N. Y. 1848, p. 312 sq.; Hackett's Illustra. of Script. p. 96.)

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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