Dress (does not occur in Scripture in the sense of clothing, but only in the older acceptation of preparing or tilling). SEE COSTUME.
1. Materials. — These were various, and multiplied with the advance of civilization. The earliest and simplest robe was made out of the leaves of a tree (תּאֵנָה, "A.V. fig-tree" — and comp. the present Arabic name for the fig, tin), portions of which were sewn together so as to form an apron (Ge 3:7). Ascetic Jews occasionally used a similar material in later times. Josephus (Life, 2) records this of Banus (ἐσθῆτι μὲν ἀπὸ δένδρων χρώμηνος); but whether it was made of the leaves or the bark is uncertain. After the Fall, the skins of animals supplied a more durable material (Ge 3:21), which was adapted to a rude state of society, and is stated to have been used by various ancient nations (Diod. Sic. 1:43; 2:38; Arrian, Ind. 7, 3). Skins were not wholly disused at later periods: the adde'reth (אִדֶּרֶת) worn by Elijah appears to have been the skin of a sheep or some other animal with the wool left on (in the Sept. the word is rendered μηλωτή, 1Ki 19:13,19; 2Ki 2:13; Sopa, Ge 25:25; and δέῤῥις, Zec 13:4; and it may be connected with δορά etymologically, Saalchutz, Archaeol. 1:19; Gesenius, however, prefers the notion of amplitude, אָדִר, in which case it = אֶדֶר of Mic 2:8; Thesaur. page 29). The same material is implied in the description of Elijah (אַישׁ בִּעִל שֵׂעָר; Sept. ἀνὴρ δασύς; A.V. "hairy man," 2Ki 1:8), though these words may also be understood of the hair of the prophet; and in the comparison of Esau's skin to such a robe (Ge 25:25). It was characteristic of a prophet's office from its mean appearance (Zec 13:4; comp. Mt 7:15). Pelisses of sheepskin still form an ordinary article of dress in the East (Burckhardt's Notes on Bedouins, 1:50). The sheepskin coat is frequently represented in the sculptures of Khorsabad: it was made with sleeves, and was worn over the tunic: it fell over the back, and terminated in its natural state. The people wearing it have been identified with the Sagartii (Bonomi's Nineveh, page 193). The addereth worn by the king of Nineveh (Jon 3:6), and the "goodly Babylonish garment" found at Ai (Jos 7:21), were of a different character, either robes trimmed with valuable furs, or the skins themselves ornamented with embroidery. The art of weaving hair was known to the Hebrews at an early period (Ex 26:7; Ex 35:6); the sackcloth used by mourners was of this material SEE SACK-CLOTH, and by many writers the addereth of the prophets is supposed to have been such. John the Baptist's robe was of camels' hair (Mt 3:4), and a similar material was in common use among the poor of that day (Joseph. War, 1:24, 3), probably of goats' hair, which was employed in the Roman cilicium. At what period the use of wool, and of still more artificial textures, such as cotton and linen, became known, is uncertain: the first of these, we may presume, was introduced at a very early period, the flocks of the pastoral families being kept partly for their wool (Ge 38:12): it was at all times largely employed, particularly for the outer garments (Le 13:47; De 22:11; Eze 34:3; Job 31:20; Pr 27:26; Pr 31:13). SEE WOOL. The occurrence of the term ketoneth in the book of Genesis (3:21; 37:3, 23) seems to indicate an acquaintance, even at that early day, with the finer materials; for that term, though significant of a particular robe, originally appears to have referred to the material employed (the root being preserved in our cotton; comp. Bohlen's Introd. 2:51; Saalchutz, Archaeol. 1:8), and was applied by the later Jews to flax or linen, as stated by Josephus (Ant. 3:7, 2, Χεθομένη μὲν καλεῖται. Λίνεον τοῦτο σημαίνει, χέθον γὰρ τὸ λίνον ἡμεῖς καλοῦμεν). No conclusion, however, can be drawn from the use of the word: it is evidently applied generally, and without any view to the material, as in Ge 3:21. It is probable that the acquaintance of the Hebrews with linen, and perhaps cotton, dates from the period of the captivity in Egypt, when they were instructed in the manufacture (1Ch 4:21). After their return to Palestine we have frequent notices of linen, the finest kind being named shesh (שֵׁשׁ), and at a later period buts (בּוּוֹ), the latter a word of Syrian, and the former of Egyptian origin, and each indicating the quarter whence the material was procured: the term chur (חוּר) was also applied to it from its brilliant appearance (Isa 19:9; Es 1:6; Es 8:15). It is the byssus (βύσσος) of the Sept. and the N.T. (Lu 16:19; Re 18:12,16), and the "fine linen" of the A.V. It was used in the vestments of the high-priests (Ex 28:5 sq.), as well as by the wealthy (Ge 41:42; Pr 31:22; Lu 14:19). SEE LINEN. A less costly kind was named bad (בִּד; Sept. λίνεος), which was used for certain portions of the high-priest's dress (Ex 28:42; Le 16:4,23,32), and for the ephods of Samuel (1Sa 2:18) and David (2Sa 6:14): it is worthy of notice, in reference to its quality and appearance, that it is the material in which angels are represented (Eze 9:3,11; Eze 10:2,6-7; Da 10:5; Da 12:6; Re 15:6). A coarser kind of linen, termed ώμολινον (Ecclus. 40:4), was used by the very poor. The Hebrew term sadin' (סָדַין = σινδών, and satin) expresses a fine kind of linen, especially adapted for summer wear, as distinct from the sardaballa, which was thick (Talmud, Menach. pages 41, 1). What may have been the distinction between shesh and sadin (Pr 31:22,24) we know not the probability is that the latter name passed from the material to a particular kind of robe. Silk was not introduced until a very late period (Re 18:12): the term meshi' (מֶשַׁי; Sept. τρίχαπτον; Eze 16:10) is of doubtful meaning. SEE SILK. The use of a mixed material, shaatnez' (שִׁעִטנֵז; Sept. κίβδηλον, i.e., spurious; Aquila, ἀντιδιακείμενον; Ven. Gr. ἐριολινον), such as wool and flax, was forbidden (Le 19:19; De 22:11), on the ground, according to Josephus (Ant. 4:8, 11), that such was reserved for the priests, or as being a practice usual among idolaters (Spencer, Leg. Hebrews Rit. 2:32), but more probably with the view of enforcing the general idea of purity and simplicity. SEE DIVERSE.
2. Color and Decoration. — The prevailing color of the Hebrew dress was the natural white of the materials employed, which might be brought to a high state of brilliancy by the art of the fuller (Mr 9:3). Some of the terms applied to these materials (e.g. שֵׁשׁ, בּוּוֹ, חוּר) are connected with words significant of whiteness, while many of the allusions to garments have special reference to this quality (Job 38:14; Ps 104:1-2; Isa 63:3): white was held to be peculiarly appropriate to festive occasions (Eccl. 9:8; comp. Horace, Sat. 2:2, 60), as well as symbolical of purity (Re 3:4-5; Re 4:4; Re 7:9,13). It is uncertain when the art of dyeing became known to the Hebrews; the כּתֹנֶת פִּסַּים, ketho'neth passim' worn by Joseph (Ge 37:3,23) is variously taken to be either a "coat of divers colors" (Sept. ποικίλος; Vulgate polymita; comp. the Greek πάσσειν, II. 3:126; 22:441), or a tunic furnished with sleeves and reaching down to the ankles, as in the versions of Aquila, ἀστραγάλειος, καρπωτός, and Symumachus, χειριδωτός, and in the Vulg. (2Sa 13:18) talaris, and as described by Josephus. (Ant. 7:8, 1). The latter is probably the correct sense, in which case we have no evidence of the use of variegated robes previously to the sojourn of the Hebrews in Egypt, though the notice of scarlet thread (Ge 38:28) implies some acquaintance with dyeing, and the light summer robe (צָעַיŠ;
Sept. θέριστρον; A.V. "veil") worn by Rebekah and Tamar (Ge 24:65; Ge 38:14,19) was probably of an ornamental character. The Egyptians had carried the art of weaving and embroidery to a high state of perfection, and from them the Hebrews learned various, methods of producing decorated stuffs. The elements of ornamentation were, (1) weaving with threads previously dyed (Ex 35:25; compare Wilkinson's Egyptians, 3:125); (2), the introduction of gold thread or wire (Ex 28:6 sq.; (3) the addition of figures, probably of animals and hunting or battle scenes (comp. Layard, 2:297), in the case of garments, in the same manner as the cherubim were represented in the curtains of the tabernacle (Ex 26:1,31; Ex 36:8,35). These devices may have been either woven into the stuff, or cut out of other stuff and afterwards attached by needlework: in the former case the pattern would appear only on one side, in the latter the pattern might be varied. Such is the distinction, according to Talmudical writers, between cunning-work and needlework, or as marked by the use of the singular and dual number, רַקמָה, needlework, and רַקמָתִיַם, needlework on both sides (Jg 5:30), though the latter term may after all be accepted in a simpler way as a dual = two embroidered robes (Bertheau, Comm. in 1.c.). The account of the corslet of Amasis (Herod, 3:47) illustrates the processes of decoration described in Exodus. Robes decorated with gold (מַשׁבּצוֹת, Ps 45:13), and at a later period with silver thread (Josephus, Ant. 19:8, 2; comp. Ac 12:21), were worn by royal personages: other kinds of robes were worn by the wealthy both of Tyre (Eze 16:13) and Palestine (Jg 5:30; Ps 45:14). The art does not appear to have been maintained among the Hebrews: the Babylonians and other Eastern nations (Jos 7:21; Eze 27:24), as well as the Egyptians (Eze 27:7), excelled in it. Nor does the art of dyeing appear to have been followed up in Palestine dyed robes were imported from foreign countries (Zep 1:8), particularly from Phoenicia, and were not much used on account of their expensiveness: purple (Pr 31:22; Lu 16:19) and scarlet (2Sa 1:24) were occasionally worn by the wealthy. The surrounding nations were more lavish in their use of them: the wealthy Tyrians (Eze 27:7), the Midianitish kings (Jg 8:26), the Assyrian nobles (Eze 23:6), and Persian officers (Es 8:15), are all represented in purple. The general hue of the Persian dress was more brilliant than that of the Jews: hence Ezekiel (Eze 23:12) describes the Assyrians as לבֻשֵׁי מַכלוֹל, lit. clothed in perfection;
according to the Sept. εὐπάρνφα, wearing robes with handsome borders. With regard to the head-dress in particular, described as טבוּלַים סרוּחֵי (Sept. τιάραι βαπταί; A "dyed attire;" comp. Ovid, Met. 14:654, mitrapicta), some doubt exists whether the word rendered dyed does not rather mean flowing (Gesen. Thesaur. page 542; Layard, 2:308).
3. The Names, Forms, and Mode of wearing the Robes. — It is difficult to give a satisfactory account of the various articles of dress mentioned in the Bible: the notices are for the most part incidental, and refer to a lengthened period of time, during which the fashions must have frequently changed; while the collateral sources of information, such as sculpture, painting, or contemporary records, are but scanty. The general characteristics of Oriental dress have indeed preserved a remarkable uniformity in all ages: the modern Arabs dress much as the ancient Hebrews did; there are the same flowing robes, the same distinction between the outer and inner garments-the former heavy and warm, the latter light, adapted to the rapid and excessive changes of temperature in those countries; and there is the same distinction between the costume of the rich and the poor, consisting in the multiplication of robes of a finer texture and more ample dimensions. Hence the numerous illustrations of ancient costume, which may be drawn from the usages of modern Orientals, supplying in great measure the want of contemporaneous representations. With regard to the figures which some have identified as Jews in Egyptian paintings and Assyrian sculptures, we cannot but consider the evidence insufficient. The figures in the painting at Beni Hassan, delineated by Wilkinson (Ancient Egypt. 2:296), and supposed by him to represent the arrival of Joseph's brethren, are dressed in a manner at variance with our ideas of Hebrew costume: the more important personages wear a double tunic, the upper one constructed so as to pass over the left shoulder and under the right arm, leaving the right shoulder exposed: the servants wear nothing more than a skirt or kilt, reaching from the loins to the knee. Wilkinson suggests some collateral reasons for doubting whether they were-really Jews; to which we may add a further objection that the presents which these persons bring with them are not what we should expect from Ge 43:11. Certain figures inscribed on the face of a rock at Behistun (q.v.), near Kermanshah, were supposed by Sir R. K. Porter to represent Samaritans captured by Shalmaneser: they are given in Vaux's Nineveh, page 372. These sculptures are now recognized as of a later date, and the figures evidently represent people of different nations, for the tunics are alternately short and long.
Again, certain figures discovered at Nineveh have been pronounced to be Jews: in one instance the presence of hats and boots is the ground of identification (Bonomi, Nineveh, page 197; compare Da 3:21); but if, as we shall hereafter show, the original words in Daniel have been misunderstood by our translators, no conclusion can be drawn from the presence of these articles. In another Instance the figures are simply dressed in a short tunic, with sleeves reaching nearly to the elbow, and confined at the waist by a girdle, a style of dress which was so widely spread throughout the East that it is impossible to pronounce what particular nation they may have belonged to: the style of head-dress seems an objection to the supposition that they are Jews. These figures are given in Bonomi's Nineveh, page 381.
The costume of the men and women was very similar; there was sufficient difference, however, to mark the sex, and it was strictly forbidden to a woman to wear the appendages (כּלַי; Sept. σκεύη), such as the staff, signet-ring, and other ornaments, or, according to Josephus (Ant. 4:8,43), the weapons of a man; as well as to a man to wear the outer robe (שַׂמלָה) of a woman (De 22:5): the reason of the prohibition, according to Maimonides (Mor. Neboch. 3:37), being that such was the practice of idolaters (comp. Carpzov, Appar. Page 514); but more probably it was based upon the general principle of propriety. (See Mill, Dissertt. select. page 196 sq.; Carpzov, De mundo muliebri viris inderdicto, Rost. 1752.)
a. Robes common to the sexes.
(1.) The ketho'neth (כּתֹנֶת, whence the Greek χίτων) was the most essential article of dress. It was a closely-fitting garment, resembling in form and use our shirt, though unfortunately translated "coat" in the A.V. The material of which it was made was either wool, cotton, or linen. From Josephus's observation (Ant. 3:7, 4) with regard to the meil (that it was οὐκ ἐκ δυοῖν περιτμημάτων), we may probably infer that the ordinary kethoneth or tunic was made in two pieces, which were sown together at the sides. In this case the seamless shirt (χίτον ἄῤῥαφος) worn by our Lord (Joh 19:23) was either a singular one, or, as is more probable, was the upper tunic or meil. The primitive kethoneth was without sleeves, and reached only to the knee, like the Doric χίτεν; it may also have been, like the latter, partially opened at one side, so that a person in rapid motion was exposed (2Sa 6:20). Another kind, which we may compare with the Ionian χίτων, reached to the wrists and ankles: such was probably the kethoneth passim worn by Joseph (Ge 37:3,23) and Tamar (2Sa 13:18), and that which the priests wore (Josephus, Ant. 3:7, 2). It was in either case kept close to the body by a girdle (q.v.), and the fold formed by the overlapping of the robe served as an inner pocket, in which a letter or any other small article might be carried (Joseph. Ant. 17:5, 7). A person wearing the kethoneth alone was described as עָרֹם, naked: we may compare the use of the term γυμναί as applied to the Spartan virgins (Plut. Lyc. 14), of the Latin nudus (Virgil, Georg. 1:299), and of our expression stripped. Thus it is said of Saul, after having taken off his upper garments (בּגָדָיו, 1Sa 19:24); of Isaiah (Isa 20:2) when he had put off his sackcloth, which was usually worn over the tunic (comp. Jon 3:6), and only on special occasions next the skin (2Ki 6:30); of a warrior who has cast off his military cloak (Am 2:16; comp. Livy, 3:23, inermes nudique); and of Peter without his fisher's coat (Joh 21:7). The same expression is elsewhere applied to the poorly clad (Job 22:6; Isa 58:7; Jas 2:15).
The annexed wood-cut (fig. 1) represents the simplest style of Oriental dress, a long loose shirt or hethoneth without a girdle, reaching nearly to the ankle. The same robe, with the addition of the girdle, is shown in fig. 4. In fig. 2 we have the ordinary dress of the modern Bedouin; the tunic overlaps the girdle at the waist, leaving an ample fold, which serves as a pocket. Over the tunic he wears the abba, or striped plaid, which completes his costume.
(2.) The sadin' (סָדַין) appears to have been a wrapper of fine linen (Sept. σινδών), which might be used in various ways, but especially as a night- shirt (Mr 14:51; comp. Herod. 2:95; Schleusner's Lex. in N.T. s.v.). (The Hebrew term is given in the Syriac N.T. as = σουδάριον, Lu 19:20, and λέντιον, Joh 13:4.) The material or robe is mentioned in Jg 14:12-13 ("sheet," "shirt"), Pr 31:24, and Isa 3:23 ("fine linen"); but in none of these passages is there anything to decide its specific meaning. The Talmudical writers occasionally describe the tallith under that name, as being made of fine linen: hence Lightfoot (Exercitations on Mr 14:51) identifies the σινδών worn by the young man as a tallith, which he had put on in his haste without his other garments.
(3.) The meil' (מעַיל) was an upper or second tunic, the difference being that it was longer than the first. It is hence termed in the Sept. ὑποδύτης ποδήρης, and probably in this sense the term is applied to the kethoneth passim (2Sa 13:18), implying that it reached down to the feet. The sacerdotal meal is elsewhere described. SEE PRIEST. As an article of ordinary dress it was worn by kings (1Sa 24:4), prophets (1Sa 28:14), nobles (Job 1:20), and youths (1Sa 2:19). It may, however, be doubted whether the termed is used in its specific sense in these passages, and not rather in its broad etymological sense (from מָעִל, to cover), for any robe that chanced to be worn over the kethoneth. In the Sept. the renderings vary between ἐπενδύτης (1Sa 18:4; 2Sa 13:18; 1Sa 2:19, Theodot.), a term properly applied to an upper garment, and specially used in Joh 21:7, for the linen coat worn by the Phoenician and Syrian fishermen (Theophyl. in 1.c.), διπλοϊvς (1Sa 2:19; 1Sa 15:27; 1Sa 24:4,11; 1Sa 28:14; Job 29:14), ἱμάτια (Job 1:20), στόλη (1Ch 15:27; Job 2:12), and ὑποδύτης (Ex 39:21; Le 8:7), showing that, generally speaking, it was regarded as an upper garment. This further appears from the passages in which notice of it occurs: in 1Sa 18:4, it is the "robe" which Jonathan first takes off; in 1Sa 18:14, it is the "mantle" in which Samuel is enveloped; in 1Sa 15:27, it is the "mantle," the skirt of which is rent (comp. 1Ki 11:30, where the שִׂמָלה, samlah', is similarly treated); in 1Sa 24:4, it is the "robe" under which Saul slept (generally the בֶּגֶד, be'ged, was so used); and in Job 1:20; Job 2:12, it is the "mantle" which he rends (comp. Ezr 9:3,5): in these passages it evidently describes an outer robe, whether the simlah, or the meil itself used as a simlah. Where two tunics are mentioned (Lu 3:11) as being worn at the same time, the second would be a meil; travelers generally wore two (Joseph. Ant. 17:5, 7), but the practice was forbidden to the disciples (Mt 10:10; Lu 9:3).
The dress of the middle and upper classes in modern Egypt (fig. 3) illustrates the customs of the Hebrews. In addition to the shirt, they wear a long vest of striped silk and cotton, called kaftan, descending to the ankles, and with ample sleeves, so that the hands may be concealed at pleasure. The girdle surrounds this vest. The outer robe consists of a long cloth coat, called gibbeh, with sleeves reaching nearly to the wrist. In cold weather the abba is thrown over the shoulders.
(4.) The ordinary outer garment consisted of a quadrangular piece of woollen cloth, probably resembling in shape a Scotch plaid. The size and texture would vary with the means of the wearer. The Hebrew terms referring to it are simlah' (שַׂמלָה, occasionally שִׂלמָה), which appears to have had the broadest sense, and sometimes is put for clothes generally (Ge 37:34; Ex 3:22; Ex 22:9; De 10:18; Isa 3:7; Isa 4:1), though once used specifically of the warrior's cloak (Isa 9:5); be'ged (בֶּגֶד), which is more usual in speaking of robes of a handsome and substantial character (Ge 27:15; Ge 41:42; Ex 28:2; 1Ki 22:10; 2Ch 18:9; Isa 63:1); kesuth' (כּסוּת), appropriate to passages where covering or protection is the prominent idea (Ex 22:26; Job 26:6; Job 31:19); and, lastly, lebush' (לבוּשׁ), usual in poetry, but specially applied to a warrior's cloak (2Sa 20:8), priests' vestments (2Ki 10:22), and royal apparel (Es 6:11; Es 8:15). A cognate term, malbush' (מִלבַּוּשׁ) describes specifically a state dress, whether as used in a royal household (1Ki 10:5; 2Ch 9:4) or for religious festivals (2Ki 10:22): elsewhere it is used generally for robes of a handsome character (Job 27:16; Isa 63:3; Eze 16:13; Zep 1:8). Another term, mad (מִד, with its derivatives מַדָּה, Ps 133:2, and מֶדֶו, 2Sa 10:4; 1Ch 19:4), is expressive of the length of the Hebrew garments (1Sa 4:12; 1Sa 18:4), and is specifically applied to a long cloak (Jg 3:16; 2Sa 20:8), and to the priest's coat (Le 6:10). The Greek terms ἱμἀτιον and στόλη express the corresponding idea, the latter being specially appropriate to robes of more than ordinary grandeur (1 Macc. 10:21; 14:9; Mr 12:38; Mr 16:5; Lu 15:22; Lu 20:46; Re 6:11; Re 7:9,13); the χίτων and ἱμάτὶον (A.V. "coat," "cloak," Vulg. tunica, pallium) are brought into juxtaposition in Mt 5:40, and Ac 9:39. The beged might be worn in various ways, either wrapped round the body, or worn over the shoulders, like a shawl, with the ends or "skirts" (כּנָפִיַם; Sept. πτερύγια; Vulg. anguli) hanging down in front; or it might be thrown over the head so as to conceal the face (2Sa 15:30; Es 6:12). The ends were skirted with a fringe, and bound with a dark purple ribbon (Nu 15:38): it was confined at the waist by a girdle, and the fold (חֵיק; Sept. κόλπος; Vulg. sinus) formed by the overlapping of the robe served as a pocket in which a considerable quantity of articles might be carried (2Ki 4:39; Ps 79:12; Hag 2:12; Niebuhr, Description, page 56), or as a purse (Pr 17:23; Pr 21:14; Isa 65:6-7; Jer 32:18; Lu 6:38).
The ordinary mode of wearing the outer robe, called abba or abayeh, at the present time, is exhibited in figs. 2 and 5. The arms, when falling down, are completely covered by it, as in fig. 5; but in holding any weapon, or in active work, the lower part of the arm is exposed, as in fig. 2.
b. The dress of the women differed from that of the men in regard to the outer garment, the kethoneth being worn equally by both sexes (Song 5:3). The names of their distinctive robes were as follows:
(1) nitpachtath (מַטפִּחִת; Sept. περίζωμα; Vulg. pallium, linteamen; A.V. "veil," "wimple"), a kind of shawl (Ru 3:15; Isa 3:22);
(2) maataphah' (מִעֲטָפָה; Vulg. palliolun; A.V. "mantle"), another kind of shawl (Isa 3:22), but how differing from the one just mentioned we know not: the etymological meaning of the first name is expansion, of the second env(loping;
(3) tsa'iph (צָעַיŠ; θέριστρον; "veil"), a robe worn by Rebekah on approaching Isaac (Ge 24:65), and by Tamar when she assumed the guise of a harlot (Ge 38:14,19) it was probably, as the Sept. represents it, a light summer dress of handsome appearance (περιέβαλε τὸ θέριστρον καὶ ἐκαλλωπίσατο, Ge 38:14), and of ample dimensions, so that it might be thrown over the head at pleasure;
(4) radid' (רָדַיד; "veil"), a similar robe (Isa 3:23; Song 5:7), and substituted for the fsaiph in the Chaldee version — we may conceive of these robes or shawls as resembling thepeplum of the Greeks, which might be worn over the head (as represented in Smith's Dict. of Ant. Page 753), or again as resembling the habarah and milayeh of the modern Egyptians (Lane, 1:73, 75);
(5) pethigil' (פּתַיגַיל; χιτὼν μεσοπόρφυρος; "stomacher"), a term of doubtful origin, but probably significant of a gay holiday dress (Isa 3:24)-to the various explanations enumerated by Gesenius (Thesaur. page 1137), we may add one proposed by Saalchutz (Archeol. 1:31), פּתַי, wide or foolish, and גַּיל, pleasure, in which case it = unbridled pleasure, and has no reference to dress at all;
(6) gilyonim' (גַּליֹנַים, Isa 3:23), also a doubtful word, explained in the Sept. as a transparent dress, i.e., of gauze (διαφανῆ Λακωνικά) — Schroeder (De Vest. mul. Hebrews page 311) supports this view, butpperhaps the word means, as in the A.V., "glasses." The garments of females were terminated by an ample border or fringe (שֹׁבֶל, שֹׁוּל; ὀπίσθια; skirts), which concealed the feet (Isa 47:2; Jer 13:22).
Figs. 6 and 7 illustrate some of the peculiarities of female dress: the former is an Egyptian woman (in her walking dress); the latter represents a dress, probably of great antiquity, still worn by the peasants in the south of Europe: the outer robe, or hulaliyeh, is a large piece of woolen stuff wound round the body, the upper parts being attached at the shoulders; another piece of the same stuff is used for the head-veil, or tarhah.
c. Having now completed our description of Hebrew dress, we add a few remarks relative to the selection of equivalent terms in our own language. It must at once strike every Biblical student as a great defect in our Auth. Vers. that the same English word should represent various Hebrew words; e.g. that "veil" should be promiscuously used for radid (Isa 3:23), tsaiph (Ge 24:65), mitpachath (Ru 3:15), masveh (Ex 34:33); "robe" for meil (1Sa 18:4), kethoneth (Isa 22:21), addereth (Jon 3:6), salmah (Mic 2:8); "mantle" for meil (1Sa 15:27), addereth (1Ki 19:13), maataphah (Isa 3:22); and "coat" for meil (1Sa 2:19), kethoneth (Ge 3:21); and conversely that different English words should be promiscuously used for the same Hebrew one, as meil is translated "coat," "robe," "mantle;" addereth "robe," "mantle." Uniformity would be desirable, in as far as it can be attained, so that the English reader might understand that the same Hebrew term occurred in the original text where the same English term was found in the translation. Beyond uniformity, correctness of translation would also be desirable: the difficulty of attaining this in the subject of dress, with regard to which the customs and associations are so widely at variance in our own country and in the East, is very great. Take, for instance, the kethoneth: at once an under garment, and yet not unfrequently worn without anything over it — a shirt, as being worn next the skin, and a coat, as being the upper garment worn in a house: deprive the Hebrew of his kethoneth, and he was positively naked; deprive the Englishman of his coat, and he has under garments still. So again with the beged: in shape probably like a Scotch plaid, but the use of such a term would be unintelligible to most English readers; in use unlike any garment with which we are familiar, for we only wear a great- coat or a cloak in bad weather, whereas the Hebrew and his beged were inseparable. With such difficulties attending the subject, any attempt to render the Hebrew terms must be, more or less, a compromise between correctness and modern usage, and the English terms which we are about to propose must be regarded merely in the light of suggestions. Kethoneth answers in many respects to "'frock;" the sailor's "frock" is constantly worn next the skin, and either with or without a coat over it; the "smockfrock" is familiar to us as an upper garment, and still as a kind of undress. In shape and material these correspond with kethoneth, and, like it, the term "frock" is applied to both sexes. In the sacerdotal dress a more technical term might be used: "vestment," in its specific sense as = the chasible, or casula, would represent it very aptly. Meil may perhaps be best rendered "gown," for this too applies to both sexes; and, when to men, always in an official sense, as the academic gown, the alderman's gown, the barrister's gown; just as meal appears to have represented an official, or, at all events, a special dress. In sacerdotal dress "alb" exactly meets it, and retains still, in the Greek Church, the very name, poderis, by which the meil is described in the Sept. The sacerdotal ephod approaches, perhaps, most nearly to the term "pall," the ὠμοφόριον of the Greek Church, which we may compare with the ἐπωμίς of the Sept. Addereth answers in several respects to "pelisse," although this term is now applied almost exclusively to female dress. Sadin = "linen wrapper." Simlah we would render "garment," and in the plural "clothes," as the broadest term of the kind; beged "vestment," as being of superior quality; lebush "robe," as still superior; mad "cloak," as being long; and malbush "dress," in the specific sense in which the term is not unfrequently used as = fine dress. In female costume mitpachath might be rendered "shawl," maatapha "mantle," tsaiph "handsome dress," radid "cloak."
d. In addition to these terms, which we have thus far extracted from the Bible, we have in the Talmudical writers an entirely new nomenclatur. The tallith' (טִלַּית) is frequently noticed: it was made of fine linen, and had a fringe attached to it, like the beged; it was of ample dimensions, so that the head might be enveloped in it, as was usual among the Jews in the act of prayer. The kolbin' (קוֹלבַּין) was probably another name for the tallith, derived from the Greek κολόβιον; Epiphanius (1:15) represents the στολαί of the Pharisees as identical with the Dalmatica or the colobium; the latter, as known to us, was a close tunic without sleeves. The chaluk' (חָלוּק) was a woolen shirt, worn as an under tunic. The macto'ren (מִקטוֹרֶן) was a mantle or outer garment (comp. Lightfoot, Exercitation on Mt 5:40; Mr 14:51; Lu 9:3, etc.). Gloves (קִסיָה or כִּŠ) are also noticed (Chelim, xvis 6; 24:15; 26:3), not, however, as worn for luxury, but for the protection of the hands in manual labor.
e. The dresses of foreign nations are occasionally referred to in the Bible; that of the Persians is described; in Da 3:21 in terms which have been variously understood, but which may be identified with the statements of Hero'dotus (1:195; 7:61) in the following manner:
(1) The sarbaln' (סִרבָּלַין; A.V. "coats") ἀναξύριδες, or drawers, which were the distinctive feature in the Persian as compared with the Hebrew dress;
(2) thepattish' (פִּטַישׁ; A.V. "hosen") = κιθὼν ποδηνεκὴς λίνεος, or inner tunic;
(3) the karbela' (כִּרבּלָא; A.V. "hat") = ἄλλος εἰρίνεος κιθών, or upper tunic, corresponding to the meal of the Hebrews;
(4) the lebush' (לבוּשׁ; A. V. "garment") = χλανίδιον λευκόν, or cloak, which was worn, like the beged, over all. In addition to these terms, we have notice of a robe of state of fine linen, takrik (תִּכרַיך;
διάδεμα sericum pallium), so called from its ample dimensions (Es 8:15). The same expression is used in the Chaldee for purple garments in Eze 27:16.
The references to Greek or Roman dress are few; the χλαμύς (2 Macc. 12:35; Mt 27:28) was either the paludamentum, the military scarf of the Roman soldiery, or the Greek chlamys itself, which was introduced under the emperors (Smith's Dict. of Ant. s.v. Chlamys); it was especially worn by officers. The traveling cloak (φελόνης) referred to by Paul (2Ti 4:13) is generally identified with the Roman paenula, of which it may be a corruption; the Talmudical writers have a similar name (פליין or פלניא). It is, however, otherwise explained as a traveling case for carrying clothes or books (Conybeare, St. Paul, 2:499).
4. The customs and associations connected with dress are numerous and important, mostly arising from the peculiar form and mode of wearing the outer garments. The beged, for instance, could be applied to many purposes besides its proper use as a vestment; it was sometimes used to carry a burden (Ex 12:34; Jg 8:25; Pr 30:4), as Ruth used her shawl (Ru 3:15); or to wrap up an article (1Sa 21:9); or again as an impromptu saddle (Mt 21:7). Its most important use, however, was a coverlet at night (Ex 22:27; Ru 3:9; Eze 16:8), whence the word is sometimes taken for bed-clothes (1Sa 19:13; 1Ki 1:1); the Bedouin applies his abba to a similar purpose (Niebuhr, Description, page 56). On this account a creditor could not retain it after sunset (Eze 22:26; De 24:12-13; compare Job 22:6; Job 24:7; Am 2:8). The custom of placing garments in pawn appears to have been very common, so much so that עֲבוֹט, pledge = a garment (De 24:12-13); the accumulation of such pledges is referred to in Hab 2:6 (that loadeth himself with עִבטַיט. i.e., pledges; where the A.V. following the Sept, and Vulg. reads עִב טַיט, "thick clay"); this custom prevailed in the time of our Lord, who bids his disciples give up the ἱμάτιον = beged, in which they slept, as well as the χιτών (Mt 5:40). At the present day it is not unusual to seize the abba as compensation for an injury: an instance is given in Wortabet's Syria, 1:293.
The loose, flowing character of the Hebrew robes admitted of a variety of symbolical actions: rending them was expressive of various emotions, as grief (Ge 37:29,34; Job 1:20; 2Sa 1:2), SEE MOURNING, fear (1Ki 21:27; 2Ki 22:11,19), indignation (2Ki 5:7; 2Ki 11:14; Mt 26:65), or despair (Jg 11:35; Es 4:1): generally the outer garment alone was thus rent (Ge 37:34; Job 1:20; Job 2:12); occasionally the inner (2Sa 15:32), and occasionally both (Ezr 9:3; Mt 26:65, compared with Mr 14:63). Shaking the garments, or shaking the dust off them, was a sign ,of renunciation (Ac 18:6); spreading them before a person, of loyalty and joyous reception (2Ki 9:13; Mt 21:8); wrapping them round the head, of awe (1Ki 19:13) or of grief (2Sa 15:30; Es 6:12; Jer 14:3-4); casting them off, of excitement (Ac 22:23); laying hold of them, of supplication (1Sa 15:27; Isa 3:6; Isa 4:1; Zec 8:23).
The length of the dress rendered it inconvenient for active exercise; hence the outer garments were either left in the house by a person working close by (Mt 24:18), or were thrown off when the occasion arose (Mr 10:50; Joh 13:4; Ac 7:58), or, if this was not possible, as in the case of a person traveling, they were girded up (1Ki 18:46; 2Ki 4:29; 2Ki 9:1; 1Pe 1:13); on entering a house the upper garment was probably laid aside, and resumed on going out (Ac 12:8). In a sitting posture, the garments concealed the feet; this was held to be an act of reverence (Isa 6:2; see Lowth's note). The proverbial expression in 1Sa 25:22; 1Ki 14:10; 1Ki 21:21; 2Ki 9:8, probably owes its origin to the length of the garments, which made another habit more natural (comp. Herod. 2:35; Xenoph. Cyrop. 12:16; Ammian. Marcell. 23:6); the expression is variously understood to mean the lowest or the youngest of the people (Gesen. Thesaur. page 1397; Jahn, Archaol. 1:8, § 120). To cut the garments short was the grossest insult that a Jew could receive (2Sa 10:4; the word there used מֶדֶו is peculiarly expressive of the length of the garments). To raise the border or skirt of a woman's dress was a similar insult, implying her unchastity (Isa 47:2; Jer 13:22,26; Na 3:5).
The putting on and off of garments, and the ease with which it was accomplished, are frequently referred to; the Hebrew expressions for the first of these operations, as regards the outer robe, are לָבִשׁ, labash', to put on, עָטָה, atah', כָּסָה, kasah', and עָטִŠ, ataph', lit. to cover, the latter three having special reference to the amplitude of the robes; and for the second פָּשִׁט pashat', lit. to expand, which was the natural result of taking off a wide, loose garment. The ease of these operations forms the point of comparison in Ps 102:26; Jer 43:12. In the case of closely- fitting robes the expression is חָגִר, chagar', lit. to gird, which is applied to the ephod (1Sa 2:18; 2Sa 6:14), to sackcloth (2Sa 3:31; Isa 32:11; Jer 4:8); the use of the term may illustrate Ge 3:7, where the garments used by our first parents are called חֲגֹרֹת, chagoroth' (A.V. "aprons"), probably meaning such as could be wound round the body. The converse term is פָּתִח, pathach', to loosen or unbind (Ps 30:11; Isa 20:2).
The number of suits possessed by the Hebrews was considerable; a single suit consisted of an under and upper garment, and was termed עֵרֶך בָּגָדַים (Sept. στολὴ ἱματίων, i.e., apparatus vestium; Jg 17:10). Where more than one is spoken of, the suits are termed חֲלַיפוֹת (ἀλλασσόμεναι στολαί; A.V. "changes of raiment;" compare Homer, Od. 8:249, εἵματα ἐξημοιβά). These formed in ancient times one of the most usual presents among Orientals (Harmer, Observations, 2:379 sq.); five (Ge 45:22) and even ten changes (2Ki 5:5) were thus presented, while as many as thirty were proposed as a wager (Jg 14:12,19). The highest token of affection was to present the robe actually worn by the giver (1Sa 18:4; comp. Homer, II. 6:230; Harmer, 2:388). The presentation of a robe in many instances amounted to installation or investiture (Ge 41:42; Es 8:15; Isa 22:21; comp. Morier, Second Journey, page 93); on the other hand, taking it away amounted to dismissal from office (2 Macc. 4:38). The production of the best robe was a mark of special honor in a household (Lu 15:22). The number of robes thus received or kept in store for presents was very large, and formed one of the main elements of wealth in the East (Job 27:16; Mt 6:19; Jas 5:2), so that to have clothing to be wealthy and powerful (Isa 3:6-7). On grand occasions the entertainer offered becoming robes to his guests (Trench on Parables, page 231). Hence in large households a wardrobe (מלתָּחָה) was required for their preservation (2Ki 10:22; compare Harmer, 2:382), superintended by a special officer, named שֹׁמֶר הִבּגָדַים, keeper of the wardrobe (2Ch 34:22). Robes reserved for special occasions are termed מִחֲלָצוֹת (A.V. "changeable suits;" Isa 3:22; Zec 3:4), because laid aside when the occasion was past.
The color of the garment was, as we have already observed, generally white, hence a spot or stain readily showed itself (Isa 63:3; Jude 1:23; Re 3:4); reference is made in Le 13:47 sq. to a greenish or reddish spot of a leprous character. Jahn (Archeol. 1:8, § 135) conceives this to be not the result of leprosy, but the depredations of a small insect; but Schiling De Lepra, page 192) states that leprosy taints clothes, and adds m" the spots are altogether indelible, and seem rather to spread than lessen by washing" (Knobel, Comm. in 1.c.). Frequent washings and the application of the fuller's art were necessary to preserve the purity of the Hebrew dress. SEE SOAP; SEE FULLER.
The business of making clothes devolved upon women in a family (Pr 21:22; Ac 9:39); little art was required in what we may term the tailoring department; the garments came forth for the most part ready made from the loom, so that the weaver supplanted the tailor. The references to sewing are therefore few: the term תָּפִר taphar' (Ge 3:7; Job 16:15; Ec 3:7; Eze 13:18) was applied by the later Jews to mending rather than making clothes.
The Hebrews were liable to the charge of extravagance in dress; Isaiah in particular (3:16 sq.) dilates on the numerous robes and ornaments worn by the women of his day. The same subject is referred to in Jer 4:30; Eze 16:10; Zep 1:8, and Ecclus. 11:4, and in a later age 1Ti 2:9; 1Pe 3:3. SEE APPAREL; SEE ATTIRE; SEE CLOTHING; SEE GARMENT SEE RAIMENT, etc.