in the A.V., is the term used to render four Hebrew words, viz.,

1. אִדֶּרֶת, adde'reth, from אִדַּיר, "ample," and therefore probably meaning a large over-garment like the Roman pallium. The Sept. renders it by μηλωτή (a sheep's skin), 1Ki 19:13, etc.; δεῤῥίς, Zec 13:4: and δορά, Ge 25:25. From the passages in which it is mentioned we can conjecture its nature. It is used most frequently (1Ki 19; 2Ki 2:8,13, etc.) of Elijah's "mantle," which was in all probability a mere sheepskin, such as is frequently worn by dervishes and poor people in the East, and which seems, after Elijah's time, to have been in vogue among the prophets (Zec 13:4). Accordingly, by it only is denoted the cape or Wrapper which, with the exception of a strip of skin or leather round his loins, formed, as we have every reason to believe, the sole garment of the prophet. The Baptist's dress was of a similar rough description, and we see from Heb 11:37 (ἐν μηλωταῖς, ἐν αἰγείοις δέρμασιν) that such garments were regarded as a mark of poverty and persecution. The word addereth twice occurs with the epithet שֵׂעָר, "hairy" (Ge 25:25; Zec 13:4). On the other hand, it is sometimes undoubtedly applied to royal and splendid robes, and is even used to mean "magnificence" in Eze 17:8 ("vine of magnificence") and Zec 11:3. It is the expression for the "goodly Babylonish garment" stolen by Achan, and the "robe" worn by the king of Nineveh (Jos 7:21; Jon 3:6). The connection between two meanings apparently so opposite is doubtless to be found in the etymology of the word (from אִדַּיר, ample), or in the notion of a dress richly lined or trimmed with costly furs. SEE ROBE.

"Man." topical outline.

2. מעַיל, meil', which in the A.V. is variously rendered "mantle," "robe," "cloke;" and in the Sept. ἐπενδύτης, διπλοϊvς, ὑποδύτης, ποδήρης, χιτών. Josephus calls it μεείρ. It is a general term derived from מָעִל, to cover, and is most frequently applied to "the robe of the ephod" (Ex 28:4, etc.; Le 8:7), which is described as a splendid under-tunic of blue, wrought on the hem with pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet, with golden bells between them. It came below the knees, being longer than the ephod, and shorter than the kittoneth. It was a garment of unseamed cotton, open at the top so as to be drawn over the head, and; having holes for the insertion of the arms (Joseph. Ant. 3:7, 4; Jahn, Bibl. Arc. sec. 122; Braunius, De Vest. Sac. p. 436; Schroder, De Vest. Mul. p. 237, etc.). It was worn, however, not only by priests, like Samuel (1Sa 2:19; 1Sa 15:27; 1Sa 28:14), but by kings and princes. (Saul, 1Sa 24:4; David, 1Ch 15:27), and rich. men (Ezra, 9:3-5; Job and his friends, 1:20; 2:12), and even by king's daughters (2Sa 13:18), although. in the latter case it seems to have had sleeves (see Gesenius, Thesaur. p. 811). Properly speaking, the meil was worn under the simnlah, or outer garment, but that it was often itself used as an outer garment seems probable from some of the passages above quoted. It is interesting to know that the garment which Samuel's. mother made and brought to the infant prophet at herannual visit to the holy tent at Shiloh was a miniature of the official priestly tunic or robe; the same that the great prophet wore in mature years (1Sa 15:27), and by which he was on one occasion actually identified. When the witch of Endor, in answer to Saul's inquiry, told him that "an old man was come up, covered with a meil," this of itself was enough to inform the king in whose presence he stood — "Saul perceived that it was Samuel" (28:14).

3. שׂמַיכָה, semikah' (Jg 4:14), the garment (marg. "rug," or "blanket") used by Jael to fling over the weary Sisera as a coverlid (Sept. ἐπιβόλαιον, but δεῤῥίς appears to have been the reading of Origen and Augustine). The word is derived from סָמִך , imponere, and is evidently a general term. Hesychius defines ἐπιβόλαιον by πῶμα ἢ ῤάκος, and Suidas by τὸ τῷ προτέρῳ ἐπιβαλλόμενον. The word used in the Targum is. גּוּנכָה, which is only the Greek καυνάκη, and the Latin: gaunacum; and this word is explained by Varro to be. "majus sagumn et amphimallon" (De Ling. Lat. 4:35), i.e. a larger cloak woolly on both sides. Hesychius differs from Varro in this, for he says καυνάκαι στρώματα ἣ ἐπιβόλαια ἐτερομαλλῆ, i.e. ewoolly on one side; the, Scholiast, on Aristophanes, adds that it was a Persian,and Pollux that it was a Babylonian robe (Rosenmuller, Schol. ad loc.). There is, therefore, no reason to understand it of a curtain of the tent, as Faber does. Since the Orientals constantly used upper garments for bedding, the rendering "mantle," though inaccurate, is not misleading (compare Ru 3:9; Eze 16:8, etc.). In the above passage the Hebrew word has the definite are tide prefixed, and it may therefore be inferred that it was some part of the regular furniture of the tent. The clue to a more exact signification is given by the Arabic version of the Polyglot, which renders it by al-katifah, a word which is explained by Dozy (Dictionnaire des Vetements Arabes, p. 232), on the authority of Ibn Batuta and other Oriental authors, to mean certain articles of a thick fabric, in shape like a plaid or shawl, which are commonly used for beds by the Arabs: "When they sleep they spread them on the ground. For the under part of the bed they are doubled several times, and one longer than the rest is used for a coverlid." On such a bed, on the floor of Heber's tent, no doubt the weary Sisera threw himself, and such a coverlid must the senikah have been which Jael laid over him.

Bible concordance for MANTLE.

4. מִעֲטָפוֹת maataphoth', occurs only in Isa 3:22. It was some article of female dress, and is derived from עָטִŠ, to weave. Schroder, the chief authority on this subject, says it means a large exterior tunic with sleeves, worn next to the pallium (De Vest. Mezl. 15:247-277). In this same verse, and in Ru 3:15, occurs the word מַטפָּחוֹת, msitpachoth', A.V. "wimples," which appears to have been a sort of square covering like a plaid (Michaelis, Suppleml. p. 1021; Rosenmüller, Schol.; Isa 3:22). We cannot find the shadow of an authority for Jahn's very explicit statement, that both these words mean the same article, מִעֲטָפָה being the fashion for the winter, and מַטפָּחָה for the summer; though his assertion that "it covered the whole body from head to foot" may be very true (Jahn, Bibl. Arch. sec. 127).

For other terms, such as , שַׂמלָה, simlah' (Ge 9:23, etc.), χλαμύς (Mt 27:28), στολή (Mr 12:38). etc., SEE DRESS. The φελόνης (A.V. cloke) to which St. Paul makes such an interesting allusion in 2Ti 4:13, seems to have been the Latin penula (comp. פליון), a sort of travelling-cloak for wet weather. A great deal has been written about it, and at least one monograph (Stosch, Dissert. de Pallio Pauli, Lugd. 1709). Even in Chrysostom's time some took it to be τὸ γλωσσόκκομον ἔνθα τὰ βίβλια ἔκειτο (a sort of travelling-bag), and Jerome, Theophylact, Grotius, etc., shared in this opinion (Schleusuer. Lex. N.T. s.v. φαιλόνης). SEE CLOAK.

Definition of mantle

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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