Robe (the rendering of several Heb. and Gr. words, but especially of מעַיל, meil', στολή), a long garment with fringed or flowered borders, usually white, though sometimes purple, and worn by the great as a mark of distinction (Lu 15:22; Lu 20:46). The ancient Assyrians and Babylonians were celebrated for their manufactures of beautiful garments of divers colors (Jos 7:21; Eze 27:24). Their splendid robes appear to have been embroidered with figures of animals and flowers. According to Plutarch, Cato received as a legacy a Babylonian garment, and sold it because it was too costly for a citizen to wear. Some suppose that a sacred robe was preserved from early times, and handed down among the patriarchs as a badge of the birthright, and that "the goodly raiment" which Rebekah put upon Jacob was the birthright robe. This view is given in the Targum of Jonathan on Ge 27:15: "And Rebekah took the desirable robes of her elder son Esau, which had belonged to Adam the first parent." The coat of Joseph, the possession of which excited the envy of his brethren, is thus regarded, like the good raiment of Jacob, as a badge of the birthright, which, we are expressly taught, having been forfeited by Reuben, was transferred to Joseph (Ge 37:3; 1Ch 5:1). The robe appears also to have been, among the Hebrews, a species of vestment appropriated to the sacerdotal office, the holy garment. It was made entirely of blue, woven throughout, and on which neither knife nor needle was to be used; on the lower border was a row of artificial pomegranates and golden bells, alternating with each other (Ex 28:2,4,31-33). The robes of Aaron symbolized the dignity and glory of our great highpriest, "the heir of the whole creation" (Re 3:4-5; Re 6:9-11; Re 7:9-14). SEE DRESS.

Bible concordance for ROBE.

Definition of robe

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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