In Old Testament times the distinction between male and female attire was not very marked. The statute forbidding men to wear female apparel ( Deuteronomy 22:5 ) referred especially to ornaments and head-dresses. Both men and women wore (1) an under garment or tunic, which was bound by a girdle. One who had only this tunic on was spoken of as "naked" ( 1 Samuel 19:24 ; Job 24:10 ; Isaiah 20:2 ). Those in high stations sometimes wore two tunics, the outer being called the "upper garment" ( 1 Samuel 15:27 ; 18:4 ; 24:5 ; Job 1:20 ).
Priests alone wore trousers. Both men and women wore turbans. Kings and nobles usually had a store of costly garments for festive occasions ( Isaiah 3:22 ; Zechariah 3:4 ) and for presents ( Genesis 45:22 ; Esther 4:4 ; Esther 6:8 Esther 6:11 ; 1 Samuel 18:4 ; 2 Kings 5:5 ; 10:22 ). Prophets and ascetics wore coarse garments ( Isaiah 20:2 ; Zechariah 13:4 ; Matthew 3:4 ).
The English equivalent of six Hebrew and three Greek words, variously signifying all kinds of raiment, chiefly garments costly and beautiful: ornamental (2 Samuel 1:24); royal, as of Ahasuerus (Esther 6:8), of Herod (Acts 12:21, esthes); of kings' daughters (2 Samuel 13:18); priestly (Ezra 3:10); also mourning (2 Samuel 14:2). In 1 Samuel 17:38,39 "apparel" replaces "armor" of King James Version:
"Saul clad David with his apparel," probably some close-fitting garment worn under the armor, or sometimes without it. Severe judgment was pronounced on Jewish princes who clothed themselves with "strange" (the King James Version), i.e. "with foreign apparel" (Zec 1:8; compare Isaiah 2:6-8). "Modest apparel" as against "costly raiment" is commended as suited to Christians (1 Timothy 2:9; himatismos, and katastole). Angels are robed in white apparel (Acts 1:10; compare Luke 24:4, "dazzling"). Fig. of the glorious and red (suggestive of the wine-press) apparel of the Messiah (Isaiah 63:1,2), and of "a meek and quiet spirit" (1 Peter 3:4).
Dwight M. Pratt
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