klok, (me`il, simlah, etc.; himation, stole, etc.):
"Cloke" is retained in the English Revised Version, as in the King James Version, instead of modern "cloak" (American Revised Version). In the Old Testament, me'il (compare New Testament himation) uniformly stands for the ordinary upper garment worn over the coat (kethoneth). In Matthew 5:40 both "cloak" and "coat" are mentioned together; compare Luke 6:29. In size and material the "cloak" differed according to age and sex, class and occupation, but in shape it was like our mantle or shawl. It might be sewed up to have the surplice form of the robe of the Ephod (Exodus 39:23), or be worn loose and open like a Roman toga, the Arabic Abaa, or the Geneva gown. This is the "garment" referred to in Genesis 39:12; Exodus 22:26; Deuteronomy 24:13; "the robe" that Jonathan "stripped himself of" and gave to David (1 Samuel 18:4); "the robe" of Saul, "the robe" in which it is said the "old man" (Samuel) was "covered" (1 Samuel 28:14); and in the New Testament "the best robe" put on the returning prodigal (Luke 15:22). Paul's "cloak" that he left at Troas (2 Timothy 4:13; phailones, Latin, paenula, Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek phelones), it has been suggested, "may have been a light mantle like a cashmere dust-cloak, in which the books and parchment were wrapped"
(HDB, under the word).
The word lent itself easily and naturally to figurative uses. We find Paul (1 Thessalonians 2:5) disclaiming using "a cloak of covetousness" (compare 1 Peter 2:16) and Jesus (John 15:22) saying, "Now they have no excuse ("cloak") for their sin." Some such usage seems common to all languages; compare English "palliate."
George B. Eager
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