of a garment, the fringe of a garment. The Jews attached much importance to these, because of the regulations in Numbers 15:38 Numbers 15:39 . These borders or fringes were in process of time enlarged so as to attract special notice ( Matthew 23:5 ). The hem of Christ's garment touched ( 9:20 ; 14:36 ; Luke 8:44 ).
The classic instance of the use of "hem" in the New Testament is Matthew 9:20 the King James Version (compare Matthew 14:36), where the woman "touched the hem of his (Christ's) garment." The reference is to the fringe or tassel with its traditional blue thread which the faithful Israelite was directed to wear on the corners of the outer garment (Numbers 15:37; Deuteronomy 22:12). Great importance came to be attached to it, the ostentatious Pharisees making it very broad or large (Matthew 23:5). Here the woman clearly thought there might be peculiar virtue in touching the tassel or fringe of Jesus' garment. Elsewhere the word is rendered BORDER (which see).
See also DRESS; FRINGES.
George B. Eager
These files are public domain.