The original word (karbela', Aramaic) rendered "hat" in Daniel 3:21 the King James Version is very rare, appearing only here in the Old Testament. There is acknowledged difficulty in translating it, as well as the other words of the passage. "Hat" of the King James Version certainly fails to give its exact meaning. The hat as we know it, i.e. headgear distinguished from the cap or bonnet by a circular brim, was unknown to the ancient East. The nearest thing to the modern hat among the ancients was the petasus worn by the Romans when on a journey, though something like it was used on like occasions by the early Greeks. In the earlier Hebrew writings there is little concerning the headgear worn by the people. In 1 Kings 20:31 we find mention of "ropes" upon the head in connection with "sackcloth" on the loins. On Egyptian monuments are found pictures of Syrians likewise with cords tied about their flowing hair. The custom, however, did not survive, or was modified, clearly because the cord alone would afford no protection against the sun, to which peasants and travelers were perilously exposed. It is likely, therefore, that for kindred reasons the later Israelites used a head-covering similar to that of the modern Bedouin. This consists of a rectangular piece of cloth called keffiyeh, which is usually folded into triangular form and placed over the head so as to let the middle part hang down over the back of the neck and protect it from the sun, while the two ends are drawn as needed under the chin and tied, or thrown back over the shoulders. A cord of wool is then used to secure it at the top. It became customary still later for Israelites to use a head-covering more like the "turban" worn by the fella-heen today. It consists in detail of a piece of cotton cloth worked into the form of a cap (takiyeh), and so worn as to protect the other headgear from being soiled by the perspiration. A felt cap, or, as among the Turks, a fez or red tarbush, is worn over this. On the top of these is wound a long piece of cotton cloth with red stripes and fringes, a flowered kerchief, or a striped keffiyeh. This protects the head from the sun, serves as a sort of purse by day, and often as a pillow by night. Some such headgear is probably meant by the "diadem" of Job 29:14 and the "hood" of Isaiah 3:23, Hebrew tsaniph, from tsanaph, "to roll up like a coil" (compare Isaiah 22:18).
George B. Eager
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