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American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [1]

The chief garments of the Hebrews were the tunic or inner garment, and the mantle or outer garment. These seem to have constituted a "change of Rainment,"  Judges 14:13   19:1-30   Acts 9:39 . The tunic was of linen, and was worn next to the skin, fitting close to the body; it had armholes, and sometimes wide and open sleeves, and reached below the knees; that worn by females reached to the ankles. The tunic was sometimes woven without seam, like that of Jesus,  John 19:23 . The upper garment or mantle was a piece of cloth nearly square, and two or three yards in length and breadth, which was wrapped round the body, or tied over the shoulders. A man without this robe on was sometimes said to be "naked,"  Isaiah 20:2-4   John 21:7 . This could be so arranged as to form a large bosom for carrying things; and the mantle also served the poor as a bed by night,  Exodus 22:26,27   Job 22:6 . See Bosom and Bed .

Between these two garments, the Hebrews sometimes wore a third, called me-il, a long and wide robe or tunic of cotton or linen, without sleeves.

The head was usually bare, or covered from too fierce a sunshine, or from rain, by a fold of the outer mantle,  2 Samuel 15:30   1 Kings 19:13   Esther 6:12 . The priests, however, wore a mitre, bonnet, or sacred turban; and after the captivity, the Jews adopted to some extent the turban, now so universal in the East. Women wore a variety of plain and ornamented headdresses. Veils were also an article of female dress,  Isaiah 3:19 . They were of various kinds, and were used alike by married and unmarried women; generally as a token of modesty, or of subjection to the authority of the husband,  Genesis 24:65   1 Corinthians 11:3-10; but sometimes for the purpose of concealment,  Genesis 38:14 .

As the Hebrews did not change the fashion of their clothes, as we do, it was common to lay up stores of rainment beforehand, in proportion to their wealth,  Isaiah 3:6 . To this Christ alludes when he speaks of treasures, which the moth devours,  Matthew 6:19   James 5:1,2 . But though there was a general uniformity in dress from age to age, no doubt various changes took place in the long course of Bible history; and at all times numerous and increasing varieties existed among the different classes, especially in materials and ornaments. In early ages, and where society was wild and rude, the skins of animals were made into clothing,  Genesis 3:21   Hebrews 11:37 . Spinning, weaving, and needlework soon began to be practiced,  Exodus 35:25   Judges 5:30 . A coarse cloth was made of goats' or camels' hair, and finer cloths of woolen, linen, and probably cotton. Their manufacture was a branch of domestic industry,  Proverbs 31:13-24 .

The great and wealthy delighted in white rainment; and hence this is also a mark of opulence and prosperity,  Ecclesiastes 9:8 . Angels are described as clothed in pure and cheerful white; and such was the appearance of our Savior's rainment during his transfiguration,  Matthew 17:2 . The saints, in like manner, are described as clothed in white robes,  Revelation 7:9,13,14; the righteousness of Christ in which they are clothed is more glorious than that of the angels.

The garments of mourning among the Hebrews were sackcloth and haircloth, and their color dark brown or black,  Isaiah 50:3   Revelation 6:12 . As the prophets were penitents by profession, their common clothing was mourning. Widows also dressed themselves much the same. The Hebrews, in common with their neighbors, sometimes used a variety of colors for their gayer and more costly dresses,  Judges 5:30 . So also according to our version,  Genesis 37:3,23   2 Samuel 13:18; though in these passages some understand a tunic with long sleeves. Blue, scarlet, and purple are most frequently referred to, the first being a sacred color. Embroidery and fine needlework were highly valued among them,  Judges 5:30   Psalm 45:14 .

The dress of females differed from that of males less than is customary among us. Yet there was a distinction; and Moses expressly forbade any exchange of apparel between the sexes,  Deuteronomy 22:5 , a custom associated with immodesty, and with the worship of certain idols. It is not clear for what reason clothing in which linen and woolen were woven together was prohibited,  Deuteronomy 22:11; but probably it had reference to some superstitious usage of heathenism. In  Isaiah 3:16-23 , mention is made of the decorations common among the Hebrew women of that day; among which seem to be included tunics, embroidered vests, wide flowing mantles, girdles, veils, caps of network, and metallic ornaments for the ears and nose, for the neck, arms, fingers, and ankles; also smelling-bottles and metallic mirrors. In  Acts 19:12 , mention is made of handkerchiefs and aprons. Drawers were used,  Exodus 28:42 , but perhaps not generally. See GIRDLES, Rings , and Sandals .

Presents of dresses are alluded to very frequently in the historical books of Scripture, and in the earliest times. Joseph gave to each of his brethren a change of rainment, and to Benjamin five changes,  Genesis 45:22 . Naaman gave to Gehazi two changes of rainment; and even Solomon received rainment as presents,  2 Chronicles 9:24 . This custom is still maintained in the East, and is mentioned by most travelers. In Turkey, the appointment to any important office is accompanied with the gift of a suitable official rove. In the parable of the wedding garment, the king expected to have found all his guests clad in roes of honor of his own providing,  Matthew 22:11 .

People's Dictionary of the Bible [2]

Garments. Notice: 1. Materials; 2. Color and decoration; 3. Name and mode of wearing the various articles; 4. Usages relating thereto.

1. Materials.— The first human dress was an "apron" of fig leaves,  Genesis 3:7; then the skins of animals,  Genesis 3:21; as later the "mantle" worn by Elijah. Sheepskin is still a common material of dress in the East. The art of weaving hair and wool was known to the Hebrews at an early period.  Exodus 25:4;  Exodus 26:7;  Genesis 38:12. Linen and perhaps cotton fabrics were known,  1 Chronicles 4:21; and silk was introduced much later.  Revelation 18:12. The use of mixed material, such as wool and flax, was forbidden.  Leviticus 19:19;  Deuteronomy 22:11.

2. Color And Decoration.— The prevailing color of the Hebrew dress was the natural white of the materials employed.  Mark 9:8. The use of colors was known; notice the scarlet thread.  Genesis 38:28. Also, the art of weaving with threads previously dyed,  Exodus 35:25; of the introduction of gold thread or wire.  Exodus 27:6 ff. Robes decorated with gold,  Psalms 45:13, and with silver thread, cf.  Acts 12:21, were worn by royal personages: other kinds of embroidered robes were worn by the wealthy,  Judges 5:30;  Psalms 45:14;  Ezekiel 16:13; as well as purple,  Proverbs 31:22;  Luke 16:19; and scarlet.  2 Samuel 1:24.

3. The Names And Modes Of Wearing Garments. —Oriental dress has preserved a remarkable uniformity in all ages: the modern Arab dresses much as the ancient Hebrew did. The costume of the men and women was very similar; there was sufficient difference, however, to mark the sex, and it was strictly forbidden to a woman to wear the staff, signet-ring, and other ornaments of a man; as well as to a man to wear the outer robe of a woman.  Deuteronomy 22:5. The robes common to the two sexes were:(1) The Inner Garment, closely fitting, resembling in form and use our shirt, though unfortunately translated "coat" in the Authorized Version. It was made of either wool, cotton, or linen, was without sleeves, and reached only to the knee. Another kind reached to the wrists and ankles. It was kept close to the body by a girdle, and the fold formed by the overlapping of the robe served as an inner pocket. A person wearing the inner garment alone was described as Naked. (2) Upper or Second. tunic, longer than the first. (3) The Linen Cloth appears to have been a wrapper of fine linen, which might be used in various ways, but especially as a night-shirt.  Mark 14:51. (4) The Outer Garment consisted of a square piece of woolen cloth. The size and texture would vary with the means of the wearer. It might be worn in various ways, either wrapped round the body or thrown over the shoulders like a shawl, with the ends or "skirts" hanging down in front; or it might be thrown over the head, so as to conceal the face.  2 Samuel 15:30;  Esther 6:12. The ends were skirted with a fringe and bound with a dark purple ribbon.  Numbers 15:38; it was confined at the waist by a girdle. The outer garment was the poor man's bed-clothing.  Exodus 22:26-27. The dress of the women differed from that of men in the outer garment; an inner garment being worn alike by both sexes.  Song of Solomon 5:3. Among their distinctive robes was a kind of shawl,  Ruth 3:15;  Isaiah 3:22; light summer dresses and gay holiday dresses.  Isaiah 3:24. The garments of females had an ample border of fringe ( Skirts, A. V.), which concealed the feet.  Isaiah 47:2;  Jeremiah 13:22. The travelling Cloak referred to by Paul,  2 Timothy 4:13, is sometimes explained as a travelling case for carrying clothes or books. The Coat Of Many Colors worn by Joseph,  Genesis 37:3;  Genesis 37:23, was a tunic furnished with sleeves and reaching down to the ankles.

4. Usages In Dress.— The length of the dress rendered it inconvenient for active exercise; hence the outer garments were either left in the house by a person working close by,  Matthew 24:18; or were thrown off,  Mark 10:50; or were girded up.  1 Kings 18:46;  1 Peter 1:13. On entering a house the upper garment was probably laid aside, and resumed on going out.  Acts 12:8. The presentation of a robe was often an installation or investiture,  Genesis 41:42;  Esther 8:16;  Isaiah 22:21; taking it away a dismissal from office.  2 Maccabees 4:38. The best robe was a mark of honor.  Luke 15:22. The number of robes kept in store for presents was very large,  Job 22:6;  Matthew 6:19;  James 5:2, and implied the possession of wealth and power.  Isaiah 3:6-7. On wedding occasions the entertainer sometimes provided robes for his guests.  Matthew 22:12;  Luke 5:22. The business of making clothes devolved upon women in a family.  Proverbs 31:22;  Acts 9:39.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [3]

Several words are used both in the O.T. and in the N.T. for raiment, clothing, or apparel, without defining what particular garments are alluded to; and when a single garment is intended it is variously translated in the A.V. In the East few garments were needed, and they were probably much the same as those worn there at present by the natives.

1. The inner garment is the kethoneth, a long tunic worn by men and women. It was made of wool, cotton, or linen. This was the garment God made of skins for Adam and Eve, and what Jacob made of many colours for Joseph.   Genesis 3:21;  Genesis 37:3,23-33 . It formed part of the priests dress. At times another is worn over it. The bride said she had put off her 'coat' for the night, which was probably the outer one, though the Hebrew word is the same.  Song of Solomon 5:3 . The kethoneth answers to the χιτών of the N.T., mostly translated 'coat.' The disciples were not to take two when the Lord sent them out.   Matthew 10:10 . It was this garment of the Lord's that was woven in one piece,  John 19:23; and theword is used of the coats made by Dorcas.  Acts 9:39 .

2. The other principal garment was the simlah, a cloak, or wide outer mantle, worn by men and women, and in which they wrapped themselves at night. This might be of any texture according to the season, and according to the station in life of the wearer. The peasants often wear such, called an 'abba' of camels' or goats' hair. This garment if taken in pledge had to be returned in the evening, for without it 'wherein shall he sleep?'   Exodus 22:26,27; cf.  Deuteronomy 24:13 . The simlah is the garment that was rent in grief.  Genesis 37:34;  Genesis 44:13;  Joshua 7:6 . This corresponds to the ἱμάτιον in the N.T. It is translated 'cloak ' in  Matthew 5:40;  Luke 6:29; and it is the robe of purple with which the soldiers mocked the Lord.  John 19:2,5 . It is the 'garment' the edge of which the woman touched,  Matthew 14:36; and the 'garments' of which the scribes and Pharisees enlarged the borders.  Matthew 23:5 . It is otherwise used for 'garments' in general, as in  Matthew 27:35;  John 19:23,24; and is often translated 'raiment' and 'clothes.'

3. Another prominent article of apparel and one often richly ornamented was the GIRDLE.These three, with sandals, and a handkerchief or other covering for the head, constituted the usual dress in the East.

Besides the above we read of 'changeable suits of apparel' for women.  Isaiah 3:22 .

Also 4. The MANTLE,or ROBE meil , described as 'a large tunic, worn over the common one, but without sleeves.' It was worn by priests,  Exodus 28:31;  1 Samuel 28:14;  Ezra 9:3,5; by kings and princes,  1 Samuel 18:4;  1 Samuel 24:4,11; by men of rank,  Job 1:20 Job; 2:12: and by women,   2 Samuel 13:18 .

5. The Wimple or VEIL,a wide upper garment or shawl, which covered the head and part of the body. Ruth was able to carry in such a veil six measures of barley.   Ruth 3:15;  Isaiah 3:22 . There are four other Hebrew words translated 'veils.'

6. The STOMACHER,apparently a wide ornamented girdle. The word occurs only in   Isaiah 3:24 .