Bible Articles on the Topic of Clothes

The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.

Dress, Makeup, Jewelry

“In like manner also, (I command) that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with restraint and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array...” (1 Timothy 2:9).

Modesty In Clothing

Question: I read that a person should dress in a modest way according to Judaism. Why is this so important?

My Modesty Revolution

When I was a teen, long before I became religiously observant, more than anything in the world, I wanted to be thin. I had been obese since childhood, feeling like a spectator on the sidelines of life, and I would have given anything to look like the beautiful women I saw in magazines. One of my ultimate fantasies was losing all the weight and going out to buy myself a glamorous bathing suit.

Why I Choose to Dress Modestly

If one more person tells me that I need to be “liberated,” I’m going to have a fit.

Why Do Religious Jews Dress the Way They Do?

Why do religious Jews dress so weirdly? Why are they so careful about clothing, and what they wear? Watch and learn the answer about how clothes make the man.

Why Do Religious Jews Dress the Way They Do?

Why do religious Jews dress so weirdly? Why are they so careful about clothing, and what they wear? Listen and learn the answer about how clothes make the man.

Dress

In the Hebrew and Greek there is a wonderful wealth of terminology having to do with the general subject of dress among the ancient Orientals. This is reflected in the numerous synonyms for “dress” to be found in English Versions of the Bible, “apparel,” “attire,” “clothes,” “raiment,” “garments,” etc. But the words used in the originals are often greatly obscured through the inconsistent variations of the translators. Besides there are few indications even in the original Hebrew or Greek of the exact shape or specific materials of the various articles of dress named, and so their identification is made doubly difficult. In dealing with the subject, therefore, the most reliable sources of information, apart from the meaning of the terms used in characterization, are certain well-known facts about the costumes and dress-customs of the orthodox Jews, and others about the forms of dress worn today by the people of simple life and primitive habits in modern Palestine. Thanks to the ultraconservatism and unchanging usages of the nearer East, this is no mean help. In the endeavor to discover, distinguish and deal with the various oriental garments, then, we will consider:

Frock

frok (שׂמלה, simlāh; ὡμόλινον, hōmólinon): The hempen frock, mentioned in Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 40:4 as a mark of the lowly, was a simple garment consisting of a square piece of cloth wrapped around the body. It is the same as the garment (simlāh) which we find the poor man using as his only bed covering by night (Exodus 22:26 f); the traveler, as the receptacle for his belongings (compare Exodus 12:34); and the common people of both sexes as their general outer garments, though there was some difference in appearance between the simlāh of the man and that of the woman (Deuteronomy 22:5). See DRESS.

Fuller

fool ́ẽr (כּבס, kābhaṣ; literally, “to trample,” γναφεύς, gnapheús): The fuller was usually the dyer, since, before the woven cloth could be properly dyed, it must be freed from the oily and gummy substances naturally found on the raw fiber. Many different substances were in ancient times used for cleansing. Among them were white clay, putrid urine, and the ashes of certain desert plants (Arabic ḳali, Biblical “soap”; Malachi 3:2). The fuller’s shop was usually outside the city (2 Kings 18:17; Isaiah 7:3; 36:2), first, that he might have sufficient room to spread out his cloth for drying and sunning, and second, because of the offensive odors sometimes produced by his processes. The Syrian indigo dyer still uses a cleaning process closely allied to that pictured on the Egyptian monuments. The unbleached cotton is soaked in water and then sprinkled with the powdered ashes of the ishnan, locally called ḳali, and then beaten in heaps on a flat stone either with another stone or with a large wooden paddle. The cloth is washed free from the alkali by small boys treading on it in a running stream or in many changes of clean water (compare En-rogel, literally, “foot fountain,” but translated also “fuller’s fountain” because of the fullers’ method of washing their cloth). Mark describes Jesus’ garments at the time of His transfiguration as being whiter than any fuller on earth could whiten them (Mark 9:3).

Raiment, Soft

(μαλακός, malakós): In Matthew 11:8 English Versions of the Bible, where Jesus, speaking of John the Baptist, asks “What went ye out to see? a man clothed in soft raiment?” where “raiment,” though implied, is not expressed in the best text, but was probably added from Luke 7:25 parallel. It is equivalent to “elegant clothing,” such as courtiers wore, as shown by the words following, “Behold, they that wear soft raiment are in kings’ houses.” John had bravely refused to play courtier and had gone to prison for it. In the early days of Herod the Great some scribes who attached themselves to him laid aside their usual plain clothing and wore the gorgeous raiment of courtiers (Jost, in Plumptre).

Make Sure You are Clean

clothes

Washing Their Clothes

clothes

Shatnez

Shatnez (or shaatnez; Biblical Hebrew Šaʿatnez  שַׁעַטְנֵז ) is cloth containing both wool and linen (linsey-woolsey), which Jewish law, derived from the Torah, prohibits wearing. The relevant parts of the Torah (Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 22:9–11) prohibit an individual from wearing wool and linen fabrics in one garment, the interbreeding of different species of animals, and the planting together of different kinds of seeds (collectively known as kilayim).