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also known as: clothes, clothing

In Old Testament times, the distinction between male and female attire was often not very great. The Hebrew statute forbidding men to wear female apparel (Deuteronomy 22:5) referred especially to ornaments and head-dresses. Both men and women wore:

  1. UNDER GARMENT or tunic, which was bound by a girdle

    One who had only this tunic on was spoken of as “naked” (1 Samuel 19:24; Job 24:10; Isaiah 20:2).

    People with high positions sometimes wore two tunics, the outer one was called the “upper garment” (1 Samuel 15:27; 18:4; 24:5; Job 1:20).

  2. OVER GARMENT—Both men and women wore an over-garment (“mantle,” Isaiah 3:22; 1 Kings 19:13; 2 Kings 2:13), a loose and flowing robe. The folds of this upper garment could be formed into a lap (Ruth 3:15; Psalms 79:12; Proverbs 17:23; Luke 6:38).

  3. BED—The only material for bedclothes (coverings for a bed) is mentioned in 1 Samuel 19:13—“a pillow of goats’ hair for his bolster”. Sleeping in the open air was not uncommon, the sleeper wrapping himself in his outer garment (Exodus 22:26-27; Deuteronomy 24:12-13).