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Holman Bible Dictionary

Festal Garments, Festal Robes

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Translations used by modern translations for two Hebrew expressions. The Hebrew expressions underlying “festal garments” mean a change of clothing (Genesis 45:22 ; Judges 14:12-13 ,Judges 14:12-13,14:19 ; 2Kings 5:5,2 Kings 5:22-23 ); the term underlying “festal robes” means clean, pure, or white clothing (Isaiah 3:22 ; Zechariah 3:4 ). Modern translations are not consistent in translating the terms, translation depending on the context. In the Ancient Near East possession of sets of clothing was regarded as a sign of wealth. Common people would own few clothes. Thus a change of clothes might suggest clothes reserved for a special occasion as reflected in some translations (Judges 14:12-13 ,Judges 14:12-13,14:19 NRSV, TEV; 2Kings 5:5, 2 Kings 5:22-23 TEV). The white garments of Isaiah 3:22 are likely fine linen robes. The reference in Zechariah 3:4 is either to the high priest's robes (perhaps the special robes reserved for the Day of Atonement, Zechariah 3:9 ) which represent the restoration of the priesthood or a simple reference to clean robes as a symbol of Joshua's innocence of any charges (symbolized by the filthy rags).

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Festal Garments, Festal Robes'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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