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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words

Garment

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Beged (בֶּגֶד, Strong's #899), “garment; covering; cloth; blanket; saddlecloth.” This word appears in biblical Hebrew about 200 times and in all periods.

The word signifies any kind of “garment” or “covering,” usually for human wear. Beged first appears in Gen. 24:53: “And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and garments [KJV, “raiment”], and gave them to Rebekah.…” Here the word represents “garments made of precious materials.” The “garments” of widows, on the other hand, must have been quite common and valueless (Gen. 38:14). Certainly mourners’ “garments” must have been very plain, if not torn (2 Sam. 14:2).

Beged sometimes refers to “outer garments.” Thus in 2 Kings 7:15, the Syrian soldiers who fled from Jerusalem left behind their “clothes” and equipment; they left behind everything that would hinder their escape. Surely this did not include their essential “clothing.” In Judg. 14:12, however, the word is distinguished from linen wrappings (“outer garments”)—Samson promised the Philistines that if they would solve his riddle, he would give them “thirty linen wraps [KJV, “sheets”] and thirty change of garments” (cf. Judg. 17:10). The “holy garments” Moses was commanded to make for Aaron included everything he was to wear while officiating before the Lord: “… A breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and an embroidered coat, a mitre, and a [sash]; and they shall make holy garments for Aaron …” (Exod. 28:4).

In passages such as Num. 4:6, beged means “covering,” in the sense of a large flat piece of cloth material to be laid over something: “And [they] shall put thereon the covering of badgers’ skins, and shall spread over it a cloth wholly of blue.…” When put over people, such clothes were probably “blankets”: “Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with blankets [KJV and NASB, “clothes”], but he gat no heat” (1 Kings 1:1). When put over beasts, such coverings were “saddlecloths” (Ezek. 27:20).

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Garment'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/vot/g/garment.html. 1940.

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