Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Naked; Nakedness

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nā´ked , nā´ked - nes : "Naked" in the Old Testament represents various derivatives of עוּר , ‛ūr and ערה , ‛ārāh chiefly, ערום , ‛ārōm (adj.) and ערוה , ‛erwāh (noun); in the New Testament the adjective is ψυμνός , gumnós , the noun γυμνότης , gumnótēs , with verb γυμνητεύω , gumnēteúō , in 1 Corinthians 4:11 . In Exodus 32:25; 2 Chronicles 28:19 , the King James Version adds פּרע , pāra' , "break loose," "cast away restraint." Both the Greek and Hebrew forms mean "without clothing," but in both languages they, are used frequently in the sense of "lightly clad" or, simply, "without an outer garment." So, probably, is the meaning in John 21:7 - P eter was wearing only the chitōn (see DRESS ); and so perhaps in Mark 14:51-52 and Micah 1:8 . In Isaiah 20:2-4 , however, the meaning is literally (for the "three years" of Isaiah 20:3 see the commentaries). So in Genesis 11:25; Genesis 3:7 , where the act of sin is immediately followed by the sense of shame (see Delitzsch, Biblical Psychology , and Gunkel, ad loc.). A very common use of "naked" is also "without proper clothing" (Job 22:6; 1 Corinthians 4:11 , etc.), whence, of course, the expression "clothe the naked." "Nakedness," in addition, is used as a euphemism in 1 Samuel 20:30 . A slightly different euphemistic usage is that of Leviticus 18:19 , which in Ezekiel 16:36-37 is played off against the literal sense (compare Ezekiel 22:10; Ezekiel 23:18 , Ezekiel 23:29 ). The point of Genesis 9:22-23 is a little hard to grasp, but apparently there is here again a euphemism - this time for a particularly horrible act (see the commentaries and compare Habakkuk 2:15 ). Possibly some of these euphemisms are due to the Massoretes (see OLD TESTAMENT TEXTS ). The Jews obj ected vigorously to exposure of the body (even athletes insisting on a loin-cloth (compare 2 Macc 4:12, 13)), and compulsory nudity was the extreme of shame and humiliation (Isaiah 20:2-4; Lamentations 1:8; Hosea 2:3; Nahum 3:5 , etc.). The relation of this attitude to Israel's high sexual morality needs no explanation.

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Naked; Nakedness'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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