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Mantle, or Cloak (Heb. simla, and other terms).
A piece of cloth nearly square, a sort of blanket or plaid. In pleasant
weather it was more conveniently worn over the shoulders than being wrapped around
the body. Although it answered the purpose of a cloak, it was so large that
burdens, if necessary, might be carried in it (Ex. 12:34; 2 Kin. 4:39).
The poor wrapped themselves up wholly in this garment at night, spread the
leather girdle upon a rock and rested the head upon it, as is customary to this
day in Asia. Moses taught that the upper garment, when given as a pledge, should
not be retained overnight (Ex. 22:25-26; Deut 24:13; Job 22:6; 24:7>.
In the time of Christ creditors did not take the upper garment or cloak, which it was not lawful
for them to retain, but the coat or tunic, which Jesus wore (Mt 5:40).
There having occurred an instance of the violation of the Sabbath (Num 15:32-41), Moses commanded that there should be a fringe upon the four
corners of this garment, together with a blue cord or "riband," to remind the
people of the heavenly origin of His statutes (Mt 9:20; Lk 8:44).
The prophet's mantle was, probably, as a rule a simple sheepskin with the wool