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cloak

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 turned outward.