The Life of Jesus in Harmony
The Dress of Men. Among the Israelites these were a tunic or coat (Heb.
kuttonet, (Ex 28:4,39; 29:5; 2 Sam 15:32); Gk. chiton, (Mt 5:40; Mk 6:9; Lk 3:11;
This was the simplest of all the garments worn, like an ordinary shirt or
nightgown. It was probably made of two pieces sewn together at the sides, or else
formed of one piece, with a place cut for the head to pass through. It afforded
so slight a covering that persons who had on nothing else were called naked (1
Sam 19:24; 2 Sam 6:20; Jn 21:7).
Another kind reached to the wrists and ankles. It was in either case fastened
around the loins with a girdle, and the fold formed by the overlapping of the
robe served as an inner pocket. Such a garment was worn by the priests and
probably by Joseph
(Gen 37:3,23) and Tamar (2 Sam 13:18).
Outer Tunic (Heb. me`il). This was a looser and a longer sort of a tunic
reaching to near the ankles; open at the top also as to be drawn over the head, and
having holes for the insertion of the arms. As an article of ordinary dress it
was worn by kings (1 Sam 24:4), prophets (28:14), nobles (Job 1:20), and youths
(1 Sam 2:19). It may, however, be doubted whether the term is used in its
specific sense in these passages and not rather for any robe that chanced to be
worn over the kuttonet.
Where two tunics are mentioned (Lk 3:11) as being worn at the same time, the
second would be a me`il; travelers generally wore two, but the practice was
forbidden to the disciples (Mt 10:10; Lk 9:3).