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August 18    Scripture



Manners & Customs: Fringes
Wearing fringes on garments in ancient Bible times

Clothing of the Pharisees SPECIAL DRESS OF THE PHARISEES The Pharisees in their religious garb, took two articles of dress which were worn by other Jews and emphasized them in a special way until they became their distinctive apparel. One of these was the phylactery. It was a little box of metal, or bands of parchment which was fastened to the hand or forehead by straps. It contained passages of Scripture referring to the Passover and the redemption of the first-born from Egypt. The custom was based on certain Scriptural admonitions (Exodus 13:9, 16). And the Jews still bind them upon their arms and foreheads. The other special feature of the Pharisees' dress was the blue fringes placed at the corners of the mantle, as the law of Moses commanded (Numbers 15:37,38; Deuteronomy 22:12). The Pharisees had unusually broad phylacteries, and very long fringes (Matthew 23:5). It was for this proud use of these things without an appreciation of their value, that JESUS condemned them so severely.[Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Fringes in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Tassels of twisted cords fastened to the four corners of the outer garment, worn by observant Jews as a reminder of covenant obligations (Numbers 15:38-39; Deuteronomy 22:12; compare Zechariah 8:23). The woman suffering from chronic hemorrhage touched the tassel of Jesus' cloak (Matthew 9:20, Luke 8:44). The English translations (with the exception of the NRSV) obscure this point by using different terms to translate the Greek kraspedon when it refers to Jesus' outer cloak (hem, KJV; fringe, NAS; edge; NIV, TEV; simply garment, RSV) and to the outer garment of the Pharisees (borders, KJV; tassels, NAS, NIV, TEV; fringe, RSV). Such translation contributes to a picture of a Jesus who was not really a Jew. Though Jesus observed the Old Testament requirement, He criticized those who wore excessively long tassels to call attention to their piety (Matthew 23:5).

Fringes in Naves Topical Bible Prescribed for the vesture worn by the Israelites Nu 15:37-41; De 22:12 -Made broad by the Pharisees Mt 23:5

Fringes in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE frin'-jis (tsitsith, "tassel, lock" (Nu 15:38,39), gedhilim, "twisted threads," "festoons" (Dt 22:12)): Tassels worn by the Israelites on the four corners of their garments as reminders of "all the commandments of Yahweh," in accordance with the law set out in Nu 15:37-41 and Dt 22:12. These tassels originally contained a thread of tekheleth, "violet." Jewish tradition, however, has failed to retain the tekheleth, because of doubt as to the exact meaning of the term, and instead dark blue lines were dyed on the borders of the Tallith or garment in which the fringes were placed. According to tradition any garment having four corners required the mnemonic fringes, the importance of which was weighed against "all the commandments of the Lord." In New Testament times such garments were still worn (compare Mt 9:20; 14:36; 23:5). The later Jews, after adopting the garments of the Diaspora, in order to observe the tsitsith commandment began to use two extra four- cornered fringed garments: the large Tallith while at prayer, and the small Tallith, or 'arba` kanephoth, as an undergarment during the day. Their tradition prescribes the exact manner in which each tassel shall be made, and gives a symbolic meaning to the numbers of windings and knots, somewhat after the manner of the string-writing of several early civilizations (compare the Peruvian quipus). Thus in the tsitsith a long cord is wrapped around seven shorter cords first seven times, then eight, then eleven, and finally thirteen, each series being separated from the others by two knots. The numbers seven and eight constituting fifteen together suggest YH, and the number eleven, WH. Together they make up the holy name YaHWeH. The number thirteen stands for echadh, the letters of which taken as numerals equal thirteen. The sentence Yahweh 'echadh means "Yahweh is one." Many other suggestions, more or less fanciful, have been worked out, all tending to associate the fringes with the Law in the mind of the wearer.

Fringes Scripture - Deuteronomy 22:12 Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four quarters of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest [thyself].

Fringes Scripture - Numbers 15:38 Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue:

Fringes Scripture - Numbers 15:39 And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring:

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