Modesty as Priority
"Unto Adam also and to his wife did Yahweh Elohim make coats of skins, and clothed them." [Genesis 3:21]
The origin of clothing finds itself in the sin of the representatives of mankind. Adam and Eve were both and not ashamed prior to their fall (Genesis 2:25); soon thereafter their sin made them feel a need to cover their ness with loincloths or aprons (Genesis 3:7). This must not have been a sufficient covering in Yahweh's sight for Genesis 3:21 reports to us that Yahweh made both Adam and Eve "coats" of skin and clothed them.
The word "coats" in the King James Version and many other versions of the Bible is somewhat of an unfortunate translation. Yes the KJV translates the underlying Hebrew word for coat as "coat" some 23 of the 29 times it is found in Hebrew Scripture. Of the remaining times we have 5 translations of "garment" and 1 translation of "robe."
However, although the New American Standard Bible translates Genesis 3:21's use of the word as "garments" the majority of the time it uses the translation "tunic" (20 out of 29 times). Other translations in the NASB are "coat" (2x), "dress" (1x), and "garment" (6x).
A detailed study of this Hebrew word (ketoneth) easily reveals that the best translation is found in our English words "tunic" or "robe." For the most part it is not difficult to find a person who is unwilling to admit that in the days of Abraham, Moses, Nehemiah, and Yeshua the Messiah the basic garment for both men and women were robes. What is a little more difficult to persuade people on is that the reason Hebrew men and women dressed like this was based upon the appointing of such a garment by Yahweh in Genesis 3:21. In other words, garments like or similar to pants, shorts, mini-skirts, etc. were in existence then, but those Israelites following the plan of Yahweh given to Adam and Eve dressed in the prescribed garment of their federal ancestry.
Back in 2004 I began a study on women's apparel in the Bible. The more I studied the more I found out that I didn't know nearly as much as I initially thought I did. Genesis 3:21 became somewhat of a "fridge text" (you know the one in your kitchen) for the subject. One great point that comes to my mind as I write this now concerns the word "make" in Genesis 3:21. The KJV says that Yahweh "made" (or "...did Yahweh make") tunics for Adam and Even and clothed them. A first glance automatically takes our mind to the making of clothes by a seamstress, but surely Yahweh did not get out a heavenly needle and thread and commence to sew. A much better translation for the Hebrew word here (asah; see Psalm 104:19) would be appoint or appointed. Yahweh appointed this clothing for Adam and Eve. This is the type of clothing Yahweh wanted them to wear for modesty.
Tunics and robes in ancient Biblical times were basically this: a long shirt-like garment that had mid to long sleeves and reached anywhere from the knees to the ankles. The garment was loose and sufficiently draped over the mid-section of both man and woman. The pants worn by most in America today certainly do not fit this description. Pants accent the mid-section on both men and women rather than modestly clothe it. Sure, some pants are more loose than others, but nevertheless this is not the garment that Yahweh appointed in Genesis.
I'll pick up more on this in a later post but for now let me just say that people in general have lost their sense of modesty, both men and women. It is not a priority in the lives of humans today. People do not ask themselves the question "Is this modest enough?" when pouring through clothing at the department store. As a matter of fact it appears from noticing the populous in this country that people actually shop for clothing that they feel is immodest. This only lights the fire of sexual immorality. Men and women need to realize that their body is for their mate; whether they are married or single. I mention the single crowd because they need to save their self for their future husband or wife, not only in the issue of marital , but also in the issue of not allowing others to see what is only intended for their future spouse.
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Blog by Matthew Janzen. Lover of Yahweh, Yeshua, my wife and 5 children. All else is commentary.