Clothing, Cloths, Clothes, Cloke, Coat - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

Clothing, Cloths, Clothes, Cloke, Coat

[ 1,,G534,phelones / phailones ] probably by metathesis from phainoles (Latin paenula), a mantle," denotes a traveling "cloak" for protection against stormy weather, 2 Timothy 4:13. Some, however, regard it as a Cretan word for chiton, "a tunic." It certainly was not an ecclesiastical vestment. The Syriac renders it a case for writings (some regard it as a book-cover), an explanation noted by Chrysostom, but improbable. It may have been "a light mantle like a cashmere dust-cloak, in which the books and parchments were wrapped" (Mackie in Hastings' Dic. of the Bible).

[ 2,,G2440, himation ]
"an outer garment, a mantle, thrown over the chiton." In the plural, "clothes" (the "cloke" and the tunic), e.g., Matthew 17:2; Matthew 26:65; Matthew 27:31, Matthew 27:35. See APPAREL, No. 2.

[ 3,,G5509, chiton ]
denotes "the inner vest or undergarment," and is to be distinguished, as such, from the himation. The distinction is made, for instance, in the Lord's command in Matthew 5:40, "If any man would go to law with thee, and take away thy coat (chiton), let him have thy cloke (himation) also." The order is reversed in Luke 6:29, and the difference lies in this, that in Matthew 5:40 the Lord is referring to a legal process, so the claimant is supposed to claim the inner garment, the less costly. The defendant is to be willing to let him have the more valuable one too. In the passage in Luke an act of violence is in view, and there is no mention of going to law. So the outer garment is the first one which would be seized.

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus they took His garments (himation, in the plural), His outer garments, and the "coat," the chiton, the inner garment, which was without seam, woven from the top throughout, John 19:23. The outer garments were easily divisible among the four soldiers, but they could not divide the chiton without splitting it, so they cast lots for it.

Dorcas was accustomed to make coats (chiton) and garments (himation), Acts 9:39, that is, the close fitting undergarments and the long, flowing outer robes. A person was said to be "naked" (gumnos), whether he was without clothing, or had thrown off his outer garment, e.g., his ependutes, (No. 6, below), and was clad in a light undergarment, as was the case with Peter, in John 21:7. The high priest, in rending his clothes after the reply the Lord gave him in answer to his challenge, rent his undergarments (chiton), the more forcibly to express his assumed horror and indignation, Mark 14:63. In Jude 1:23, "the garment spotted by the flesh" is the chiton, the metaphor of the undergarment being appropriate; for it would be that which was brought into touch with the pollution of the flesh.

[ 4,,G2441, himatismos ]
in form a collective word, denoting "vesture, garments," is used generally of "costly or stately raiment," the apparel of kings, of officials, etc. See Luke 7:25, where "gorgeously apparelled" is, lit., "in gorgeous vesture." See also Acts 20:33; 1 Timothy 2:9, "costly raiment." This is the word used of the Lord's white and dazzling raiment on the Mount of Transfiguration, Luke 9:29. It is also used of His chiton, His undergarment (See note above), for which the soldiers cast lots, John 19:23-John 19:24, "vesture;" in Matthew 27:35 it is also translated vesture. See APPAREL, RAIMENT, VESTURE.

[ 5,,G1742, enduma ]
akin to enduo (See CLOTHE, No. 2), denotes "anything put on, a garment of any kind." It was used of the clothing of ancient prophets, in token of their contempt of earthly splendor, 1 Kings 19:13; 2 Kings 1:8, RV; Zechariah 13:4. In the NT it is similarly used of John the Baptist's raiment, Matthew 3:4; of raiment in general, Matthew 6:25, Matthew 6:28; Luke 12:23; metaphorically, of sheep's clothing, Matthew 7:15; of a wedding garment, Matthew 22:11-Matthew 22:12; of the raiment of the angel at the tomb of the Lord after His resurrection, Matthew 28:3. See GARMENT, RAIMENT.

[ 6,,G1903, ependutes ]
denotes "an upper garment" (epi, "upon," enduo, "to clothe"). The word is found in John 21:7, where it apparently denotes a kind of linen frock, which fishermen wore when at their work. See No. 3.

[ 7,,G2066, esthes ]
"clothing," Acts 10:30; See APPAREL, No. 1.

[ 8,,G4749, stole ]
(Eng. "stole"), denotes any "stately robe," a long garment reaching to the feet or with a train behind. It is used of the long clothing in which the scribes walked, making themselves conspicuous in the eyes of men, Mark 12:38; Luke 20:46; of the robe worn by the young man in the Lord's tomb, Mark 16:5; of the best or, rather, the chief robe, which was brought out for the returned prodigal, Luke 15:22; five times in the Apocalypse, as to glorified saints, Luke 6:11; Luke 7:9, Luke 7:13-Luke 7:14; Luke 22:14. In the Sept. it is used of the holy garments of the priests, e.g., Exodus 28:2; Exodus 29:21; Exodus 31:10.


(1) Peribolaion, from periballo, "to throw around," lit., "that which is thrown around," was a wrap or mantle. It is used in 1 Corinthians 11:15, of the hair of a woman which is given to her as a veil; in Hebrews 1:12, of the earth and the heavens, which the Lord will roll up "as a mantle," RV, for AV, "vesture". The other word in that verse rendered "garment," RV, is himation.

(2) Endusis, is "a putting on (of apparel)," 1 Peter 3:3. Cp. No. 5.

(3) Esthesis, See APPAREL, No. 1.

(4) The chlamus was a short "cloak" or robe, worn over the chiton (no. 3), by emperors, kings, magistrates, military officers, etc. It is used of the scarlet robe with which Christ was arrayed in mockery by the soldiers in Pilate's Judgment Hall, Matthew 27:28, Matthew 27:31.

What was known as purple was a somewhat indefinite color. There is nothing contradictory about its being described by Mark and John as "purple," though Matthew speaks of it as "scarlet." The soldiers put it on the Lord in mockery of His Kingship.

(5) The poderes was another sort of outer garment, reaching to the feet (from pous, "the foot," and aro, "to fasten"). It was one of the garments of the high priests, a robe (Hebrew, chetoneth), mentioned after the ephod in Exodus 28:4, etc. It is used in Ezekiel 9:2, where instead of "linen" the Sept. reads "a long robe;" and in Zechariah 3:4, "clothe ye him with a long robe;" in the NT in Revelation 1:13, of the long garment in which the Lord is seen in vision amongst the seven golden lampstands. There, poderes is described as "a garment down to the feet," indicative of His High Priestly character and acts.

(6) For katastole, See APPAREL, No. 4.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words