Garments in Genesis

While looking at the verses in Matthew 9:16, Mark 2:21 and Luke 5:36, I decided to look at what garment meant or referred to in Scripture.

Is it just speaking of clothing or is there a deeper meaning?

First of all garments have played a bigger role in Scripture than you would realize at first glance.

The first garments were those made by the Lord for Adam and Eve.

Genesis 3:21 (ESV) And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

Although Adam and Eve tried to cover themselves with fig leaves, they didn’t succeed and the Lord made them garments of skins.  The first sacrifice was the life of a lamb to cover the sins of man.  See the picture there? Revelation 7:14

Next the lack of garments was the cause of much trouble and a curse.

Genesis 9:20-25 (ESV)

20 Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard.
21 He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent.
22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside.
23 Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned backward, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.
24 When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him,
25 he said, “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers.”

Later garments are part of a deception played on Isaac.

Genesis 27:15-19 (ESV)

15 Then Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her older son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son.
16 And the skins of the young goats she put on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck.
17 And she put the delicious food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
18 So he went in to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?”

19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me.”

Jacob is paid back for his deception using garments by the fact that his own sons deceived him concerning Joseph and his robe.

Genesis 37:3 (ESV) Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors.

Genesis 37:23 (ESV) So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore.

Genesis 37:31-34 (ESV)

31 Then they took Joseph’s robe and slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood.
32 And they sent the robe of many colors and brought it to their father and said, “This we have found; please identify whether it is your son’s robe or not.”
33 And he identified it and said, “It is my son’s robe. A fierce animal has devoured him. Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces.”
34 Then Jacob tore his garments and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days.

Joseph has multiple issues concerning his robe or garments.

Genesis 39:11-17 (ESV)

11 But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house,
12 she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house.
13 And as soon as she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled out of the house,
14 she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought among us a Hebrew to laugh at us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice.
15 And as soon as he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me and fled and got out of the house.”
16 Then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home,
17 and she told him the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to laugh at me.

However, Genesis ends with a prophecy concerning garments.

Genesis 49:10-12 (ESV)

10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
11 Binding his foal to the vine and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he has washed his garments in wine and his vesture in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk.

Robes and Garments are very important symbols in Scripture.  Did you realize the importance?  Matthew 9:16 is definitely speaking of more than wise mending and sewing!


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