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Thread: Deuteronomy 22:5 - the "clothing abomination"

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    Deuteronomy 22:5 - the "clothing abomination"

    Deuteronomy 22:5 (New American Standard Bible)

    "A woman shall not wear man's clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman's clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.



    This has always been something I've wondered about without ever fully discussing it in a group with people... so here's my chance.

    1. What does it mean for a woman to wear men's clothing?
    2. What does it mean for a man to wear women's clothing?
    (and surely, isn't some clothing gender neutral?)
    3. Is ACTUAL clothing being discussed here, or is the term "clothing" used to actually describe the roles men and women have.... as in, women shouldn't put on/take on a man's role, and vice-versa?

    Of the options, I think 3. makes the most sense to me. It's not even considered inadvisable to have a woman wear men's clothes, for for a man to wear women's.... it's an abomination. To the Lord. So, why is it such a big deal? After all, we'd reason, it's just clothing. If a man and woman both buy t-shirts at a store that are identical and unisex, is it an abomination to wear them? If a woman wears a pair of jeans, how about then? If a man wears a necklace, what about that? When we break it down culturally that way.... individual clothing pieces (and we know fashion's very fluid) don't make sense as abominations. We barely notice things like that. For it to deeply offend God doesn't SEEM to make sense.

    So I think the verse MUST be another way of saying "women, don't take on the roles men do. Men, don't take on the roles women do." After all, if a woman steps into a role.... a persona... that isn't supposed to be hers, she's basically telling God "I can improve on the person You meant me to be! I want to live my way!" Same if a man steps into female roles and personas.

    Does that make sense to you guys? I think it does, to me.... I can't imagine God calling actual FABRIC an abomination.... but if we "clothe" ourselves in a certain role/persona and deny the person God made us... I can see how bad THAT could be. (For example, a man acting in a very feminine way.)

    Or..... does the verse actually mean FABRIC?

    Looking forward to your ideas.

    (And of course, I acknowledge that this is a topic of sheer curiousity for me..... low impact on the 'importance' scale. But still worth a little chat. )
    -- Your ~sister~ in Christ.... a "Kaffinated Kittykat"!!

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    We'll work it out together, let it bring us to our knees.....
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    In my perspective back then OT days clothes were very different ...so men wore robes and loin clothes...women wore very modest clothes and no doubt had unmentionables that looked very different.....cloaks were for men with Jewish words written on them..down the side.....So I think all 3 apply...... JMHO
    The story of Job teaches us that the Devil has to be given permission to attack us. So if God is allowing the attack surely He's planning our victory. He would not allow us to be in a battle we could not win.! God looks for hand-picked people He can send into difficult environments, that He might be glorified. He makes all things "work together for good" (Ro 8:28) so don't be intimidated. Just keep your eyes open and see what God is up to!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeCat View Post
    Deuteronomy 22:5 (New American
    Standard Bible)




    "A woman shall not wear man's clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman's clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.



    This has always been something I've wondered about without ever fully discussing it in a group with people... so here's my chance.

    1. What does it mean for a woman to wear men's clothing?
    2. What does it mean for a man to wear women's clothing?
    (and surely, isn't some clothing gender neutral?)
    3. Is ACTUAL clothing being discussed here, or is the term "clothing" used to actually describe the roles men and women have.... as in, women shouldn't put on/take on a man's role, and vice-versa?

    Of the options, I think 3. makes the most sense to me. It's not even considered inadvisable to have a woman wear men's clothes, for for a man to wear women's.... it's an abomination. To the Lord. So, why is it such a big deal? After all, we'd reason, it's just clothing. If a man and woman both buy t-shirts at a store that are identical and unisex, is it an abomination to wear them? If a woman wears a pair of jeans, how about then? If a man wears a necklace, what about that? When we break it down culturally that way.... individual clothing pieces (and we know fashion's very fluid) don't make sense as abominations. We barely notice things like that. For it to deeply offend God doesn't SEEM to make sense.

    So I think the verse MUST be another way of saying "women, don't take on the roles men do. Men, don't take on the roles women do." After all, if a woman steps into a role.... a persona... that isn't supposed to be hers, she's basically telling God "I can improve on the person You meant me to be! I want to live my way!" Same if a man steps into female roles and personas.

    Does that make sense to you guys? I think it does, to me.... I can't imagine God calling actual FABRIC an abomination.... but if we "clothe" ourselves in a certain role/persona and deny the person God made us... I can see how bad THAT could be. (For example, a man acting in a very feminine way.)

    Or..... does the verse actually mean FABRIC?

    Looking forward to your ideas.

    (And of course, I acknowledge that this is a topic of sheer curiousity for me..... low impact on the 'importance' scale. But still worth a little chat. )
    Hi CoffeeCat,
    When I finally came to the understanding of the scriptures about the clothing."This is what I have come to know of the meaning of it is and in no way to make others to believe"The clothing is not the main focus of it.A little background......Gen; Sodom & Gomorah.....remember the "people of the town"how the angels came to destroy it for 5 righteous 'men'.Lot made them stay in his home that night instead of the streets.The 'men' of the town came to his door seeking the angels.( so they could use them)these wicked men are /or prefer men ...not women. Lot gave his daughters to them, but they pushed their way in and they were blinded and could not get to them.
    This clothing is speaking against men who 'act like women" and 'women who act like men". dressing for the gender they are not.Even as it is this day. It is an abomination To God.
    Just my understanding of that Law.
    " May The Peace of God Be With Us"
    Jer:29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you....
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    In Christ Jesus, Darlene

  4. #4
    I believe the only way it can be interpreted as something other than physical cloth garments is if that's what one wants to read into it. In every case I've been able to find in the OT, the Hebrew word for "garment" (simlah) is used to refer to physical cloth garments, never allegorically as "essence", if you will. Add to that the fact that the passage in question is in a law-giving book. The stating of laws used very concise and literal language, lacking all manner of allegory and leaving little to no room for interpretation. Else, confusion would ensue. Again, to say that it means something other than what the plain literal reading offers requires one to want to believe something else.

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    The clothing regulations stipulated in Deuteronomy were directed at Israel, not us. The pagan societies of that day were rampant with homosexual practices, like Sodom and Gomorrah, and God wanted Israel to differentiate themselves from these godless societies. One way in which Israel was intended to do that was with their sexual purity. Since homosexuality involves men and women swapping roles in relationships, God wanted them to "keep their places" even while they were dressed.

    Today, we have the more generic command that "not a hint of sexual immorality" must be allowed to enter our lives. However, that would include not dressing oneself in such a way as to compromise your witness by presenting your body in a way that suggests that you are willing to fulfill a sexual function for which you were not designed.
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    When the plain sense of Scripture make sense, seek no other sense.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashley274 View Post
    In my perspective back then OT days clothes were very different ...so men wore robes and loin clothes...women wore very modest clothes and no doubt had unmentionables that looked very different.....cloaks were for men with Jewish words written on them..down the side.....So I think all 3 apply...... JMHO

    um, where did you get your information?

    by Jewish words do you mean Hebrew? what 'jewish words" were on these designer clothes?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Literalist-Luke View Post
    The clothing regulations stipulated in Deuteronomy were directed at Israel, not us. The pagan societies of that day were rampant with homosexual practices, like Sodom and Gomorrah, and God wanted Israel to differentiate themselves from these godless societies. One way in which Israel was intended to do that was with their sexual purity. Since homosexuality involves men and women swapping roles in relationships, God wanted them to "keep their places" even while they were dressed.
    Reference please?

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    Thanks for the responses, so far.

    One thing I'm not sure of, at all: I'm always wary of saying "those laws were for THEM, they don't apply to us." Is something that's considered an abomination to God NOT an abomination now? If something that deeply offends God then, wouldn't it still now? It wouldn't make much sense to say "oh, He's only grieved/offended if THEY did it back then. If we do it now, it's fine."
    -- Your ~sister~ in Christ.... a "Kaffinated Kittykat"!!

    ROMANS 5:8. Forgiven. Freed. Humbled. Amazed. Grateful. Relying on Christ.

    Love is not a place to come and go as we please
    It's a house we enter in, then commit to never leave
    So lock the door behind you, and throw away the key
    We'll work it out together, let it bring us to our knees.....
    Warren Barfield




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    The breaking of the Law in which we are talking about. I believe unless there is repentance it would still be an abomination today.
    " May The Peace of God Be With Us"
    Jer:29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you....
    <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <><
    Knowledge Will Be Increased
    In Christ Jesus, Darlene

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    Quote Originally Posted by zombieCat View Post
    Reference please?
    Um, Exodus 20 - Deuteronomy 33?
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeCat View Post
    Thanks for the responses, so far.

    One thing I'm not sure of, at all: I'm always wary of saying "those laws were for THEM, they don't apply to us." Is something that's considered an abomination to God NOT an abomination now? If something that deeply offends God then, wouldn't it still now? It wouldn't make much sense to say "oh, He's only grieved/offended if THEY did it back then. If we do it now, it's fine."
    Certainly it offends Him now. The clothing itself is not where the offense comes from, however. If that were the case, then Scotland would be in serious trouble because of their kilts that men wear. It's the implication the clothing carries of a person taking on themselves the wrong sexual role in a perverse relationship. That much is still just as true today as ever. As I pointed out, the New Testament gives us an even broader umbrella of restriction than Israel was under: "Not even a hint of sexual immorality". (Ephesians 5:3) That gives us an even higher standard than Israel was given.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdo View Post
    The breaking of the Law in which we are talking about. I believe unless there is repentance it would still be an abomination today.
    It does, but Ephesians 5:3 gives us even broader restrictions than Israel was under. I'm not suggesting for a moment that we are under looser standards than Israel was. Quite the opposite. I'm saying that we're under an even higher standard than Israel.
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    Yeshua holds us to a higher standard. With more promises comes more accountability.

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    Hi Coffecat,
    The feminine form for the word garment suggests an image, figure or idol. One's covering ought not to be with deceit or pretense. These instructions given to Israel are not unlike the things Paul speaks about for the assemblies when we come before the Lord. I think you are on the right track in understanding this law.
    Robin

    Truth is so obscure in these times and falsehood so established that, unless one loves the truth, he cannot know it. - Blaise Pascal
    And Jesus saith unto him [Thomas], I am the way the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. - John 14:6
    Discernment is not needed in things that differ, but in things that appear to be the same. - Miles Sanford
    Those who compromise with Christís enemies may be reckoned with them. - C.H. Spurgeon

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Mograce2U View Post
    Hi Coffecat,
    The feminine form for the word garment suggests an image, figure or idol. One's covering ought not to be with deceit or pretense. These instructions given to Israel are not unlike the things Paul speaks about for the assemblies when we come before the Lord. I think you are on the right track in understanding this law.
    Good points. While we can apply things in such a manner (and indeed most likely should), there is absolutely nothing to suggest that the law given regarding men's and women's clothing is anything but what a plain, literal reading of the text indicates. The perspective you note is a welcome addition to that, but not a replacement for it.

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