The difference between men’s and women’s clothing, or dress styles, and how they apply to New Testament believers is a hotly debated subject. This stringent compliance with laws and codes intended to perfect the saint and remove their vulnerability to sin is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the early 19th-century “Holiness” movement, which has gone by a variety of names since then.
WHAT DOES DEUTERONOMY CHAPTER 22 MEAN?
The Holiness movements cite Deuteronomy 22:5 to establish that God despises women who wear men’s clothing and men who wear women’s clothing as one of their fundamental laws. It’s important to note that these labels aren’t based on those found in clothing stores.
“A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God.”Deuteronomy 22:5
Subsequently, there are others who will argue that the spirit of the law no longer applies because it is Old Testament ‘law,’ but we know otherwise. The purpose of this blog post is not to discuss the Law versus Spirit issue, but rather to provide light on the message’s context.
Using Biblical Hermeneutics is absolutely essential to ensure that this content is presented in the most open-minded and non-biased light possible. To begin with, the Bible must be interpreted literally and in its basic, straightforward form, not as an allegory or mystery. The Bible must be interpreted historically, in the context of the audience and author; and Scripture is always a better interpreter than anybody else.
Now, by following these criteria, we can avoid the “private interpretation” fallacy and arrive at the same understanding for everyone.
According to the commandment in Deuteronomy 22:5, men must “wear that which belongs to them,” while women must “put on the apparel of the woman they are with.” Now that we’ve sorted out those two terms, let me explain why it’s so critical that we grasp both the terms and their context.
MAN AND WOMAN CLOTHING IN THE BIBLE
According to the Israelite culture, men were represented with weapons and beards to appear masculine, while ladies wore flowing robes with a variety of alterations, such as different lengths, hoods, and hair covers, as well as jewels dating back to ancient times
The attire of men and women differed only in their ornamentation, but the general ‘garments’ they wore were nearly identical.
Commentary by Adam Clarke sums up the situation as he sees it:
Females are forbidden from wearing a man’s possessions, such as his weapons or tools. Even if it isn’t explicitly stated in the passage, it is likely that the word “geber,” which translates to “strong man” or “man of war,” is being used here to refer to an armored man. The woman shall not become or exist as a heroic, great man of war and wear the armor, weapons, and effects of a warrior.”
This is a far cry from the typical sermon presented in today’s legalistic pulpits! The Bible makes it obvious that God cares about the roles of men and women, but I fear that modern interpretations have seized the letter rather than the spirit of the law (yes, the Old Testament law).
Women’s clothing was often more ornately designed and frequently had a hood or other form of head covering.
Men have always had facial hair in art; women, on the other hand, don’t (as nature teaches us). Jewelry, bracelets, necklaces, and other beautiful adornments were worn by women as a sign of social prestige, rank, and attractiveness in contrast to current Pentecostalism’s strict legalistic interpretations of the faith.
There are several instances in the Bible when the Bible uses the word “effeminate character” to describe a man, and we know that males are not supposed to be “effeminate” in any way, shape, or form (delicate). Deuteronomy 22:5 is crystal clear on this point.
So, then, what exactly is feminine?
According to The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, delicate and attractive attributes are generally associated with a woman’s femininity.
A strong warrior should not wear elegant, delicate, and pretty attire and jewelry in order to make himself appear like a woman, according to the two major laws of Biblical Hermeneutics.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE CLOTHING?
In other words, we now know two crucial facts: God cares about the appearance of men and women, because he coined the word ‘abomination’ to describe such an appearance.
The difference between the sexes has little to do with the actual shared ‘garments’ in terms of context and culture.
To conclude this discussion, it is critical that you do this. First and foremost, this commandment was a cultural one, as Jewish laws were given to civilization. To be used today, it would have to bear the weight of its audience’s cultural baggage. Face scarves worn by males are considered effeminate in some cultures where they are considered a “women’s clothing.”
The Pentecostal church forbids both men and women to have long hair or to wear jeans or pants that split their legs (save for nylons, which are nearly invariably required to prevent males from lusting after a woman’s bare ankles or calves) (I Corinthians 11:14).
Modesty in Dressing
As a matter of fact, modesty is a Godly concept, although it varies greatly depending on the culture in which it is practiced. Consider Paul’s writings as an example of subjective language. Despite the fact that they were written for a different purpose, they work well here.
Embracing modesty is both a cultural practice and a conscious decision. While the majority of a woman’s body is exposed, some cultures consider modesty to be her headdress. To remove her headdress in public would be deemed obscene and immodest by Western cultures, which regard breasts to be unattractive.
To put it another way, how a person clothes reveal their innermost thoughts and feelings. If a woman is dressed in a skirt or dress, she is no less provocative than if she is dressed in slacks or an Indian Sarees.
Dressing in a way that attracts the attention and arousal of someone other than one’s spouse is a sign of immodesty and a potential roadblock in a relationship. Stay modest.