There are many thoughts, opinion and views out there on the topic and customs of what women and men can wear based on environment, society and what we deem comfortable. But what is acceptable apparel according to the Most High and what is not?
Let’s start by going to Deuteronomy chapter 22 and verse 5 which reads…
Deu 22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment:
Okay most of us have read this first part but let’s continue…
for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.
It states if we do so it is an abomination unto the Lord thy God. What is the meaning of “ABOMINATION”? The Webster Dictionary states:
abom.i.na.tion -’ba:m-*-’na–sh*nn 1: something abominable 2: extreme disgust and hatred: LOATHING
Now let’s look at other scriptures where the word “abomination” was mentioned in the bible:
Luk 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
Rev 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Rev 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
In reading these scriptures we see that apparel worn incorrectly could be an abomination unto the LORD thy God. With that understood, let’s see if the wearing of pants by women is acceptable, starting with the word “pants” since it is more commonly used to describe trousers or breeches.
Several online searches shows that pants is an abbreviated version of the word “Pantaleone” – explained below…
Apparently a doctor who was condemned to death by the Romans in the 3rd century for aiding the poor. He was to be beheaded but survived the six attempts to take his life. Later the Church canonized him, giving him the name “Saint Pantaleone”. Pan is Greek for “all” and leois the Latin word for “lion”. He was given this title to recognize his strength and courage. In time he became the patron saint of physicians.
Where did “pants” come into this picture? In ca. 800 CE, in comic drama according to Robert Hendrickson in his book Facts on File: An Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins, the buffoon in a comic production was called Panteleon (“all lion”). In time this changed toPantaloon. The actor was dressed in breeches that were tight below the knee but which bloused out in a full puffy fashion from the waist to the knee.
In the 18th century the costume became one worn by many men. The famous portrait by Hyacinthe Rigaud found in the Louvre shows Louis XIV in a regal pose, showing off his legs in a “Pantaloon” costume. The term was shortened to “pants” in the 1840s. The name came to refer specifically to the flouncy breeches, which new Americans, shortened the word to “pants.” http://www.dl.ket.org/latin3/vocab/etym/history/pants.htm
Now we see why the word “pants” is not in the bible as it’s a shorten word created in the 18thcentury. So what word did pertain to our modern day word for “pants” in the bible?
Exo 20:26 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.
Quickly, what does it mean by nakedness?
From H1319; flesh (from its freshness); by extension body, person; also (by euphemism) the pudenda of a man: – body,
[fat, lean] flesh [-ed], kin, [man-] kind, + nakedness, self, skin.
The word “pudenda” here is referring to the private part of a man. So now that nakedness and pudenda is understood, lets continue reading the scriptures on pants or correctly what the scripture calls “breeches”:
Exo 28:42 And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:
Exo 39:28 And a mitre of fine linen, and goodly bonnets of fine linen, and linen breeches of fine twined linen,
Lev 6:10 And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar.
Lev 16:4 He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on.
Eze 44:18 They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with any thing that causeth sweat.
Each of these scriptures are referring to men only as it uses the words “He” and “priest” in describing the garments. It also mentions the word “breeches” so what are breeches?
Strong’s Concordance H3647 states:
From H3647 in the sense of hiding; (only in dual) drawers (from concealing the private parts): – breeches. –
These scriptures make it clear why the Most High (the designer of breeches) commanded men to wear breeches (trousers/pants) – for the purpose of covering a man’s private part (Ex 28:42). This covering was to be done in a specific way using a specific garment. Women were not given this command because they do not have a private part on the outside of their bodies. Hence there is no scripture in the Bible that shows a reason for a women to wear breeches.
But looking further into the definition/use of breeches. Below are bible dictionaries and other historical definitions:
Easton’s Bible Dictionary
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n. pl.) A garment worn by men, covering the hips and thighs; smallclothes.
2. (n. pl.) Trousers; pantaloons.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
brich’-iz, brech’-iz: A garment, extending from the waist to or just below the knee or to the ankle, and covering each leg separately. Breeches are not listed among the garments of an ordinary wardrobe, but the priests in later times (Exodus 20:26) wore a garment resembling modern trousers. These priestly linen breeches, mikhnece bhadh, were worn along with the linen coat, the linen girdle and the linen turban by Aaron on the Day of Atonement, when he entered the “holy place.” (The word mikhnece is derived from a root, kanac = ganaz, “to cover up,” “hide.”) Ordinary priests also wore them on sacrificial occasions (Exodus 28:42;Exodus 39:28 Leviticus 6:10 Ezekiel 44:18) Apart from the breeches just referred to, the only reference to a similar garment among the Israelites is found in Daniel 3:21, where the carbal, the Revised Version (British and American) “hosen,” is mentioned. (The King James Version translates “coats.”) The rendering of the King James Version is the more likely, though the meaning of the Aramaic sarbal is obscure (compare the thorough discussion in Ges., Thesaurus). In Targum and Talmud (compare Levy, NHWB, under the word), and is so taken by the rabbinical commentators. Still, Aquila and Theodotion (sarabara), Septuagint in Daniel 3:27, Symmachus (anaxurides), Peshitta, express the meaning “trousers” (of a looser kind than those worn by us), a garment known (from Herodotus and other sources) to have been worn by the ancient Scythians and Persians, and to have been called by them sarabara. The word, with the same connotation, was brought into the Arabic in the form sirwal. In both these senses the word may be originally Persian: in that of mantle, meaning properly (according to Andreas) a “head-covering” (sarabara), for which in Persia the peasants often use their mantle; in that of “trousers,” corresponding to the modern Persian shalwar, “under-breeches.” Cook has pointed out that “mantles, long-flowing robes, and therefore extremely liable to catch the flames,” are more likely to be especially mentioned in this chapter than trousers, or (Revised Version) “hosen.”
1. There were peculiar garments appointed for the priests, and for all the rest, which they call Cohanoeoe [-priestly] garments, as also for the high priests, which they call Cahanoeoe Rabbae, and denote the high priest’s garments. Such was therefore the habit of the rest. But when the priest approaches the sacrifices, he purifies himself with the purification which the law prescribes; and, in the first place, he puts on that which is called Machanase, which means somewhat that is fast tied. It is a girdle, composed of fine twined linen, and is put about the privy parts, the feet being to be inserted into them in the nature of breeches, but above half of it is cut off, and it ends at the thighs, and is there tied fast.
Seamstress refer to breeches (trousers/pants) today as Bifurcated Garment and look at exactly what this definition means:
Bifurcation means the splitting of a main body into two parts.
A bifurcated garment is a garment that is divided into two sections and the sections will be exact replica of each other. Bifurcated garments are worn over the pelvic area, circling the waist, and covering the upper part of the legs, sometimes extending down to or even below the knee, either as outer or undergarment..e.g. Shorts, trousers, etc.
These references helps us to get a deeper understanding of exactly what breeches (trousers/pants) are and who they were worn by – priestly men and the habit of the rest – who are the rest? Men and sons of the priest. Again nowhere in scripture does it tell us that women wore this garment that was made for the priest and the rest.
So what led women to wearing men’s breeches (trousers/pants)? The following is from Wikipedia:
During World War I, women wore their husbands’ (suitably altered) trousers while they took on jobs previously assigned to men, and increasingly wore trousers as leisurewear in the 1920s and 30s. And for a period in the 1970s, trousers became quite fashionable for women. In theUnited States, this may be due to the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which ruled that dresses could not be required of girls. Dress codes changed in public schools across the United States.
In the early 20th century aviatrices and other working women often wore trousers. ActressesMarlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn were often photographed in trousers from the 1930s. During World War II, women working in industrial work in war service wore trousers, and in the post-war era trousers were still common casual wear for gardening, socialising, and other leisure pursuits.
In Britain during the Second World War, because of the rationing of clothing, many women took to wearing their husbands’ civilian clothes to work while their husbands were away in the armed forces. This was partly because they were seen as work garments, and partly to allow women to keep their clothing allowance for other uses. As the men’s clothes wore out, replacements were needed, so that by the summer of 1944 it was reported that sales of women’s trousers were five times more than in the previous year.
In 1919, Luisa Capetillo challenged the mainstream society by becoming the first woman in Puerto Rico to wear trousers in public. Capetillo was sent to jail for what was then considered to be a “crime”, but, the judge later dropped the charges against her.
These findings make it clear even in modern times that trousers were worn by men and not by women. Women began wearing their husband trousers when they took on jobs previously assigned to men. Also war, lack of finances and the influence of Hollywood all played a large role in women wearing men’s trousers. Let’s not leave out the women’s right movement of Title IXhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Title_IX
Also, note cold climate was not mentioned as an issue or reason women wore men’s trousers.
Even though trousers seemingly are a modern thing, they were still in modern times created for men and hence fall under Ahayah’s Law.
We have reached the point in this discussion where there is enough convincing evidence to show that breeches (trousers/pants) were created and intended to be worn by the priest and the “rest” of men to cover their private parts and later grew in fashion and style to trousers, pants and shorts but still only worn by men until the early 20th century or so.
So now that we know why the Most High had men wear breeches, still what is the big deal if woman decide to wear them? What is the harm and why would the Most High call this act an abomination?
We have thus shown in modern times the reason why women wore men’s trousers. Now let’s go back in ancient times and see the reason for men and women wearing each other’s apparel which is termed “cross-dressing” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-dressing ).
When the Law in Deut 22:5 went out the children of Israel was about to enter in the Land of Canaan which was surrounded by many nations that practiced idolatry and which performed the rituals mentioned above to their so-called gods and these other nations participated in cross-dressing and other abominable acts, therefore the Most High put in place the Law of Deut. 22:5
God wants a CLEAR distinction between the appearance of a man and a woman.
In Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, by Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsh, [1857-78] says this about that distinction and another reason God put in place this prohibition:
“The immediate design of this prohibition was not to prevent licentiousness, or to oppose idolatrous practices but to maintain the sanctity of that distinction of the sexes which was established by the creation of man and woman, and in relation to which Israel was not to sin. Every violation or wiping out of this distinction– such even, for example, as the emancipation of a woman – was unnatural, and therefore an abomination in the sight of God.”
So every violation including the wiping out of this distinction is an abomination in the sight of God – that definitely is something to think about!
Also in history we find these acts of cross-dressing carried out during the plan to seize Jerusalem:
Josephus – The Jewish War Book 4, Chapter 9. 560-562
(560) “While their inclination to plunder was insatiable, as was their zeal in searching the houses of the rich; and for the murdering of the men, and abusing the women, it was sport to them. (561) They also devoured what spoils they had taken, together with their blood, and indulged themselves in feminine wantonness, without any disturbance, until they were satiated with it; while they decked their hair, and put on women’s garments, and were besmeared over with ointments; and that they might appear very comely, they had paints under their eyes, (562) and imitated not only the ornaments but also the lust o women and were guilty of such intolerable uncleanness, that they invented unlawful pleasures of that sort…”
So we see a lot of sin went on with acts of cross-dressing all of which is an abomination to God.
So what did women wear that was approved apparel?
2Sa 13:18 And she had a garment of divers colours upon her: for with such robes were the king’s daughters that were virgins apparelled. Then his servant brought her out, and bolted the door after her.
Isa 3:23 The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails.
Eze 16:8 Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine. Eze 16:9 Then washed I thee with water; yea, I throughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil. Eze 16:10 I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers’ skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk. Eze 16:11 I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck. Eze 16:12 And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head. Eze 16:13 Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom. Eze 16:14And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD.
Women wore robes or wraps that covered their bodies in what we today call dresses.
By a woman wearing a dress and a man wearing breeches, it is a clear distinction who is the female and who is the male. Imagine someone’s husband going outside with a dress on and his wife with breeches (trousers/pants) on. Would that not look odd and skew the line between what is male and female?
Whatever a woman’s reason may be for wearing breeches (trousers/pants) social, financial or otherwise it does not change the truth that they were men’s garments. Every time a woman puts on pants it is an “Act” that takes on characteristics the Most High only intended for men and lessens her own feminine nature.
So in regards to what we wear male or female, if we stay as far away as we can from the “line,” of cross-dressing we will not be in danger of crossing it. We are persuaded that God wants us to stay clear of the line separating men’s apparel from that of women.
In Luke chp 17 Christ warned us that at the end of the world it would be like the days “Sodom and Gomorrah”. Sodom and Gomorrah were two ancient cities which practiced sodomy (homosexuality, cross-dressing, same-sex, “gay” and all acts of unlawfulness). Because of their evil, God destroyed them by fire. Christ said the same would happen to the world at the end time.
When Christ does return he is coming with a sword and he will not be correcting us on this or that. We will already have to be found a loyal and faith servant and what we wear will matter.
The Most High is definitely refining us in these last days, and the time for us to make the necessary changes is now so we can stand apart and be identified as one of Gods faithful and loyal servants.