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Headdress

HEADDRESS. The ancients wore many forms of headdress. The Hebrews originally wore no covering for the head, except for special occasions, as a leather helmet in battle. Egyptian monuments show Syrian men wearing a fillet of rope or cord. Another type of headdress protected the head, neck, and shoulders from the sun, like the modern keffiyeh. A “stocking cap” was worn by Jehu’s tribute-carriers. Assyrian sculptures show men with a turban, a long cloth wound around the head. This is the same as the “turban” (Isa 3:23), the royal “diadem” (62:3), and the “mitre” (Zech. 3:5 KJV, ASV). The “hats” (Dan 3:21) were prob. one kind of the conical Babylonian headdress. Antiochus Epiphanes compelled young Jewish nobles to wear a low, broad-brimmed hat associated with the Gr. god Hermes (2 Macc 4:12). Among the many types of head covering worn by men in NT times was a scarf wound around the head and hanging down over the neck. Women sometimes wore a turban. Syrian women sometimes wore a headband on the hair. Syrian sculptures show women wearing a shawl covering the whole body from the head to the ankles. The OT mentions both mantles and veils, but it is impossible to distinguish between them.

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