Tassel

TASSEL (Heb. tsîtsith, tassel, lock). The fringe of twisted cords fastened to the outer garments of Israelites to remind them of their obligations to be loyal to the Lord (Num.15.38-Num.15.39; Deut.22.12). Later they became distinct badges of Judaism (cf. Zech.8.23). They were common in NT times (Matt.23.5).


TASSEL. The RSV tr. of צִיצִת, H7492, (Num 15:37-39) and of גְּדִלִ֖ים (Deut 22:12); in both passages the KJV has FRINGE. The Israelites were commanded to make tassels or fringes on the four corners of their cloaks so that they would be constantly reminded that they were God’s chosen people and were to obey His commandments.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

This word occurs only in Nu 15:38 (Revised Version margin), which reads "tassels in the corners" for "fringes in the borders of their garments" (the King James Version).

It is probable that the dress of the Palestinian peasant has undergone little change in the centuries since the occupation of the land by the Hebrews. His outer garment, worn for protection against cold and rain, is the simlah of Ex 22:26, now known as ’abayah by the Arabs. It is a square cloak, with unsewn spaces for armholes, and is composed of either three or four widths of woven stuff. The outer strips of the stuff, folded back and sewn at the upper edges, form shoulder-straps. It was to such a garment as this that the injunctions of Nu 15:37-41 and of De 22:12 applied.

See Fringes.

W. Shaw Caldecott