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TURBAN tur’ bən (פְּאֵר, H6996, head-dress; מִצְנֶ֫פֶת, H5200, priest’s turban; צָנִיף, H7565, [wound] turban). The turban is a length of linen, wool, or silk cloth, wound into a head covering. Since Mohammed, it has been a distinctive headgear of the Moslems, but its usage originated in the era of the Assyrians, Babylonians, and Hebrews, who used various forms of wound cloth headdress, esp. for ceremonial occasions and in higher ranks of society. There are principally three Heb. words:

1. פְּאֵר, H6996. Perhaps an Egyp. word, and perhaps of wider meaning than the wound turban. It was an ornamental linen head covering (Isa 61:10; KJV “ornaments”—perhaps the original meaning, BDB, p. 802; RSV “garland”). The same word is rendered “bonnets” (KJV), “headdresses” (RSV) in Isaiah 3:20; “tire” (KJV) and “turban” (RSV) in Ezekiel 24:17, 23; “bonnets” (KJV) and “turbans” (RSV) in Ezekiel 44:18. The lack of consistency in the older VS is obvious. It is clear, however, that this linen headdress was the sign of rejoicing or solemnity, the adornment of priest and bridegroom, and prob. a lighter article than the wound and heavier headgear generally called a turban today. “I covered you with silk” (Ezek 16:10) seems to refer to a silk turban.

3. צָנִיף, H7565. A variant from the same root as מִצְנֶ֫פֶת, H5200. RSV is almost consistent in tr. “turban” in three of the four occurrences (Isa 3:23, KJV “hood,” diadem). Isaiah 62:3 RSV agrees with KJV in rendering “diadem.”

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(Le 16:4 margin).


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