Good day everyone!
How has everything gone for you all this last week? If you are anything like me you are still recovering from the holidays! lol! One thing I really liked about the Thanksgiving and Christmas season is being able to wear some of my more fancy clothes. It’s just enjoyable to be able to dress up a little and go someplace nice.
So did you ever wonder how the first few generations after the flood dressed? Did Noah and his sons really dress in robes? Let’s take a look…
Surprisingly scripture tells us very little of any detail of what their clothing might have looked like. Here are the scriptures that mention clothing in any way, from Genesis to the patriarchal years:
Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
Genesis 9:23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.
Genesis 37:29 And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.
Genesis 37:34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.
Genesis 44:13 Then they rent their clothes, and laded every man his ass, and returned to the city.
Genesis 49:11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass'scolt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
Exodus 12:34 And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading troughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.
Exodus 19:10 And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,
And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.
Exodus 28:4 And these are the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thybrother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office.
There are two other indirect references to clothing in Genesis 4:19 in the names of Lamech’s wives (“And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.”) Ada’s namemeans gorgeously adorned, and Zillah’s name means one whose presence is announced by the tinkling of her jewelry.
Other historical documents are also shy in describing ancient clothing:
For example, Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Josephus only makes one reference to clothing from Genesis to Moses:
3. Noah, when, after the deluge, the earth was resettled in its former condition, set about its cultivation; and when he had planted it with vines, and when the fruit was ripe, and he had gathered the grapes in their season, and the wine was ready for use, he offered sacrifice, and feasted, and, being drunk, he fell asleep, and lay naked in an unseemly manner. When his youngest son saw this, he came laughing, and showed him to his brethren; but theycovered their father's nakedness.
Could Josephus also be referring to clothing and fashion when he said “the earth was resettled in its former condition”? We may never know until we are in heaven, but it is reasonable (considering human nature and desires) to conclude that by the time the city of Babel was in full swing and so was the fashion of the day.
There are several things that actually back this up. Depictions of ancient people often show all different kinds of clothing. Also we have clues in ancient mummies. In particular the mummies of Ürümchi. Though the author of The Mummies of Ürümchi, Elizabeth Wayland Barber (all pictures come from the web but are from these mummies), uses evolutionary timescales, she comes close to the truth when she notes that these ancient mummies must have come from around the time of the patriarchs (which I believe might have been first generation post flood peoples who were dispersing after the Tower of Babel language split). These people who were buried so long ago are well preserved as is their clothing. Interesting enough their clothing was not made up of robes and cloaks. Garments such as a striped woolen skirt, a turquoise blue woolen shirt with lightening pattern running along the bottom edge, an elaborately plaited five-colored belt cord, a “suit” jacket containing pockets, brightly colored woolen pants, and multi-colored leggings and many hats to name a few.
I think it is reasonable to conclude that the people from the former world had brightly colored clothing of many styles and that this was brought to the new world by Noah and his family. I also think it is logical that as the post flood people grew in number, so did their ideas about clothing—whether it came from necessity or from personal tastes, styles would have changed. After all…who doesn’t love pockets! Lol!
In my novel Of One Tongue I tried to fashion the characters and historical people with a blend of the little we know about this very ancient clothing.
Until next time, God bless and take care!
Barber Wayland, Elizabeth. The Mummies of Ürümchi, Norton paperback, 2000.