Deuteronomy 22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.
A concerned reader here, newly interested in deeper Bible study, raised the question of how Deuteronomy 22:5 might properly be applied for Christian women of today.
She also mentioned she had some trouble finding a copy in good condition of The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, for the copy she purchased on eBay was in very poor condition with missing pages, etc. She asked if my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, was enough alike that she could do without it and make use of Nave’s Topical Bible instead, which she received in good condition.
I thought my reply to her concerns would be of great, even important benefit, to all readers here.
My book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, is not at all the same as Nave’s Topical Bible. Nave’s Topical Bible is arranged alphabetically by Bible topic or subject. For each topic, Nave’s Topical Bible gives a good selection of verses about that topic.
My book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, is arranged just like your Bible, by book, chapter and verse. For each verse I supply the main keywords in the verse, and provide cross references to other passages in the Bible on the same theme or subject. I use the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge far more often than I use Nave’s Topical Bible. You can study individual verses in the Bible using Nave’s Topical Bible by using the index at the back, but it is a tedious process, and should you happen to try it, you will likely find my book far more complete than Naves for illuminating any particular verse in the Bible. The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge also has seven indexes, largely prepared by my wife Susanne, which makes the content of The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge far more accessible.
Now about Deuteronomy 22:5. The least that can properly be affirmed from that verse is that women should not wear men’s clothes. Many Christians understand that to mean that women can wear slacks and pant suits designed for women, for they are not men’s clothes. That is the position my wife takes, and on these matters I greatly respect her judgment. We live out in the country, and to work outside in the garden and yard, riding the garden tractor to cut the grass, she does not wear a dress. But when attending church she wears a dress that is very modest, high neck line, and dress reaching to mid-calf. Because my wife is tall, particularly long-waisted, she has to sew her own clothes. Store-bought clothes just don’t fit her.
Yet I have known many women, including Christian female students in my public school classes, who always wore full-length dresses. I always appreciated the effort they and their parents made to have the girls dress modestly. I have had some girls who I dared not look their direction because of the clothing they wore to class–it was far too revealing.
I told the reader, When you finally do get your own copy of The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, you will note that the Subject Index has the entry, “Modest apparel, 1 Timothy 2:9,” an entry my wife made sure I included!
I wrote to tell her, now that you have Nave’s Topical Bible, you can find the topic “Women” which starts on page 1412. On page 1413, notice the topic “Forbidden to wear men’s costume, Deut. 22:5. Wore hair long, 1 Cor. 11:5-15. Rules for dress of Christian, 1 Tim 2:9, 10; 1 Pet. 3:3, 4.
This is where The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge comes in handy. You can look up those verses cited in Nave’s Topical Bible to find more verses that shed light on the passages Nave has cited.
The key in this matter is that a woman’s character is revealed most by her face. Her clothing should to some degree help others focus upon her face rather than other areas of her body.
In the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge I have placed a rather full discussion of a matter closely connected to this issue at 1 Corinthians 11:5. Some believe and teach that some of these regulations pertaining to dress, head covering, hair length, and the like only pertain to the people living at that time and in that culture, not ours. I have written in my note about that issue that we must take care in our culture to not imitate the dress of harlots and prostitutes or go-go girls, lest Christian women be associated with them. The Bible teaches plainly enough that we are to be very different from those in the world about us.
For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:
(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 200 for Deuteronomy 22:5.
(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 219 or in Logos 5 or 6 Bible software for Deuteronomy 22:5.
(3) Consult the cross references given in the original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 139 of the OT or on line at www.blueletterbible.org for Deuteronomy 22:5.
Deuteronomy 22:5. woman shall not. Note: This prohibition was no doubt intended to exclude the idolatrous customs of the heathen, as well as to prevent the evil which would be produced by the introduction of such customs. Nothing was more common among idolaters, than for men, in the worship of several of their gods, to put on the garments worn by women; particularly in the worship of Venus, to which that of Ashtaroth among the Canaanites bore a striking resemblance, the women were accustomed to appear in armour before her, and the men in women’s apparel. But independently of this, the practice has produced the greatest confusion in society, and has been productive of the grossest crimes. Hence Clodius, who dressed himself as a woman, that he might mingle with the Roman ladies in the feast of the Bona dea, was universally justly execrated. +Je 10:2. *1 Cor 11:4-15. +*1 Tim 2:9. Titus 2:4, 5. 1 P 3:3-5. neither shall a man. **Zp 1:8. +*1 Cor 6:9. abomination. See on Dt 18:12. 25:16.