Bible College
Way of Life Literature
Publisher of Bible Study Materials
Way of Life Literature
Publisher of Bible Study Materials
Way of Life Bible College
Pants on Women and Deuteronomy 22
August 16, 2023
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
“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” (Deuteronomy 22:5).

Commentators of past centuries, who were not prejudiced one way or the other by the current debate on unisex fashion, held that the teaching of Deuteronomy 22:5 is applicable to dress in the Christian life. They warned that to break down the distinction of sexes by removing the differences in clothing would result in much evil. This is exactly what has happened since unisex fashion has prevailed since the 1960s.

Dress is a language, and it is no small thing.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): “The distinction of sexes by the apparel is to be kept up, for the preservation of our own and our neighbour’s chastity, De. 22:5. Nature itself teaches that a difference be made between them in their hair (1 Co. 11:14), and by the same rule in their clothes, which therefore ought not to be confounded, either in ordinary wear or occasionally.”

JOHN GILL (1697-1771): “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man ... It being very unseemly and impudent, and contrary to the modesty of her sex. ... neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment; which would betray effeminacy and softness unbecoming men ... since in nature a difference of sexes is made, it is proper and necessary that this should be known by difference of dress, or otherwise many evils might follow; and this precept is agreeable to the law and light of nature...”

ADAM CLARKE (1762-1832): “It is, however, a very good general precept understood literally, and applies particularly to those countries where the dress alone distinguishes between the male and the female. ... Were this to be tolerated in society, it would produce the greatest confusion.” ALBERT BARNES (1789-1870): “The distinction between the sexes is natural and divinely established, and cannot be neglected without indecorum and consequent danger to purity (compare 1 Co. 11:3-15).”

JAMIESON, FAUSSET, BROWN (1864): “They were properly forbidden; for the adoption of the habiliments [clothing] of the one sex by the other is an outrage on decency, obliterates the distinctions of nature by fostering softness and effeminacy in the man, impudence and boldness in the woman as well as levity and hypocrisy in both; and, in short, it opens the door to an influx of so many evils that all who wear the dress of another sex are pronounced ‘an abomination unto the Lord.’”

ARNO GAEBELEIN (1861-1945): “The immediate design of this prohibition was not to prevent licentiousness, or to oppose idolatrous practices; but to maintain the sanctity of that distinction of the sexes, which was established by the creation of man and woman, and in relation to which Israel was not to sin. Every violation or wiping out of this distinction--such even as the emancipation of women--was unnatural, and therefore ‘an abomination in the sight of God. Yet today we find a universal movement in the world for the complete emancipation of women, which ignores and even defies the place which the Creator and the Redeemer has given to woman.”

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