Deuteronomy 22:5 KJV says, The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth [keli] unto a man [geber], neither shall a man [geber] put on a woman’s garment [simlah]: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.
We previously looked at how a geber man was a mighty man or man of valor. The first definition given in the concordance of keli pertains to general things, such as utensils and vessels, and not things worn. So we are after the second definition which pertains to things a geber man would wear:
2 utensil, implement, apparatus:
a. implement of hunting and (especially) war, = weapon Genesis 27:3 (J), 1 Samuel 20:40; 1 Samuel 21:9 (גַּם חַרְבִּי וְגַם כֵּלַי), 1 Kings 11:8 2 Chronicles 23:7; 1 Kings 11:11; Isaiah 54:16,17; Jeremiah 22:7; probably also Numbers 35:32, כְּלִי בַּרְזֶל Numbers 35:16, כְּלִי עֵץיָֿד Numbers 35:18 (all P); כְּלֵיחָמָם Genesis 49:5 (poem); כְּלִי מַשְׁחֵתוֺ Ezekiel 9:1, מַמָּצוֺ׳כ Ezekiel 9:2; figurative of God’s weapons כְּלֵימָֿוֶת Psalm 7:14 (“” חִצָּיו); זַעְמוֺ׳כ Isaiah 13:5; Jeremiah 50:25; of entire equipment of warrior, armour or armament offensive and defensive 1 Samuel 17:54 (compare 1 Samuel 17:5 ff.), 1 Samuel 21:6 (twice in verse) (see Dr Sm 139. 293), 1 Samuel 31:9,10 = 1 Chronicles 10:9,10; hence נשֵֹׁא כֵלִים (כֵּלָיוׅ armour#NAME? weapon-bearer Judges 9:54; 1 Samuel 14:1,6,7,12 (twice in verse); 1 Samuel 14:13 (twice in verse); 1 Samuel 14:14,17; 1 Samuel 16:21; 1 Samuel 31:4 (twice in verse); 1 Samuel 31:5,6 = 1 Chronicles 10:4 (twice in verse); 1 Chronicles 10:5,2Samuel 18:15; 2 Samuel 23:37 = 1 Chronicles 11:39; figurative וְכֵלַי כֵּלָיו רָעִים Isaiah 32:7 and a knave, his weapons (i.e. devices, Che ‘machinations’) are evil; more precisely כְּלֵי מִלְחָמָה Judges 18:11,16,17; 1 Samuel 8:12; 2 Samuel 1:27; Deuteronomy 1:41; Jeremiah 21:4; Jeremiah 50:20 (figurative), Ezekiel 32:27; 1 Chronicles 12:34 (van d. H v. 1 Chronicles 12:33); כְּלֵי צְבָא מִלְחָמָה 1 Chronicles 12:38 (van d. H v. 1 Chronicles 12:37); כְּלֵי קְרָב Ecclesiastes 9:18; בֵּית כֵּלָיו 2 Kings 20:13 = Isaiah 39:2 is perhaps armoury; ׳כ Ezekiel 40:42 is sacrificial knife.
Source: Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew #3627
The word “wear” is not actually found in the first part of the verse. The Young’s Literal Translation renders it thus:
The habiliments of a man are not on a woman, nor doth a man put on the garment of a woman, for the abomination of Jehovah thy God is any one doing these.
The apparatus, weapons, armor, etc. of a geber shall not be on a woman. Nor shall a geber wear the cloak/mantle of a woman.
The NASB translates this word keli as “armor” 24 times and “weapons” 22 times. That is significant. The only meaning that gets rendered more, is “utensils” or “vessels” which are not things worn.
Reading this with eyes of faith we learn that there is specific “clothing” for the inner man and woman of God and that one sex wearing the other’s “clothing” is detestable to God.
Let’s take it a step further. In fact, let’s just take it all the way.
- Did Deborah violate this law when she went up with Barak?
- What are things women in the Church are specifically called to clothe/adorn themselves with in the New Testament?
- And, who was Paul really talking to when he wrote Ephesians 6:10-17?
- And, are Paul’s words to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:3-4 really applicable to women?
Not one woman of God’s people anywhere in the Old Testament ever went to war to fight. Not one woman was ever enlisted in military service (see Numbers 1). And here we are in the 21st century Church teaching men to adorn themselves like women and women to equip themselves like a geber man. God must be real pleased.