Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.   (Zechariah 3:4b)

Someone asked about clothing. How did it develop, and what does the Bible have to say about it? If you consult secular sources, you may learn that “Evidence suggests that human beings may have begun wearing clothing as far back as 100,000 to 500,000 years ago.”[1] Of course, those guesses find their basis in evolutionary thought, which is inconsistent with biblical chronology.  These same sources admit that “It is not known when humans began wearing clothes, but anthropologists believe that animal skins and vegetation were adapted into coverings as protection from cold, heat and rain…”[2] We can agree that clothing has been important in human history from the very beginning.  “The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic and is a feature of most human societies.”[3] I do not know this for a fact, but I would venture to say all human societies, even the most primitive, wear some type of clothing.

As for what the Bible has to say, Genesis 2:25 tells us that both the man and the woman were naked at the time of their creation. Genesis 3:7-8 tells us that after they sinned, they discovered that they were naked, and were ashamed. Why were they ashamed? I cannot be dogmatic about this, but I think that when they were first created (in the image of God), they had an aura (light) about them. I arrive at this conclusion from examples given in the Bible of individuals, like Moses, acquiring a glow or radiance about them from being in the presence of God. Angels are described as having this glow (Acts 10:30). Jesus had this glow at His transfiguration (Matthew 17:2), and He has it in the descriptions of Him given in Revelation 1:16. So, I believe Adam and Eve had this glow about them, and when they sinned, the light went out, and they saw that they were naked. More than that, they recognized that they had lost something of the image of the One in whose image they were made. They lost their identity with their Creator, and they were afraid (Genesis 3:10).

At the end, God (and I believe this was God in human form – the pre-incarnate Christ) sacrificed innocent animals (probably sheep or goats), and He made clothes to cover the fallen couple. There is an interesting but subtle play on words here with the Hebrew word for skins – ‛ôr. It is pronounced the same as the Hebrew word for light – ‘ôr – but it is spelled differently. The former is spelled with an aleph (א), and the latter is spelled with an ayin, (ע). Before the Fall, they were clothed in light, ‛ôr, and after the Fall they were clothed in skins, ‘ôr. That Jesus shed the blood of innocent animals in order to provide coverings for His fallen creatures, Adam and Eve, speaks of “atonement” – Hebrew kâphar meaning “to cover.” We see in this a representation of the Gospel: Jesus, the innocent Lamb of God, shedding His blood to cover our sins.

Our clothing, then, should serve as a reminder of our sinfulness and of God’s provision for covering that sin. Like the fig leaves Adam and Eve sewed together (Genesis 3:7), our clothing is inadequate to cover our sins. Clothes wear out, they get dirty, or they fall out of fashion. Daily we have to change one outfit for another. However, in heaven, our clothing will not wear out or have to be replaced.[4] “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, … These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9, 14). I do not know, but I think that our “robes” will be that same “light” which covered Adam and Eve before the Fall.

Do you have your heavenly wardrobe reserved? If you are not sure, here are some other articles that may help answer your questions:

No One Escapes Judgment

You Don’t Go to Hell Because You’re A Sinner

Only One Way In



[1] accessed October 9, 2015.

[2]  Ibid.

[3]  Ibid.

[4]  See “Clothing In Heaven”


Filed under Apologetics, Christianity, Creation, Current Events, End Times, Gospel, Heaven, Salvation, Second Coming of Christ, Theology

3 responses to “Clothing

  1. Phil Slate

    I dress but look forward to my white robe

    Phil Slate

  2. Whatever our robes may look like, I’m sure we will all be astonished and thankful, very thankful. Me? I just want to look into Jesus eyes for I know I’ll find there the love I’ve longed for all my life.

  3. Great study! I like especially what you said about the glowing skin or Adam and Eve and Moses.