“The armor of a man shall not be on a woman, and neither shall a man wear
the clothing of a woman..” (Deut. 22:5 Masoretic Hebrew Text). The Greek translation of this verse also agrees with the above translation from the Hebrew text. This translation
is the most obvious meaning of the Hebrew verse so I am going to say this is the correct meaning. The Hebrew word cli means “an outfit, armor, weapon and vessel.” Cli means
instrument (Lamsa) or weapon (KJV) at Numbers 35:18 and armor at 1 Samuel 14:1. There is no evidence that cli means “clothing” anywhere in the Hebrew Old Testament. Additionally, there are
other Hebrew words that mean garment, clothing or apparel.
I believe there was a particular reason for the man and the
woman to be exchanging outfits. If someone was pursuing a soldier, that soldier could hide by pretending to be a woman. The
woman could hide her hair inside the soldier’s helmet if she has long hair or didn’t cut it; thus appearing to
be a male soldier. Another scenario that this verse could apply to is if a hetero eunuch wore the clothing of a woman to get
into the king’s harem to try and sleep with his wives. One of the king’s wives could feign to be the eunuch soldier
or guard to safeguard him.
I don’t believe the Aramaic translation
is totally correct at this verse. Sometimes I agree with the Greek interpretation over the Aramaic interpretation or vice
versa. When there is a disagreement of interpretation between the two traditions I look at the Hebrew text to see what it
most obviously says. I also make sure the Hebrew text hasn’t been changed by comparing it with the Dead Sea Scrolls
text. About half of the disagreements I agree with the Aramaic text, and about the same amount I agree with the Greek text.
The Aramaic text literally says: “The
armor (pl. ma-ne) of a man shall not be upon a woman; and a man shall not be clothed
with the armor (pl. ma-ne) of a woman. The LORD your God abhors all those doing
these things.” By armor, I’m referring to the outfit and the weapon. Ma-na
(singular) is the normal translation of the Hebrew word cli, which means: an outfit, armor,
weapon, and vessel. The Aramaic word ma-ne also means “clothing.” So this verse can be translated as: “The garments
(or clothing) of a man shall not be upon a woman; and a man shall not be clothed with the garments of a woman…”
A distinguishing word or context needs to surround the word ma-ne for it to refer to garments
though. This is because it is not its most obvious meaning. It usually means a vessel, instrument or weapon of some type.
Ma-ne carries those meanings over three hundred and thirty times in the Aramaic Old Testament.
One has to wonder if the Aramaic translator really
meant “clothing” here since the original Hebrew text has the word cli (armor)
at this verse. Nevertheless, this interpretation agrees with Dr. Lamsa’s polished version of the KJV translation of
“Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man have long (qa-yem erect)
hair, it is a disgrace to him? But if a woman have long (dam-rab-bai)
hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given her for a covering.” (1 Cor. 11:14-15 Lamsa). The
Aramaic text really talks about women having long hair. The Aramaic text says something different in regards to the hair of
men. The text says that nature teaches us that a man is not to have erect hair. Qa-yem
means: “standing, erect and upright.” The next word after long is the word sa-ra, meaning hair. The
Aramaic text has two words here while the Greek text just has one word. Dr. Lamsa retained the KJV translation here but polished
up the text.
The Greek text has the conjugated
word ko-ma, which was translated as “long hair” when talking about the hair
of both men and women. According to James Strong, ko-ma-o means: “to wear tresses
of hair.” The Latin text says this: “Doth
not even nature itself teach you that a man indeed, if he nourish his hair, it is a shame unto him?” (latinvulgate.com). The interpretation of
ko-ma-o as “long hair” is an English interpretation.
Note: I am still going through the Aramaic Old Testament.
More information about transgender people and the Bible will be posted as that information is brought to light.
ADAM HERMAPHRODITE ???:
I no longer hold that Adam
was a hermaphrodite. Though that is one of the opinions of the Talmud, there are reasons to believe he wasn't. I
may write on my reasons for changing my opinion on this matter or I may just delete this post altogether.
Is the Bible Against Homosexuality? by Mattai "the Preacher"
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