God’s Standard of Nakedness and Modesty

Nana Yaw Aidoo

Adam and Eve had sinned against God. They had disobeyed God’s word not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:17; 3:1-6). When they did, their eyes were opened to know good and evil. With this knowledge, they realized their nakedness, “and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (Gen. 3:7). Notice if you would that once Adam and Eve knew they were naked, they sought to cover themselves. What a lesson many living today need to learn.

In seeking to cover themselves, they “made themselves aprons.” The word translated aprons is the Hebrew word hagorot, which according to the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible is “a belt (for the waist).” It is also translated girdle, which basically is cloth for the loins (cf. 1 Kings 2:5). The clothes which Adam and Eve made to cover their nakedness were clothes that covered their loins. The loin is “the part of the body that is above the legs and below the waist especially the sexual organs.” (Cambridge Dictionary). Of David, Peter said that Christ was “the fruit of his loins” (Acts 2:30). Thus, Adam and Eve in seeking to cover their nakedness, covered only their private parts, leaving the part of their bodies from the shoulders to the middle parts uncovered. They “sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons; not to cover their whole bodies, but only those parts which, ever since, mankind have been ashamed to expose to public view, and which they studiously conceal from sight.” (John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible).

After putting on these clothes, “they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Gen. 3:8). Knowing what they had done, “Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.” God then called unto Adam who replied by saying he hid himself because he was naked. (Gen. 3:10). This is of all things the most interesting. Does the record not say prior to this that Adam and Eve “made themselves aprons?” Why then does Adam yet tell God he is naked? Evidently, even though Adam had covered his private parts or his waist area, he was naked because he was scantily clothed, being uncovered from his shoulders to his middle parts. “Through his new knowledge of good and evil, Adam was able to determine that being nude is not the only form of Biblical nakedness. Being scantily clothed is another form of nakedness, and of such, God does not approve.” (The Northside Anchor, Calhoun, Georgia, July 24, 2016). In view of this, is it alright for a Christian woman to show her cleavage, her back or her tummy to the world and is it alright for a Christian man to walk bare-chested in public?

Consequently, God made for Adam and for his wife, “coats of skins, and clothed them” (Gen. 3:21). The Hebrew word translated coats or tunics (NKJV), “was a kind of shirt without sleeves, reaching down to the knees” (Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges). It was “a long, shirt-like garment, usually of linen but as described in this verse, made from animal skins” (learn-biblical-hebrew.com). Notice that after God made the coats, Moses recorded that God “clothed them.” Were Adam and Eve not clothed initially? Not in the sight of God. Not when they were scantily clothed. To be scantily clothed is to be naked in the sight of God and only when a person is properly covered from the shoulders to the knees is such a one modestly clad. That, my friends, is God’s standard of nakedness and modesty.

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Author: Editor

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