What is Important to God?
May 27, 2021
by Barry Fike
Under the influence of what is called taA-LIT by Jews to today, some translators have understood that the taA-LIT was a shawl-like covering draped over the upper part of a man’s body during prayer. For instance, in Matthew 23:5, the New International Version translated, “They make…the tassels of their prayer shawls long.” This is misleading since, in the time of Jesus, the taA-LIT was part of everyday dress and not a religious article. It is true that out of modesty one would not pray publicly in his haA-LUK, but the taA-LIT was not itself a holy garment.
This clarification of the double robes worn in Jesus’ time helps us understand his statement recorded in Mathew 5:40, “If someone wants to sue you for your haA-LUK, le him also have your taA-LIT.” (tunic)
In the privacy of one’s home, the haA-LUK (mantle) could be worn without the taA-LIT, but it was embarrassing to go out in public dressed in it alone. However, if necessary, the taA-LIT could serve as one’s only garment. Therefore, the taA-LIT rather than the haA-LUK was indispensable. If someone tries to confiscate your tunic in a dispute, Jesus said, you should, for the sake of peace, also offer him your mantle.
Verses 41, 42- The same principle applies as referred to in v. 38. This has to do with the reconciliation of a brother to a brother. Whatever it takes, do it. That is how important this relationship is to God.