Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Sometimes the Torah uses the word בגד for clothing, for example Vayikra 11:32, and sometimes it uses מלבוש, for example Iyov 27:16, or לבוש, as in Ester 6:8. This answer discusses the difference between the two.

The verb is always constructed from the latter (לבוש), even when the noun is the former (בגד), for example Vayikra 16:23 - וּבָא אַהֲרֹן אֶל-אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וּפָשַׁט אֶת-בִּגְדֵי הַבָּד אֲשֶׁר לָבַשׁ בְּבֹאוֹ אֶל-הַקֹּדֶשׁ..

Why is the word for normal wearing constructed from the word for non-normal clothing? And why does the word בגד not have a verb form which refers to clothing?

share|improve this question
Yeshayahu 24:16 – Double AA Feb 18 '14 at 5:20
See more Malbim here: hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=32825&st=&pgnum=129 The Malbim does connect the noun בגד with the verb בוגד to betray. Just as clothing covers up, so too a person who betrays covers up his treachery by appearing to be a friend. (Beyond פשט, on a deeper level, there's a בגד/בוגד connection in regards to the sin of Adam.) – Ephraim Feb 18 '14 at 5:27
@Ephraim That's a nice drush, but there is no verb of בגד in the context of wearing. We never find getting dressed using בוגד or מבגד or any construct. – Y ez Feb 18 '14 at 18:21

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.