Numbers 15:38
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel.

New Living Translation
"Give the following instructions to the people of Israel: Throughout the generations to come you must make tassels for the hems of your clothing and attach them with a blue cord.

English Standard Version
“Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner.

New American Standard Bible
"Speak to the sons of Israel, and tell them that they shall make for themselves tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue.

King James Bible
Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Speak to the Israelites and tell them that throughout their generations they are to make tassels for the corners of their garments, and put a blue cord on the tassel at each corner.

International Standard Version
"Tell the Israelis that they are to make tassels at the edges of their garments throughout their generations and that they are to put a violet cord on the tassels at the edges of their garments.

NET Bible
"Speak to the Israelites and tell them to make tassels for themselves on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and put a blue thread on the tassel of the corners.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Speak to the Israelites and tell them: For generations to come they must wear tassels on the corners of their clothes with violet threads in each tassel.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Speak unto the sons of Israel and bid them that they make for themselves fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue.

King James 2000 Bible
Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them tassels in the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the tassel of the corners a thread of blue:

American King James Version
Speak to the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put on the fringe of the borders a ribbon of blue:

American Standard Version
Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of each border a cord of blue:

Douay-Rheims Bible
Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt tell them to make to themselves fringes in the corners of their garments, putting in them ribands of blue:

Darby Bible Translation
Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them tassels on the corners of their garments, throughout their generations, and that they attach to the tassel of the corners a lace of blue;

English Revised Version
Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of each border a cord of blue:

Webster's Bible Translation
Speak to the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes on the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribin of blue:

World English Bible
"Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them that they should make themselves fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put on the fringe of each border a cord of blue:

Young's Literal Translation
'Speak unto the sons of Israel, and thou hast said unto them, and they have made for themselves fringes on the skirts of their garments, to their generations, and they have put on the fringe of the skirt a ribbon of blue,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

15:37-41 The people are ordered by the Lord to make fringes on the borders of their garments. The Jews were distinguished from their neighbours in their dress, as well as in their diet, and thus taught not to be conformed to the way of the heathen in other things. They proclaimed themselves Jews wherever they were, as not ashamed of God and his law. The fringes were not appointed for trimming and adorning their clothes, but to stir up their minds by way of remembrance, 2Pe 3:1. If they were tempted to sin, the fringe would warn them not to break God's commandments. We should use every means of refreshing our memories with the truths and precepts of God's word, to strengthen and quicken our obedience, and arm our minds against temptation. Be holy unto your God; cleansed from sin, and sincerely devoted to his service; and that great reason for all the commandments is again and again repeated, I am the Lord your God.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 38. - Bid them that they make them fringes. צִיצִת, probably tassels. It seems to signify something flower-like and bright, like the blooms on a shrub; the word צִיצ. is applied to the shining plate of gold upon Aaron's head-band (Exodus 28:36). In Jeremiah 48:9 it seems to mean a wing, and in Ezekiel 8:3 צִיצִת is a lock of hair. The exact meaning must be gathered from the context, and on the whole that suggests a tassel rather than a fringe. The word גְּדִלִיס, used in the parallel passage Deuteronomy 22:12, seems to have this meaning. The Septuagint renders it by κράσπιδα, which is adopted in the Gospels (see on Matthew 23:5). In the borders of their garments. Literally, "on the wings," ἐπὶ τὰ πτερύγια. The outer garment (בֶּגֶד here, כְּסוּת in Deuteronomy 22:12) was worn like a plaid, so folded that the four corners were dependent, and on each of these corners was to be hung a tassel. It was also used as a coverlet by the poor (Exodus 22:27). That they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue. Rather, "that they put a string (or thread) of hyacinth-blue upon the tassel of the wing." Septuagint, κλῶσμα ὑακίνθινον. This may have been a blue string with which to fasten the tassel to the corner of the garment, as if it were the stalk on which this flower grew; or it may have been a prominent blue thread in the tassel itself. The later Jews seem to have understood it in this sense, and concerned themselves greatly with the symbolical arrangements of the blue and other threads, and the method in which they were knotted together, so as to set forth the whole law with all its several commandments. The later Jews, however, have always contrived, with all their minute observance, to break the plain letter of the law: thus the modern talith is an under, and not an upper, garment.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Speak unto the children of Israel,.... Whom it only concerned, and all of them, except women and children; for priests, Levites, Israelites, proselytes, and freed servants, were bound to wear the fringes, but not Gentiles; nor might the Gentiles make them, what were made by them were not to be used (z), since it follows:

and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments, throughout their generations: the garments on which these fringes were put were such that were made either of linen or of woollen; no other were obliged to them by the law; but according to the Rabbins other garments were also, yet only square garments, which they call the Talith; and if that had not four skirts to it, it was free from them (a): on this square garment, and the four corners or skirts of it, were the fringes put; which were a sort of pendants or tassels, which hung down from it, which consisted of eight white woollen threads, sometimes four, sometimes eight or twelve fingers broad (b); there were four of them, one at each skirt or corner of the garment: they were, as another writer says (c), made of eight threads broad, each of them being knit to the middle with five knots, and of wool spun on purpose for this use; and these were to be wore by them throughout their generations until the Messiah came, and they seem to have been worn by him, Matthew 9:20 however, it is certain they were worn by the Pharisees in his time, Matthew 23:5; at present this four cornered garment is not any where in common use among the Jews, instead of which they wear, under their other garments, a kind of square frock, with the fringes or tassels fastened to it, and this they call Arbah Canfot; and in their schools, and at certain times of prayer, they put on a certain square woollen vestment, with the said pendants fastened at each corner, and this they call Talith (d):

and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a riband of blue; or a blue lace, a piece of blue tape, which bound and kept the fringe tight and close, and being of a different colour, the fringe being white, made it the more conspicuous: the reason why this colour was used, the Jews say (e), was, because it was like the sea, and the like the sky, and the sky like the throne of glory: this blue, hyacinth, or purple colour, as the Jews generally take it to be, was of a peculiar dye; the manner of making which is now unknown to them, and therefore they use only the white (f).

(z) Sepher Alphes, par. 1. fol. 439. 2. & 442. 1. Schulchan Aruch, par. 1. c. 14. sect. 1.((a) Schulchan ib. c. 9. sect. 1. & c. 10. sect. 1. & c. 24. 1.((b) Buxtorf. Synagog. Jud. c. 9. p. 160. (c) Leo Modena, History of the present Jews, par. 1. c. 5. sect. 7. (d) lb. sect. 9. (e) T. Bab. Sotah, fol. 17. 1.((f) Maimon. in Misn. Menachot, c. 4. sect. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

38. bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments—These were narrow strips, in a wing-like form, wrapped over the shoulders and on various parts of the attire. "Fringe," however, is the English rendering of two distinct Hebrew words—the one meaning a narrow lappet or edging, called the "hem" or "border" (Mt 23:5; Lu 8:44), which, in order to make it more attractive to the eye and consequently more serviceable to the purpose described, was covered with a riband of blue or rather purple color; the other term signifies strings with tassels at the end, fastened to the corners of the garment. Both of these are seen on the Egyptian and Assyrian frocks; and as the Jewish people were commanded by express and repeated ordinances to have them, the fashion was rendered subservient, in their case, to awaken high and religious associations—to keep them in habitual remembrance of the divine commandments.

Numbers 15:38 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Law of Tassels
37The LORD also spoke to Moses, saying, 38"Speak to the sons of Israel, and tell them that they shall make for themselves tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue. 39"It shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot,…
Cross References
Matthew 9:20
Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak.

Matthew 23:5
"Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long;

Numbers 15:37
The LORD said to Moses,

Deuteronomy 22:12
Make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you wear.
Treasury of Scripture

Speak to the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put on the fringe of the borders a ribbon of blue:

fringes in the borders. The word tzitzith properly denotes an ornament resembling a flower. From ver.

Numbers 15:39 And it shall be to you for a fringe, that you may look on it, and …

Deuteronomy 22:12 You shall make you fringes on the four quarters of your clothing, …

Matthew 9:20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve …

Matthew 23:5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad …

Luke 8:44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately …

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