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Matthew Henry's Commentary on Deuteronomy 22:5


From Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Holy Bible

Matthew Henry (1662-1714), still world-famous amongst Christians for his Commentary, was a Presbyterian minister born in Flintshire, Wales. His father was a renowned pastor of the Puritan era.



Deuteronomy 22:5:The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God. 


The distinction of sexes by the apparel is to be kept up, for the preservation of our own and our neighbour’s chastity, v. 5. Nature itself teaches that a difference be made between them in their hair, 1 Cor. xi. 14. and by the same rule, in their clothes, which therefore ought not to be confounded, either in ordinary wear, or occasionally. To befriend a lawful escape or concealment, it may be done; but whether for sport, or in the actings of plays, is justly questionable.  


1. Some think it refers to the idolatrous custom of the Gentiles: in the worship of Venus, women appeared in armour, and men in women’s clothes; this, as other such superstitious usages, is here said to be an abomination to the Lord.  


2. It forbids the confounding of the dispositions and affairs of the sexes; men must not be effeminate, nor do the women’s work in the house; nor must women be viragos, pretend to teach or usurp authority, 1 Tim. ii. 11, 12.  


3. Probably, this confounding of garments had been used to gain opportunity of committing uncleanness, and is therefore forbidden: for those that would be kept from sin, must keep themselves from all occasions of it and approaches to it.




“A Commentary on the Holy Bible,” Ward, Lock & Co., Vol 2, p 475.