The Virtuous Women……Modesty Part I

I was prepared to go onto the next set of verses but a few questions popped up that needed to be addressed before I went on.

It is the modesty issue…… before I finish this I want to preface this with the statement that these are my opinions and how I interpret this and what God has laid on my heart. It is up to each individual to search the scriptures and ask God to show them what He wants them to do……..Our convictions must come from Him…..they cannot be forced upon you by the beliefs of other people all though I know this happens.

I am also not in the game of judging people…..just because my daughter and I prefer to dress one way…it is our preference and we do not look down or think ill of other women who do not have the same conviction that we have. I know some very Godly women who choose not to wear just dresses and skirts.They feel they can dress just as modestly in slacks then they can in other apparel. That is fine with me….I just chose another path.

Modesty does not mean Frumpiness. It doesn’t mean going around in a potato sack. It doesn’t mean that you cannot wear jewelry and makeup.

Here are the definitions of Modest, Modestly and Modesty………

MOD’EST, a. [L. modestus, from modus, a limit.]

1. Properly, restrained by a sense of propriety; hence, not forward or bold; not presumptuous or arrogant; not boastful; as a modest youth; a modest man.

2. Not bold or forward; as a modest maid. The word may be thus used without reference to chastity.

The blushing beauties of a modest maid.

3. Not loose; not lewd.

Mrs. Ford, the honest woman, the modest wife.

4. Moderate; not excessive or extreme; not extravagant; as a modest request; modest joy; a modest computation.

MOD’ESTLY, adv. Not boldly; not arrogantly or presumptuously; with due respect. He modestly expressed his opinions.

1. Not loosely or wantonly; decently; as, to be modestly attired; to behave modestly.

2. Not excessively; not extravagantly.

MOD’ESTY, n. [L. modestia.] That lowly temper which accompanies a moderate estimate of one’s own worth and importance. This temper when natural, springs in some measure from timidity, and in young and inexperienced persons, is allied to bashfulness and diffidence. In persons who have seen the world, and lost their natural timidity, modesty springs no less from principle than from feeling, and is manifested by retiring, unobtrusive manners, assuming less to itself than others are willing to yield, and conceding to others all due honor and respect, or even more than they expect or require.

2. Modesty, as an act or series of acts, consists in humble, unobtrusive deportment, as opposed to extreme boldness, forwardness, arrogance, presumption, audacity or impudence. Thus we say, the petitioner urged his claims with modesty; the speaker addressed the audience with modesty.

3. Moderation; decency.

4. In females, modesty has the like character as in males; but the word is used also as synonymous with chastity, or purity of manners. In this sense, modesty results from purity of mind, or from the fear of disgrace and ignominy fortified by education and principle. Unaffected modesty is the sweetest charm of female excellence, the richest gem in the diadem of their honor.

The above definitions were taken from The Webster Dictionary 1828 version. That is the one most compatible with the King James Version of the Bible that I use.
The modern day Webster’s definition is the following…….



One entry found for modest.


Main Entry: mod·est
Pronunciation: 'mä-d&st
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin modestus moderate; akin to Latin modus measure
1 a : placing a moderate estimate on one’s abilities or worth b : neither bold nor self-assertive : tending toward diffidence
2 : arising from or characteristic of a modest nature
3 : observing the proprieties of dress and behavior : DECENT
4 a : limited in size, amount, or scope <a family of modest means> b : UNPRETENTIOUS <a modest home>
synonym see SHY, CHASTE
mod·est·ly adverb




One entry found for modesty.


Main Entry: mod·es·ty
Pronunciation: 'mä-d&-stE
Function: noun
1 : freedom from conceit or vanity
2 : propriety in dress, speech, or conduct


As you can see, regardless of the times the definitions are the same. If your mode of dress meets with the definitions of modesty…..


This is the passage of scripture talking about a women dressing modestly…

1Ti 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.
1Ti 2:10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.


This isn’t saying that you can’t wear jewelry or braid your hair….This is what Clarke’s Commentary has to say on these verses……

1Ti 2:9 –
In like manner also – That is, he wills or commands what follows, as he had commanded what went before.
That women adorn themselves – Και τας γυναικας ες καταστολῃ κοσμιῳ. The apostle seems to refer here to different parts of the Grecian and Roman dress. The στολη, stola, seems to have been originally very simple. It was a long piece of cloth, doubled in the middle, and sewed up on both sides, leaving room only for the arms; at the top, a piece was cut out, or a slit made, through which the head passed. It hung down to the feet, both before and behind, and was girded with the zona round the body, just under the breasts. It was sometimes made with, sometimes without, sleeves; and, that it might sit the better, it was gathered on each shoulder with a band or buckle. Some of the Greek women wore them open on each side, from the bottom up above the knee, so as to discover a part of the thigh. These were termed φαινομηριδες, showers (discoverers) of the thigh; but it was, in general, only young girls or immodest women who wore them thus.
The καταστολη seems to have been the same as the pallium or mantle, which, being made nearly in the form of the stola, hung down to the waist, both in back and front, was gathered on the shoulder with a band or buckle, had a hole or slit at top for the head to pass through, and hung loosely over the stola, without being confined by the zona or girdle. Representations of these dresses may be seen in Lens’ Costume des Peuples de l’Antiquité, fig. 11, 12, 13, and 16. A more modest and becoming dress than the Grecian was never invented; it was, in a great measure, revived in England about the year 1805, and in it, simplicity, decency, and elegance were united; but it soon gave place to another mode, in which frippery and nonsense once more prevailed. It was too rational to last long; and too much like religious simplicity to be suffered in a land of shadows, and a world of painted outsides.
With shamefacedness and sobriety – The stola, catastola, girdle, etc., though simple in themselves, were often highly ornamented both with gold and precious stones; and, both among the Grecian and Roman women, the hair was often crisped and curled in the most variegated and complex manner. To this the apostle alludes when he says: Μη εν πλεγμασιν, η χρυσῳ, η μαργαριταις, η ἱματισμῳ πολυτελει· Not with plaited hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly raiment. The costly raiment might refer to the materials out of which the raiment was made, and to the workmanship; the gold and pearls, to the ornaments on the raiment.
With shame-facedness or modesty, μετα αιδους. This would lead them to avoid every thing unbecoming or meretricious in the mode or fashion of their dress.
With sobriety, μετα σωφροσυνης. Moderation would lead them to avoid all unnecessary expense. They might follow the custom or costume of the country as to the dress itself, for nothing was ever more becoming than the Grecian stola, catastola, and zona; but they must not imitate the extravagance of those who, through impurity or littleness of mind, decked themselves merely to attract the eye of admiration, or set in lying action the tongue of flattery. Woman has been invidiously defined: An animal fond of dress. How long will they permit themselves to be thus degraded?
The extravagance to which the Grecian and Asiatic women went in their ornaments might well be a reason for the apostle’s command.
Kypke, however, denies that any particular article of dress is intended here, and says that καταστολη is to be understood as coming from καταστελλω, to restrain, repress; and he refers it to that government of the mind, or moderation which women should exercise over their dress and demeanour in general, and every thing that may fall under the observation of the senses. All this, undoubtedly, the apostle had in view.
When either women or men spend much time, cost, and attention on decorating their persons, it affords a painful proof that within there is little excellence, and that they are endeavoring to supply the want of mind and moral good by the feeble and silly aids of dress and ornament. Were religion out of the question, common sense would say in all these things: Be decent; but be moderate and modest.

A women was considered naked if anything at the knee or above was bare. If you go by just what is presented above then there is no problem. Well…it is the other verses that come into play that can make the modesty issue a problem.

This ends Part I of Modesty….Part II will be finished either tonight or tomorrow….depends on how I feel….



April 2, 2007 - Posted by | Bible Study, Just Life, Marriage, Observances, Religion, Uncategorized

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