What is an “habergeon?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

The first hint is that it is something worn on the body. Also, it is used in wartime. Read the relevant passages:

  • Exodus 28:32: “And there shall be an hole in the top of it, in the midst thereof: it shall have a binding of woven work round about the hole of it, as it were the hole of an habergeon, that it be not rent.”
  • Exodus 39:23: “And there was an hole in the midst of the robe, as the hole of an habergeon, with a band round about the hole, that it should not rend.”
  • 2 Chronicles 26:14: “And Uzziah prepared for them throughout all the host shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and slings to cast stones.”
  • Nehemiah 4:16: “And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.”
  • Job 41:26: “The sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold: the spear, the dart, nor the habergeon.”

Basically, a “habergeon” is a sleeveless coat of mail or scale armor. The Jewish high priest had a garment similar to it in that it had a hole for the neck to pass through (Exodus verses). As for the other three verses (Chronicles, Nehemiah, and Job), these concern weapons and other equipment used in actual combat.

Also see:
» What is a “battlement?”
» What is a “buckler?”
» Who or what are the “Cherethites” and “Pelethites?”