According to the NIV, Mathew 9:20-21:

Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”

Some websites, such as this and that, claim that the "edge of his cloak" refers to a tzitzit, or traditional Jewish fringes. Is this a reasonable inference based on this passage?

  • This sounds like an opinion-based question. Perhaps you could change the question to "What reasons are there in this passage to infer this?"
    – user32540
    Aug 6, 2017 at 21:34

4 Answers 4


The answer to your question 'Did Jesus wear tsitsiyot?' is, yes he did. We can know this by looking at a few things:

  1. Jesus (Yeshua) was a Jew born in first-century Israel (Matthew 1 & 2):

Matthew 1:1-17 (ESV) — 1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham ...

Matthew 2:1 (ESV) — 2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem,

  1. He came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, and confirmed their authority:

Matthew 5:17-18 (ESV) — 17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

  1. He lived a life obedience to Yahweh's law – the Torah:

John 15:10 (ESV) — If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.

  1. In which, one of Yahweh's commands is for tzitzit be worn:

Numbers 15:37-40 (ESV) — 37 The Lord said to Moses, 38 "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. 39 And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after. 40 So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God.

  1. Scripture defines sin as lawlessness (essentially Torah-lessness):

1 John 3:4 (ESV) — 4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.

  1. Scripture frequently confirms after his death that he was without sin, meaning he did not break God's law:

2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV) — 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Hebrews 4:15 (ESV) — 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

1 Peter 2:22 (ESV) — 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.

1 John 3:5 (ESV) — 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.

Lastly, just as in the example @disciple noted (Matt. 23:5) – the same Greek word used to identify the edge of Jesus's garment (in which the woman touched and was healed), is the exact same Greek word (kraspedon, g2899) used to identify the Pharisees tzitzit (tassels).

Because of this, we can safely answer your question that: Yes this is a reasonable inference based on this passage.


I have read many places that the "tassel" is the special ornament God asked Israelites to add to their garment, with the blue marker, which is indeed called "tzitzit" in transliterated Hebrew. I have never seen any alternative interpretation. Here is a passage from Gills commentary discussing it:

and touched the hem of his garment; which was the (tuyu) , or "fringes", the Jews were obliged to wear upon the borders of their garments, and on it a ribband of blue; see ( Numbers 15:38 ) ( Deuteronomy 22:12 )

Here is a comparison of several translations of verse 20. Several of them point to the --something-- of his garment. The Hebrew Names version explicitly calls it "the tzitziyot". Others call it the hem, fringe, edge, or tassel.

Another related passage is:

Matthew 23:5 (NAS) "But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments.

Here Jesus is criticizing the Jewish leaders for trying to make their prayer bands and tassels more impressive.


If Jesus didn't wear tzitziyot he broke Torah, certainly not fulfilling Torah. [https://www.betemunah.org/tzitzith.html] The only charge concerning Torah from Jesus' accusers was about blasphemy which was punished by his death. The charge of breaking the sabbath concerned their traditions about how to keep the sabbath. My interest is whether there are messianic assemblies in Israel where the believers wear tzitziyot.


Yes, Jesus wore tzitzitot (plural of tzitzit). Wearing tzitzitot was a command of God found in Num 15:37-41.


15:37 Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 15:38 “Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners. 15:39 And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the Lord and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, 15:40 and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for your God. 15:41 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the Lord your God

It was for all Israelites, not just those of the tribe of Judah; hence, it wasn't a "Jewish custom," to be exact. Non-Biblical Jewish customs are things like wearing a kippah, etc.

Numbers is part of the first five books of the Bible, which is also known as the Torah. In order to be the Messiah, Jesus had to be completely Torah-observant. People think He did away with the Torah. This is not so. If He disobeyed the Torah, God's word in Deuteronomy 13 would disqualify Him from being the Messiah and He would have been deserving of death - based on God's word.

People are confused by this because they errantly presume that Jesus purposely broke the Torah as a show that the "Law was done away with." When the Pharisees accused Him of breaking the Torah (healing on the Sabbath, not ritually washing hands before eating, eating with tax collectors & sinners, etc.), He was instead purposely breaking the manmade ADDITIONS to the Torah made by the non-Biblical dictates of the Priests & Pharasees; these (hundreds) of "laws" were added in direct contravention to His command to never ADD to or SUBTRACT from His Word. They created a false religion surrounding His Word which continues to this day known as Rabbinic Judaism. / But, anything God commanded in His Torah, Jesus completely, 100% obeyed. / So yes, Jesus wore tzitzitot. God Bless!

  • 'People are confused by this because they errantly presume that Jesus purposely broke the Torah as a show that the "Law was done away with." ' --- Who teaches this?
    – bradimus
    Aug 7, 2017 at 19:29

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