Cloak — an upper garment, “an exterior tunic, wide and long, reaching to the ankles, but without sleeves” (Isa. 59:17). The word so rendered is elsewhere rendered “robe” or “mantle.” It was worn by the high priest under the ephod (Ex. 28:31), by kings and others of rank (1 Sam. 15:27; Job 1:20; 2:12), and by women (2 Sam. 13:18).
The word translated “cloke”, i.e., outer garment, in Matt. 5:40 is in its plural form used of garments in general (Matt. 17:2; 26:65). The cloak mentioned here and in Luke 6:29 was the Greek himation, Latin pallium, and consisted of a large square piece of wollen cloth fastened round the shoulders, like the abba of the Arabs. This could be taken by a creditor (Ex. 22:26,27), but the coat or tunic (Gr. chiton) mentioned in Matt. 5:40 could not.
The cloak which Paul “left at Troas” (2 Tim. 4:13) was the Roman paenula, a thick upper garment used chiefly in travelling as a protection from the weather. Some, however, have supposed that what Paul meant was a travelling-bag. In the Syriac version the word used means a bookcase. (See DRESS.)