Blessed be the Physician Who came down and amputated without pain, and healed wounds with a medicine that was not harsh. His Son became a Medicine that showed sinners mercy. Blessed be He Who dwelt in the womb, and wrought therein a perfect Temple, that He might dwell in it, a Throne that He might be in it, a Garment that He might be arrayed in it, and a Weapon that He might conquer in it.St Ephraim calls the humanity taken from a virgin a Temple, a Throne, a Garment and even A Weapon. Above, St Ephraim does not call the womb the temple but what was “wrought therein”, which is the human nature of Jesus Christ; here St Ephraim does not mean that God the Son was wrought in the womb of the Virgin but the humanity of the incarnation. Let us concentrate on the words Temple and Garment and see how much he uses them just in the Hymns on the Nativity.
The Son of the Most High came and dwelt in me, and I became His Mother; and as by a second birth I brought Him forth so did He bring me forth by the second birth, because He put His Mother's garments on, she clothed her body with His glory.
Clearly here St Ephraim does not mean “put his Mother’s garments on” literally but as the Son of the Most High (Second Person of the Trinity) put on the garments of fallen mankind. This is St Ephraim’s language and it will be used by scores of Christians thereafter.
In her virginity Eve put on the leaves of shame: Your Mother put on in her Virginity the garment of Glory that suffices for all. She gave the little vest of the Body to Him that covers all. (Hymn 12)Here St Ephraim not only uses the language of God the Son receiving the “little vest of the body” from the Virgin, but he also expresses the theology of the Garment. Succinctly, it is the idea that Adam and Eve were vested in a garment of Grace in Eden and when they sinned they lost that garment, and that is why they notice their nudity. Christ by vesting himself in the garment of humanity, undergoing suffering and the cross, sanctifies the garment of humanity (human nature) and we too die to the old man of sin—a soiled garment--and arise with a new and unblemished garment in baptism. Therefore as Christ put us on, we may put him on:
Eve, again, was a nest and a den for the accursed serpent that entered in and dwelt in her. His evil counsel became bread to her that she might become dust. You are our Bread, and You are also [of] our race and our garment of glory. (Hymn 12)Finally, it is summed up in Hymn 16, verses 12 and 13:
He was wrapped meanly in swaddling clothes, and offerings were offered Him.— He put on garments in youth, and from them there came forth helps: He put on the waters of baptism, and from them there shone forth beams:— He put on linen cloths in death, and in them were shown forth triumphs; with His humiliations, His exaltations.
All these are the changes of raiment, which Mercy put off and put on—when He strove to put on Adam, the glory which he had put off.— He was wrapped in swaddling-clothes as Adam with leaves; and clad in garments instead of skins.— He was baptized for Adam's sin, and buried for Adam's death:— He rose and raised Adam into Glory.