Mixed Linens / Old Testament law question
#3
Again, I give my disclaimer: I am not a very educated theologian but this was covered with us in religion class a long time ago.

Back when the OT was written, when two fabrics were mixed (in this case, wool and linen), washing them would be unfeasible.  One would shrink, the garment would lose its shape and then it would be unwearable.  It’s the same today when say a jacket has an inner lining and must be dry cleaned: to avoid the lining from shrinking and having to toss the whole jacket.

Mixing fabrics would be a way to extend the ability to use one material.  Wool is more expensive than linen.  If we mix linen with the wool, we can extend the use of wool.  But then, we’re back to shrinking and waste.  So, what the OT is saying here is in order to retain the quality of a good, keep it pure.  The better the purity, the more quality it has.

God wants us to keep our purity as people.  We shouldn’t engage in wasteful things or anything that lessens our quality. 

If look at it from a historical perspective, it was a way to denote class and respect.  The high priests at the time would have worn garments with intricate sewing, embroidery and decoration.  In order to craft such decorations, fancy threads would have to be woven and dyed to specifics.  High quality threads would come from animals that provided wool (sheep, goats, maybe camels) while the other components of the garments would be made from linen.  People in poorer classes or the average situation could not afford such woolen decorations and they could only live in linen.  So, mixing materials would be an act of disrespect towards religious leaders and the upper echelons of society. 

I’m not an OT scholar so I can’t pick out the exact references about this but I think there is something in Exodus.

So, yeah, I’m ready to be told I’m wrong.


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Re: Mixed Linens / Old Testament law question - by Zubr - 06-05-2016, 09:02 PM



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