Hello. I have a question to which I can not find an answer. Deuteronomy 22:11 Do not put on a garment made of wool and linen mixed together. Why does God require this?
The Meaning of VerseThe Meaning of Verse
Posted 04 August 2017 - 01:57 PM
Several comments as to why God may require such (posts #6 and #7 specifically):
Leviticus 19:19 The second major section of Leviticus 19 begins with the general phrase “keep my decrees” which is repeated at the end of the chapter as a summary statement thus marking off the passage Lev 19:19–37 as a large unit. Verse 19 prohibits improper mixing of animals, plants, or clothing. The rationale for these commandments is not provided. The root šaʿaṭnēz is defined in Deut 22:11 as a mixture of linen and wool. Hence Archer argues that the mixing of different materials typifies a commingling of the holy and the profane.147 Similarly, Noordtzig maintains that since each plant or animal had its own life principle it was not to be mixed with another. Alden, on the other hand, argues that the term šaʿaṭnēz might refer to a web used in magic ceremonies.148 A similar prohibition is found in Deut 22:5, 9–11.Rooker, M. F. (2000). Leviticus (Vol. 3A, p. 259). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
Posted 04 August 2017 - 01:58 PM
SHA‘AṬNEZ (שעטנז): Fabric consisting of a mixture of wool and linen, the wearing of which is forbidden by the Mosaic law (Lev. 19:19; Deut. 22:11). The Septuagint rendering is Κίβδηλον (something false, adulterated, or drossy). In the Coptic or Egyptian language “sasht” means “weave” and “nouz,” “false”; the compound “sha‘aṭ-nez,” therefore, signifies a, “false weave.” The Mishnah explains the word שעטנז as the acrostic of three words, שוע, טוי, נוז (“carded,” “woven,” and “twisted”; Kil. ix. 8).The combining of various fabrics in one garment, like the interbreeding of different species of animals, or the planting together of different kinds of seeds, is prohibited as being contrary to the laws of nature. The cabalists regard such combination as a defiance of God, who established natural laws and gave each species its individuality.Singer, I. (Ed.). (1901–1906). In The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History, Religion, Literature, and Customs of the Jewish People from the Earliest Times to the Present Day, 12 Volumes (Vol. 11, p. 212). New York; London: Funk & Wagnalls.
Posted 04 August 2017 - 02:00 PM
The Old Testament Ceremonial Law. Clothing is prominent in the Mosaic laws as well, where it assumes ritual significance. The priest’s investing and divesting himself of his special garment has already been noted. The largest cluster of references (30) is to the washing of clothes as a hygienic precaution or a symbol of purification. A prohibition of wearing garments made of more than one type of cloth signifies sanctification or purity (Lev 19:19; Deut 22:11). Cross dressing between men and women is disallowed (Deut 22:3, 5).Ryken, L., Wilhoit, J., Longman, T., Duriez, C., Penney, D., & Reid, D. G. (2000). In Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (electronic ed., p. 319). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Posted 04 August 2017 - 02:02 PM
Phoenician InvolvementThat the Phoenician traders of Tyre were at the centre of the international exchange of dyes and dyed cloth is brought out clearly in Ezekiel’s farranging survey of the extent of Middle Eastern trade. “Blue and purple from the coasts of Elishah” (Ezek. 27:7); “clothes of blue and embroidered work” (v. 24), and “white wool” traded from Damascus (v. 18). Was the white wool to be dyed at Tyre? The Phoenician involvement in this trade in colours seemed to have been maintained for many centuries. It would include supplying the kings of many nations with these rare blue and purple cloths. Ships going west, and caravans going east or south, could easily carry this very valuable light-weight cargo. It seems probable that Israel in the wilderness would obtain either the dye, or ready dyed yarn and cloth from caravans that traversed Sinai en route perhaps to Egypt, or to Sheba. It seems unlikely that the escaping slaves would have brought such rare items with them. But they did carry gold that would enable them to purchase the blue and purple and scarlet from merchants.The normal clothing of the people of Israel was of undyed linen, woven from the fibres of the flax plant. Cotton was not yet known. Wool they could obtain from their own flocks of sheep. When the people were asked to offer their precious possessions for the construction of the Tabernacle, a distinction was made between the coloured material and the fine twined linen (Exod. 25:4). It seems most likely that this distinction was between dyed woolen yarn and undyed linen. Thus, it seems probable that the embroidery work was of dyed woollen yarn worked upon plain linen cloth. This seems to be confirmed by recent studies which suggest that these dyes could only be made permanent in wool and were not fast in linen. It has been objected that to use dyed wool upon a linen cloth would have contravened the law that forbade the mixing of linen and wool (Lev. 19:19; Deut. 22:11). This taught a divine lesson. Just as a Jew was not to marry a Gentile, an ass and an ox were not to be yoked together, so linen and wool were not to be mingled in the weaving of cloth. The lesson was to be a continual reminder to Israel of their need to remain a separate people, holy to their God. It was a form of moral visual aid.This question has been a matter of learned debate among Jewish scholars for many centuries. Only quite recently light has been shed upon the subject by an unexpected archaeological discovery. In the Bar Kochba caves by the Dead Sea, tassels have been found which were sufficiently well preserved to reveal that they were composed of linen threads with a cord of blue wool. It is now realised that the prohibition of mixing linen and wool only applied to the weaving process, and not to the added embroidery of the fringe and the tassels. The Hebrew word used in Deuteronomy 22:11 is shaatnez which means literally ‘mixed cloth’. The dyed woollen embroidery may therefore be symbolic of the need for a divine infusion of holiness (blue) and royalty (purple) into the prosaic human stock of Israel.John V. Collyer - Fringes and Snails(1987). The Christadelphian, 124 (electronic ed.), 206.
Posted 04 August 2017 - 02:06 PM
The priesthood was strictly separated from the rest of the nation. For example, priests’ clothing was not to be worn “by an outsider” (Sir 45:13), nor by the priests themselves outside the temple (Lev 10:7; 21:12; Ezek 44:19; Josephus, Ant. 18.91–92). They had exclusive use of a special brand of anointing oil and incense (Ex 30:31–33; Num 16:40). Ordinary Israelites were prohibited from wearing ša‘aṭnēz, a mixture of wool and linen (Lev 19:19; Deut 22:11), but this was required for priestly garments (Josephus, Ant. 4.208, cf. m. Kil. 9:1). Nonpriests were prohibited access to priestly food (Ex 29:33; Lev 22:10–16). Even the Levites were prohibited physical access to the holy things reserved for the priests. Scripture warned against any who would challenge these boundaries, especially the king (2 Chron 26:16–21; cf. Num 16–17; Heb 7:14). Priests were not supposed to own land (though some did [see Josephus, Life 422]), but they were provided for by a system of tithes (Num 18:21–32; Neh 10:37–39) and offerings (of firstfruits, firstlings and the share of any meat Israelites butchered at home for private use). Some have seen in Exodus 19:6 a claim that every individual Israelite was a member of a royal priesthood (cf. 1 Pet 2:5, 9; Rev 1:6; 5:10). However, Jews from at least the fourth century B.C. onward seem to have taken the language of Exodus 19:6 (Israel “will be for me a mamleket kōhănîm and a holy nation”) to mean that Israel, as a nation, is to be ruled by priests, not that all Israelites are priests (see, e.g., Aramaic Levi Document 4:7; 11:6; 2 Macc 2:17) (see Schwartz).Fletcher-Louis, C. (2013). Priests and Priesthood. In J. B. Green, J. K. Brown, & N. Perrin (Eds.), Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, Second Edition (p. 697). Downers Grove, IL; Nottingham, England: IVP Academic; IVP.
Posted 04 August 2017 - 02:07 PM
A. Hebrew ScripturesThe frequent reference to dress or ornamentation indicates the social and symbolic importance of clothing for ancient Israelite society. The most common Hebrew term for clothing, beged, occurs over 200 times and is used indiscriminately for men’s (Gen 39:12) and women’s (Gen 38:14) clothing, the torn garments of a leper (Lev 13:45), the robes of the high priest (Lev 8:30), the covering of the poor and the garb of the wealthy (Ezek 26:16; 27:20). Less frequent general terms for dress include śalmâ (Josh 9:5; 1 Kgs 10:25; Mic 2:8); mad (Lev 6:3; 1 Sam 18:4); kĕsût (Job 31:19; Isa 50:3); malbuš (1 Kgs 10:5; 2 Chr 9:4); śimlâ (Gen 9:23; Deut 22:5; Isa 9:5); ʾadderet (Gen 25:25; Josh 7:21); tilbos̆et (Isa 59:17); and lĕbûš (Gen 49:11; Job 30:18; Mal 2:16). Even fabric, generally wool or linen (Lev 14:47), could have symbolic importance; only priests, for example, were to mix the two (Lev 19:19; Deut 22:11).Edwards, D. R. (1992). Dress and Ornamentation. In D. N. Freedman (Ed.), The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (Vol. 2, p. 232). New York: Doubleday.
Posted 06 August 2017 - 08:03 AM
Thanks for the detailed answer.
- Kay and Librarian like this
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