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Wool

Wool is the fiber from the fleece of domestic sheep ("wool" is produced from other animals, but technically, it's not wool). No wild animals produce wool; the fleece of sheep is the result of domestic adaption and breeding. Wool is one of the warmest clothing materials because the fibers themselves do not conduct heat, while their natural crimp traps insulating layers of air. Wool has been known by humans since the most ancient times, literally from the beginning (Abel was a shepherd i.e. Genesis 4:2), and was one of the first materials used for making cloth. Many of the most famous people of Bible History were shepherds, including Abraham (Genesis 12:16), Rachel (Genesis 29:9), Jacob/Israel (Genesis 30:31), Moses (Exodus 3:1), and of couse David.

Wool In The Bible

Sheep Wool was among the goods that were to be provided for the support of the priests (see Levites):

"The Levitical priests, that is, all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel [see Tribal Lands]; they shall eat the offerings by fire to The Lord, and His rightful dues. They shall have no inheritance among their brethren; The Lord is their inheritance, as He promised them. And this shall be the priests' due from the people, from those offering a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep: they shall give to the priest the shoulder and the two cheeks and the stomach. The first fruits of your grain, of your wine and of your oil, and the first of the fleece of your sheep, you shall give him. For The Lord your God has chosen him out of all your tribes, to stand and minister in the name of The Lord, him and his sons for ever." (Deuteronomy 18:1-5 RSV)

The prohibition of blending wool with other sorts of fibers, along with other similar prohibited mixing, symbolized how the Israelites were to keep themselves, and most particularly their dedication to The Lord, pure:

"You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, lest the whole yield be forfeited to the sanctuary, the crop which you have sown and the yield of the vineyard. You shall not plow with an ox and an ass together. You shall not wear a mingled stuff, wool and linen together." (Deuteronomy 22:9-11 RSV)

Wool was a major commodity in Israel:

"Now Mesha king of Moab was a sheep breeder; and he had to deliver annually to the king of Israel a hundred thousand lambs, and the wool of a hundred thousand rams." (2 Kings 3:4 RSV)

Wool's warmth was a factor in its prohibition against priests wearing wool while serving in the Temple; they were to wear cool Linen:

"When they enter the gates of the inner court, they shall wear linen garments; they shall have nothing of wool on them, while they minister at the gates of the inner court, and within. They shall have linen turbans upon their heads, and linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with anything that causes sweat." (Ezekiel 44:17-18 RSV)

Fact Finder: Does the Ancient of Days have hair that is white like wool? (b) Does Jesus Christ now have hair that is white like wool?
(a) Daniel 7:9 (b) Revelation 1:14-18 (see also What Does Jesus Look Like Now?)


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