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Fleece

Fleece is the shorn wool of a sheep i.e. "fleecing" means shearing. The English word is used to translate a Hebrew word, pronounced gawz-zawh (not to be confused with Gaza, which in Hebrew is pronounced awz-zawh and means strong), which also literally means shearing wool.

Unlike all of the other tribes of Israel, the Levites had no tribal territory of their own because they served the LORD throughout the entire country. The other tribes supported the serving Levites with their tithes and offerings, which included the first shearing of the sheep.

"18:1 The priests the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel: they shall eat the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and his inheritance. 18:2 Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren: the LORD [see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM'] is their inheritance, as he hath said unto them.

18:3 And this shall be the priest's due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep; and they shall give unto the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the maw. 18:4 The firstfruit also of thy corn [i.e. grain - see Corn], of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him. 18:5 For the LORD thy God hath chosen him out of all thy tribes, to stand to minister in the name of the LORD, him and his sons for ever." (Deuteronomy 18:1-5 KJV)

"Warmed with the fleece of my sheep"

After properly processed, fleece provided warm and durable clothing.

Sheep

"31:19 If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering; 31:20 If his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep" (Job 31:19-20 KJV)

Fleece was such a common commodity in ancient Israel that Gideon used it in a request for a miraculous sign from the LORD.

"6:33 Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east were gathered together, and went over, and pitched in the valley of Jezreel. 6:34 But the spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him. 6:35 And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; who also was gathered after him: and he sent messengers unto Asher, and unto Zebulun, and unto Naphtali; and they came up to meet them.

6:36 And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said, 6:37 Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. 6:38 And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water.

6:39 And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. 6:40 And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground." (Judges 6:33-40 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) How was leather made in ancient times? Was "tanning" originally just something that was done to dry and toughen animal skins? (b) What sort of animal skins were used for writing?
(a) See Leather
(b) See Vellum


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