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Goat's Hair

Goats were one of the most familiar animals to the ancient people throughout the Middle East (see also Shaggy Devils), including the Israelites. Little was left to waste (unlike modern-day humans that leave a trail of trash behind them wherever they go); even the hides or "skins" were used (a practice invented by the LORD - see the Fact Finder question below). Goat hair, whether referring to the hides, or the to hair that was spun, was used for numerous things.

There were different densities of goat's hair, ranging from the fine "skins of the kids of the goats" used by Rebekah to impersonate her son Jacob as his hairy brother Esau, to the coarse material used for "sackcloth" - that, as done by Jacob in the example below, was also used for mourning.

"27:15 And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son [see Blessing The Favorites]: 27:16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck" (Genesis 27:15-16 KJV)

"37:31 And they took Joseph's coat [see Joseph's Coat Of Jealousy], and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; 37:32 And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or no. 37:33 And he knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces. 37:34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days." (Genesis 37:31-34 KJV)

"Thou shalt make curtains of goats' hair to be a covering upon the tabernacle"

At the time of the Exodus, the Israelites did not leave empty-handed ("12:36 And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians" Exodus 12:36 KJV). From that, the Israelites were able to make offerings to the LORD, including the materials that were used to build the Tabernacle (see also The Greater and More Perfect Tabernacle) - including "goats' hair."

The Holy Scriptures

"25:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses [see also The Trysting Tent], saying, 25:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. 25:3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, 25:4 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, 25:5 And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood, 25:6 Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, 25:7 Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate." (Exodus 25:1-7 KJV)

The curtains of the Tabernacle were made of goats' hair.

"26:7 And thou shalt make curtains of goats' hair to be a covering upon the tabernacle: eleven curtains shalt thou make. 26:8 The length of one curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and the eleven curtains shall be all of one measure. 26:9 And thou shalt couple five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves, and shalt double the sixth curtain in the forefront of the tabernacle. 26:10 And thou shalt make fifty loops on the edge of the one curtain that is outmost in the coupling, and fifty loops in the edge of the curtain which coupleth the second. 26:11 And thou shalt make fifty taches of brass, and put the taches into the loops, and couple the tent together, that it may be one. 26:12 And the remnant that remaineth of the curtains of the tent, the half curtain that remaineth, shall hang over the backside of the tabernacle. 26:13 And a cubit on the one side, and a cubit on the other side of that which remaineth in the length of the curtains of the tent, it shall hang over the sides of the tabernacle on this side and on that side, to cover it." (Exodus 26:7-13 KJV)

While the curtains were hides of goats, the hair itself was also woven to make cloth.

"35:25 And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen. 35:26 And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats' hair." (Exodus 35:25-26 KJV)

In time of war, clothing, "all your raiment, and all that is made of skins, and all work of goats' hair," was to be cleaned.

"31:19 And do ye abide without the camp seven days: whosoever hath killed any person, and whosoever hath touched any slain, purify both yourselves and your captives on the third day, and on the seventh day. 31:20 And purify all your raiment, and all that is made of skins, and all work of goats' hair, and all things made of wood." (Numbers 31:19-20 KJV)

In later years, goat hair was also used for such things as pillows.

"19:12 So Michal let David down through a window: and he went, and fled, and escaped. 19:13 And Michal took an image, and laid it in the bed, and put a pillow of goats' hair for his bolster, and covered it with a cloth. 19:14 And when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, He is sick. 19:15 And Saul sent the messengers again to see David, saying, Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may slay him. 19:16 And when the messengers were come in, behold, there was an image in the bed, with a pillow of goats' hair for his bolster." (1 Samuel 19:12-16 KJV)

Fact Finder: Did humans begin the practice of wearing animal skins themselves, or was it given to them by the LORD?
See Who Invented Fur Coats?


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