Deuteronomy 22:11 New International Version

Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together.

Is there some spiritual significance of this?

  • One is of the earth, earthy. The other comes from a source that is animal, but defenceless, without claws or canine teeth or significant horns. From a sacrificial animal. I can only suggest the matter of two covenants that are not to be mixed. As with old wine and new bottles or new cloth and the old garment. There are two ways to be clothed : the old, from earth and the new, from the sacrificial animal. But it is a suggestion, not a full answer. Good question (+1.).
    – Nigel J
    Sep 23 '20 at 21:34
  • Do not yoke animals (or people) together unequally. After all you wouldnt sow your field with 2 kinds of seed or wear a coat made of wool on one side and linen on the other (warm on one side and cold on the other)
    – R. Emery
    Sep 24 '20 at 16:18
  • Jesus = Isos = equal Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be Jesus G2470 with God: blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?strongs=G2470
    – R. Emery
    Sep 24 '20 at 16:19

What is wrong with wool and linen together in Deuteronomy 22:11 ?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Is there some spiritual significance to this ?

Of course. Separating the Sabbath from the rest of the weekdays, wool from linen, clean animals from unclean ones, the circumcised from the uncircumcised, Jews from Gentiles, etc. were symbolic measures, adopted to visibly and psychologically reinforce the separation of Hebrew monotheism from pagan idolatry.

  • I heard David Pawson once say that this kind of ordering of separation (wool from linnen, not sowing two different seeds, not boil a kid in its mothers milk..) was ordered by the Lord because this kind of practice was done by the pagans to heighten fertility and by Gods command to just sow one kind of seed (etc) one would have to rely on God for the actual provision.
    – sara
    Jul 13 at 13:11

This comes from Richard Elliott Friedman's Commentary on the Torah:

sha‘atnez: wool and linen together. The former comes from an animal, a sheep; and the latter comes from a plant, flax. Some think that such fabric is prohibited because it was thought to be an unnatural mixture. Others think that it is because the priests have both linen and wool in their clothing, and that therefore laypersons must not wear what belongs to the realm of the sacred. The problem with the latter view is that the only description of priestly garments in the Torah mentions linen but does not mention wool explicitly. Still, it is likely that the priests have wool and linen, because some of their clothing is said to be dyed (Exod 28:4–6), and it is extremely difficult to dye linen (I learned this from Avigail Sheffer, a specialist in ancient textiles). Fabric excavated at Kuntillat ‘Ajrud, which may have been a cultic site, contained linen and wool.

Alternatively, the Tabernacle is made of an inside layer of linen fabric and a second layer of wool (goats’ hair) fabric over it. The sha‘atnez prohibition may therefore relate to the sacred state of the Tabernacle rather than of the priesthood.”

The reference to the tabernacle fabrics is Ex 26:1, 7.

In possible support to the interpretation that the mixture of wool and linen is prohibited due to belonging to the sacred realm is the prohibition in Deut 22:9 (two verses prior) of sowing two mixed kinds of seed due to the full yield and produce becoming holy. Also see Ex 30:30–38 where the anointing oil and incense is forbidden for public usage because of their holiness.

Rabbinic interpretation agrees with this view. Interestingly, in early rabbinic interpretation the other exception to this prohibition is in the wearing of tzitzit (e.g., Pseduo-Jonathan on Deut 22:12: https://www.sefaria.org/Targum_Jonathan_on_Deuteronomy.22.12?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en). These are the fringes attached to a four-cornered garment instructed to be worn by the general public of Israel in Num 15:38–39 and Deut 22:12 (called and described as gdilim here). Archaeology has confirmed this interpretation at least for the late second temple period and early rabbinic period. White linen strings with dyed woolen strings were discovered in the Bar Kokhba caves dating to the first and second centuries of the common era. In modern practice, since there is no blue string (tekhelet) since the source of the blue dye became forgotten and remained a mystery until recent times, the tzitzit that are usually worn by Jews are not a mixture of wool and linen.

  • 2
    "sewing two mixed kinds of seed" should be "sowing"?
    – Transistor
    Sep 24 '20 at 8:17

What is wrong with wool and linen together in Deuteronomy 22:11?

God's law to the Israelites commanded.

Leviticus 19:19 NASB

19 ‘You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together.

“The clothing of the priests was exempt from the prohibition of a garment of two kinds of thread,

Exodus 28 :6, 8, 15 NASB "Garments of the priest"

6 “They shall also make the ephod of gold, of [e]blue and purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen, the work of the skillful workman. 8 The skillfully woven band, which is on it, shall be like its workmanship, [f]of the same material: of gold, of [g]blue and purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen. 15 “You shall make a [k]breastpiece of judgment, the work of a skillful workman; like the work of the ephod you shall make it: of gold, of [l]blue and purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen you shall make it.

The prohibition applied to the ordinary Israelites and not to the priest, this may suggest that the mixture pertained to the realm of the sacred.

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