Dont use WOVEN clothes (Shatnez) as in Dt. 22:11

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Paolo russo | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, May 28 2014 2:36 AM

I love OT, especially the Torah; searching for meaning in the Jewish understanding is priceless imho. In my daily study I was in Deuteronomy 21-24, and Dt. 22:11 stood out.

So, I fire up the interlinear (lexham) in hebrew, find the interesting word שַׁעַטְנֵז, and look for a start study:

  • (BIBLE) I am delighted with the Schocken Bible (just torah, unfortunately) - and indeed I see the study word ha a peculiar position
  • (COMMENTARY) Some research in the Pulpit, EBC, Barnes, UBS, JPS, - just to find that maybe I can find some insight in the Mishnah's book Kilayim
  • (JEWISH) Mishnah shows some regards to the topic at chapter 8 and 9
  • (DICTIONARY) Search some dictionary like NIDOTTE, TLOT, TWOT (accordance only), but I cant find so much there. It seems that the word itself is so rare (used just twice in the bible) so that there is not so much about
  • (LEXICONS) Search some lexicon like HALOT, BDB, and they tell that probably the hebrew word is connected to a ANE word where they extract from the meaning for the hebrew
  • (JEWISH) I dive into the Talmud, following the Mishnah's book Kilayim chp 8,9 - The Babylonian one doesnt have a tractate on Kilayim, but only the Jerusalem one. It is interesting to see how those old wise jewish ppl were arguing about the meaning and/or the specificity of the rule

At the end, I learned a new interesting hebrew word, I learned that I dont know anything about, and I will never know more. I learned that it doesnt matter why God gave that order, but it matters that we respect His rules. I learned that a lot of people have spent part of their life arguing about possibilitie.

Now, do you have other resources, or do you take different path, when you study such special/specific words?

Posts 468
BKMitchell | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 28 2014 5:50 PM

You may also find the Massorah interesting:

I find, Word Biblical Commentary informative:

"11 The prohibition against wearing “mixed material [שׁעטנז], wool and linen woven together,” does not forbid combining wool and linen as such, but only wearing a garment of cloth made from that combination. The rabbis in Jewish tradition could find no explanation for this prohibition (Tigay [1996] 203). Josephus suggested that the prohibition applies only to the laity, because officiating priests did wear garments made of such mixtures (Josephus Ant. 4.8.11 §208; see Tigay [1996] 384 n. 35). The term שׁעטנז appears to be Egyptian (Lambdin, JAOS 73 [1953] 145–55; see Craigie [1976] 290 n. 13). Craigie suggested the possibility that the reason for the prohibition comes from Egypt, which during the Eighteenth Dynasty imported various pattern weaves, perhaps from Syria ([1976] 290, citing J. R. Harris, ed., The Legacy of Egypt, 2nd ed. [Oxford: Clarendon, 1971] 92). Here in v 11, however, Hebrew שׁעטנז apparently refers not to mixed materials as such but to a luxurious linen garment that a prostitute might wear (T. O. Lambdin, JAOS 73 [1953] 155). The interpretation “mixed stuff” in most translations comes from a surface reading of its use in a context of illicit mixtures. Carmichael’s translation is more apropros: “Thou [Judah/Israel] shalt not put on ša˓aṭnēz [a prostitute], wool [the Israelite] and linen [the prostitute] together” (LNB, 201)."

Duane L. Christensen, Deuteronomy 21:10–34:12 (vol. 6B; Word Biblical Commentary; Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), 508.

The following might  also of interest:

Lawful and Unlawful Relationships (22)

There are fifteen laws in this chapter, nine in vv. 1–12, six in vv. 13–29 [v. 30 in the Hebrew Bible is v. 1 of ch. 23]. At least all the laws in vv. 13–30 fall into one general category: chastity. The first twelve verses, however, cannot be so neatly packed together. These twelve verses include laws about one’s responsibilities when finding something lost that belongs to a neighbor, or assisting a neighbor’s pack animal that has collapsed under its load (vv. 1–4) (and perhaps a law that provides Old Testament background for Jesus’ parable about lost things [see Derrett 1979]); transvestism (v. 5); discovery of a bird’s nest, either fallen or in a tree, with the mother bird and her young in it (vv. 6–7); how to properly build a house, especially the roof (v. 8); avoiding three kinds of mixtures (vv. 9–11); how to ornament one’s cloak (v. 12). There are three possibilities here. One is to view vv. 1–12 as a collection of heterogeneous laws. A second approach is to attempt to relate some of the laws at least to each other by a common word or theme, as is done by Stephen Kaufman (1979: 136). Thus 22:3, “so you shall do with his garment” (RSV), and 22:5, “nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment” (NRSV). The emphasis on garments is continued into the laws about wool and linen (22:11), tassels on the cloak (22:12), and the menstrual garment (22:17). Or one can make this connection: a fallen animal (22:4), a fallen nest (22:6), a fallen person (22:8). A third possibility, advanced by Carmichael (1974), is that 22:1–8 deals with procedures of wartime. When at war, it is wrong for someone to express anger against an enemy or compatriot by taking it out on their animals—one is not at war with the animals. And one should treat the occupants of a bird’s nest as one would the fruit-producing trees: spare them. The interesting law about transvestism Carmichael takes to mean that a woman must not put on the weapons of a man of war or dress like a man in order to seek clandestine admission to the army. Nor should men attempt to avoid military conscription by dressing as women. Finally, in time of peace, prized as those moments are, one does not want to spill another’s blood through careless house construction. In my view, Carmichael’s explanations, though quite ingenious, especially his explanation of the law about transvestism, are unlikely. Why does the author of Deuteronomy 22 not speak more directly if indeed the concern here is wartime conduct? There is no indication in the first half of the chapter that the laws refer to wartime. In previous chapters (e.g., 20:1) the author specifically wrote, “When you go forth to war.” The remainder of the chapter (vv. 13–30) is about sexual relations, or more accurately, the violation of those relations. Perhaps the three brief laws about not mixing (two kinds of seeds, the ox and the ass, wool and linen [vv. 9–11]) serve as a prelude to these laws on chastity, which also deal with unlawful mixing at the sexual level. Also, the Numbers version of the tassel law (Num. 15:37–41; cf. Deut. 22:12) says that the purpose of these ornaments is to remind the Israelites of God’s commands so that they will not “prostitute” themselves by pursuing the “lusts” of their own heart and eyes (Num. 15:39). It seems that a good bit of Deut. 22:13–30 is about going after the lusts of one’s heart and eyes. Six situations are discussed: (1) a charge of infidelity brought by a husband against a wife that turns out to be false (vv. 13–19); (2) procedures to be followed if such a charge is substantiated (vv. 20–21); (3) adultery with a married woman (v. 22); (4) intercourse with an engaged virgin in the city (vv. 23–24); (5) intercourse with an engaged virgin in the countryside (vv. 25–27); (6) intercourse with an unengaged virgin (vv. 28–29). The first three of these have as their focus married women; the last three are concerned with unmarried women. (Verse 30 of ch. 22, noted above, is the first verse of ch. 23 in the Hebrew Bible.) We may note three things about the penalties imposed. First, to whom is culpability attached? In only one instance the woman alone is punished: number 2 (v. 21). Twice both man and woman are condemned: numbers 3 and 4 (vv. 22, 24). Three times the man alone is judged: numbers 1 (vv. 18–19), 5 (v. 25), and 6 (v. 29). In arranging the violations in this particular order, a deliberate literary sequence is created in which the punishments are arranged chiastically, as observed by Wenham and McConville (1980: 250):

    A      damages of one hundred shekels to woman’s father    

B      woman executed    

C      woman and man executed    

C′      woman and man executed    

B′      man executed    

A′      damages of fifty shekels to woman’s father

There is a significant difference between adultery and fornication. The penalty for adultery for both people is death (vv. 21–22). For fornication there is no death penalty. Instead, the man must pay a fine of fifty shekels to the woman’s father (v. 29). For that reason, the man and a betrothed virgin are also stoned to death if they cohabit (v. 24), the exception being rape in the countryside. The explanation in the difference of the penalty is that Scripture treats the marriage relationship most seriously and honorably. The two have indeed become one flesh, and nothing is allowed to become a wedge between them in that unity. Conspicuous here is one major difference between the laws of vv. 1–12 and those of vv. 13–30, all of which deal with marital and sexual misconduct. There is no penalty stated for violating the laws of vv. 1–12 beyond general phrases such as “the LORD your God detests anyone who does this” (v. 5b NIV), or “so that you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house” (v. 8 NIV). What if one wears wool and linen together? What if one plows with an ox and donkey yoked together? No penalties are stated for such actions. By contrast, sins that involve sexual misconduct have consequences that are explicit and severe, ranging from major punitive damages to death.

Victor P. Hamilton, Handbook on the Pentateuch (2nd ed.; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005), 425–427.

חַפְּשׂוּ בַּתּוֹרָה הֵיטֵב וְאַל תִּסְתַּמְּכוּ עַל דְּבָרַי

Posts 5499
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 28 2014 7:21 PM

A score and more years ago, I was at my first Feast of Tabernacles and I came across this verse about the wool and linen. Out of curiosity I checked the label in the suit I had purchased just a couple of weeks earlier--it was a wool and linen blend. Horrified, I brought this to the attention of my pastor, who informed me to my great relief that this was one of those those laws that had been superseded (he may have said "done away") by the change in covenant. Though it brought me comfort at the time, I now know he was full of beans. It, like every single law in Scripture, was and is prophecy. It cannot be superseded or done away. It has meaning and purpose.

Some people say this command indicates YHWH's distaste for that which is a mixture, since He is a pure and holy God. That conclusion, ironically, is partly true and partly false, i.e. it is a mixture of right and wrong. There is a very strong indication that the high priest's garments did, in fact, include this mixture. In such a case, it isn't that this mixture is "bad", it is that it is too good. This puts it in the same league conceptually as the ban on eating blood, and the ban on boiling a kid in its mother's milk. The cobbled together reasons (aka "guesses") given for the bans are not grounded in their prophetic significance. If you go to Talmud for your insight into these things, it is inevitable you will come up wanting or in error. You probably won't do much better in a Christian commentary. You want to understand what these mean? Extract the principles from Scripture and let them direct your understanding.

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