“When tzara‘at infects an article of clothing, whether it be a woolen or a linen garment, on the threads or the woven-in parts of either linen or wool, or on a hide or item made of leather; then if the stain on the garment, hide, threads, woven-in parts or leather item is greenish or reddish, it is an infection of tzara‘atand is to be shown to the cohen. “-Leviticus 13:47-49
From verse 47 of Leviticus chapter 13, we encounter an interesting twist.
We see that the condition of TZARA-AT is also applied to inanimate objects like fabrics and leather.
Any type of discolorations or growths on fabric or leather are to be viewed as TZARA-AT and as a result, ritually unclean.
This is consistent with what I mentioned before about how UNCLEANNESS can also be transmitted to objects likes pots, chairs, and bowls etcetera.
This is a perfect time to take a quick pause and remind ourselves what the underlying issue behind everything we’ve studied in Leviticus so far is.
The primary issue behind TZARA-AT, kosher foods, the impurity of a new mother etcetera is HOLINESS.
Or to be more accurate, the main issue is that HOLINESS and UNCLEANNESS are completely incompatible.
Under no circumstances are the two allowed to come into contact with each other.
Let us also not forget that one aspect of HOLINESS is whole-ness.
Notice in verse 47 where it speaks of wool OR linen.
The key operative word here is “OR”.
In the ancient Middle East, wool and linen were the two most commonly used fibers for clothing.
However, at the Lord’s command, His people Israel were NOT to weave two different fibers into the same piece of cloth.
Check out this Scripture verse from Deuteronomy:
“You are not to wear clothing woven
with two kinds of thread,
wool and linen together.”
As with many of the other interesting commands in Scripture, there has been much speculation as to why the Lord forbid mixing linen and wool.
However, I think the most clear answer comes from the fact that one fiber comes from animal life, and the other fiber comes from plant life.
Wool comes from an animal and linen comes from a plant.
That would indeed be quite an aberrational mix!
A Hebrew was NOT to wear clothing made from a mixture of animal and plant life because it would be at odds with HOLINESS.
Or it would be against WHOLE-NESS.
The spiritual principle being demonstrated here is the Lord’s opposition against anything NOT whole.
And of course we will find this same spiritual principle in many, many places in the New Testament.
There are tons of Scriptures warning against marrying unbelievers, or mixing pagan things with the worship of YHVH.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.
For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?
Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”
-2 Corinthians 6:14