Spinning for the Tabernacle

“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.”   Exodus 35:25

Model of the tabernacle in Timna Park, Israel. Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabernacle

Earlier this year, as I was reading through the Pentateuch, the Exodus account of the building of the tabernacle seemed to come alive, especially the part about the spinners.  As a beginner spinner, I’ve mostly been spinning worsted wool and alpaca, with a little angora and flax, for fun.  The sheer volume of flax that was needed for the tabernacle, besides the weaving was astounding, especially for a couple million of people in transition.  I wondered if the women of Israel had a certain technique for spinning.  Did they use a drop spindle, or a long lap-style spindle?  Did they use techniques they learned when in Egypt?  Egyptian spinning techniques were extremely advanced.  One book I read compared ancient Egyptian linen fabric to silk.  Did the women borrow the flax and spinning tools as well as the knowledge to use them when they left Egypt?

“And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: 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 12:35-36

There are so many questions, so many skills to be learned and preserved!

 

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