God doesn’t do anything without reason. I’ve wondered about this verse from Leviticus for years, so I’d like to briefly explain it.

“’Keep my decrees. “’Do not mate different kinds of animals. “’Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. “’Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.”

Leviticus 19:19 (NIV)

Of all the laws in the Old Testament, this one gets a lot of flack because it just doesn’t make sense to us. Why not use different kinds of seed? We do it all the time in our gardens, and having two different types of material in the same piece of clothing? Why is that an issue? What’s the deal with the animals?

And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so.

Genesis 1:24 (NIV)

When God created the animals, he did so with a specific purpose in mind. He also kept each animal together with its own kind. God didn’t intend for these different kinds to mate. Therefore, it makes sense that the Israelites shouldn’t mate different kinds.

The Israelites were in an interesting predicament. They had come from Egypt, where everyone worshipped false gods with all sorts of abominable practices. However, where they were going, into the Promised Land, wasn’t any better.

You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices.

Leviticus 18:3 (NIV)

The issue with planting different kinds of seed together likely dealt with how the people around them did it. While it might seem strange to us, the Israelites would have understood it more than we do. Basically, the people around you do this sort of thing, so don’t you start doing it too.

The key to understanding the issue with two types of material woven together can be revealed by examining the high priest’s ephod, which was made of linen and wool. The dyed thread in the ephod would have been made from wool (yarn), while the rest was linen (cf. Exodus 28:6-8, 39:4-5). The high priest represented the holiness of God, and the people were not to make other things to try and copy it for their own personal use. We also see this in the issue of what incense to use in the tabernacle.

Do not make any incense with this formula for yourselves; consider it holy to the Lord.

Exodus 30:37 (NIV)

That’s all I have for today. Hopefully, some of the questions surrounding this verse from Leviticus have been answered.