Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Be Prepared to Be Confused -- Or Not 

I avoid divisive subjects in my blog. I was taught that discussions of health or wealth, politics or religion were not appropriate in most social gatherings that were not specifically convened for the purposes of discussion of those topics.

I do enjoy knowing what some of our world's early writings have to say about embroidery however. For this I turn to the bible in my home - the King James translation of 1611. I've had exposure to other translations through courses in comparative religion and the bible as literature.

There are several references in bibles to embroidery. I've found a place to compare differing translations of those references. So, toddle on over to the Online Parallel Bible. The folks there define their mission as: "to increase the visibility and accessibility of the Scriptures online. Our site is designed to get you quickly to the verse, version and site you need. "

I typed in "embroidery" as a search term and found some of my favorite verses and some I'd not realized were in one or more bibles. A further click yielded the verse in several versions of the bible. What really set me back a bit was the varying interpretations/translations made when these folks were faced with textile terms. To those of us who stitch, the terms "embroidery" "needlework" "woven" and "finger woven" have some pretty distinct differences, but not to biblical scholars.

At Exodus 39:29 - The priestly garments one of the garments is identified variously as a giirdle, a sash or a belt. It is described as work of the weaver, embroidered, of needlework, work of the embroiderer, worked, of embroidery, work of the weaver, of needle-work, work of the embroiderer, or work of an embroiderer.

The King James version uses the term needlework but at Ezekiel 27:7 The King James bible specifically uses the term "fine linen with broidered work from Egypt." So....how did the committee view these two terms and how did they apply them? I hope someone who stitches who is a linguist or a bible scholar has some opinions on this question.

Further at Ezekiel 27:7 The American Standard bible speaks of "Of fine linen with broidered work from Egypt was thy sail, that it might be to thee for an ensign." (early heraldic type device?). However the 1917 Jewish Publication Society Tanakh prefers "Of fine linen with richly woven work from Egypt was thy sail, that it might be to thee for an ensign." So, agreement on the source (Egypt), the purpose (an ensign) but disagreement on the technique (broidered/woven).

Also seen are references to beating of gold and weaving it (cloth of gold) and twining. I've often wondered if the twining references might be sprang or a relative of sprang. Or is twining simply a reference to weaving.

After you take a look at some of the verses, all comments and opinions most welcome.

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Linn fascinating site - I have been poking around and will be sure to point it out to Jerry tonight when he comes home from work
It IS fascinating Linn, and now I've got another possibility for cloth of gold/twining... Have you seen assuit? Although now athat I look at it.. it IS sprang! or at least the antique stuff is... Yippee! The gold is then beaten into the holes... Pretty pictures here: http://www.gildedserpent.com/articles27/najialace1.htm
Dear Linn, I would like to read A straightforward little introduction to Turkish Embroidery from your previous posts but could not opened it! Could you help me to find.
Romilly, the assuit is fascinating. It looks very much like pattern darning into the net base to my eyes. I wish I could see a piece of it "up close and personal"
Linn, today I was reading a book that mentioned the needle and it's long history. Now I'm wondering if the mention of sewing in Genesis 3:7 indicates the use of a needle. All the parallel versions I found used "sewed" except one said "stitched" together. A commentary (WES) said sewed or platted. Do you have any clues or did any linquist help with your questions on embroidery yet that might have an idea about this, too? Thanks
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