A delicate plant with beautiful blue flowers. It has been known since prehistoric times in the Near East. It is the earliest known cultivated fiber plant and was used to make linen. Linen of varying quality was used for Temple vestments (Exod 25:4
) as well as for ordinary garments, sails, nets, and even twine. It was also the wrapping cloth used for the dead (Matt 27:59
). The harvested flax plants were soaked in water to separate the fibers and then spread to dry, often on the flat, exposed rooftops (Josh 2:6
). Linseed oil is extracted from the seeds, and the dregs are then given to the animals as fodder.
4blue, purple, and crimson yarns and fine linen, goats' hair,
59So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth
6She had, however, brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax that she had laid out on the roof.