The Bile associates fine linen with the righteous acts of saints. (Revelation 19:7-8)

Why is this deemed a fitting symbol of the righteousness and purity of the saints?

Historically – Ancient Egypt was noted for its fine linen. From it a large export trade was carried on with surrounding nations, including the Hebrews, who early learned the art of spinning from the Egyptians and continued to rely on them for the finest linen.

The Israelites imported it from Egypt and Syria.

Background – Manufacturing

Flax plant (linseed oil) firstly Egyptians then Phoenicians distributed

Flax was cultivated early in Egypt by Israel and also in Palestine. Egyptian linen was of peculiar whiteness and fineness (byssus).

Some linen, made from the Egyptian byssus, a flax that grew on the banks of the Nile, was exceedingly soft and of dazzling whiteness. This linen has been sold for twice its weight in gold.

The composition of linen fiber is cylindrical, transparent, and jointed as a cane; cotton fiber appears as a flat riband with a hem at each edge.



Various articles were made of it:

  • garment
  • girdles
  • ropes
  • thread
  • napkins
  • turbans
  • lamp-wicks
  • curtains of the tabernacle
  • tapestry
  • vestments of priests
  • uniform of royal households
  • bedding

John 13:4-5  rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.

G3012 lention: Of Latin origin; a “linen” cloth, that is, apron: – towel.


  • Priests – Psalm 132:9
  • Rich man
  • The corpse of Jesus was wrapped in it
  • Levite singers in the temple and royal personages
  • Ascribed to angels
  • Pharaoh gave Joseph
  • Mordecai wore
  • Sash of fine linen used by Jeremiah as a means of attracting attention to his message
  • Proverbs 31 woman makes fine linen

7 Properties of Fine Linen

  1. Strong

Stronger than any other fiber; No elasticity/ non-conforming, stable, tough. The tensile strength of linen thread is twice as high as that of cotton and three times that of wool;

Psalm 37:39, Romans 8:29, Romans 12:2, Philippians 3:21, Psalm 46:1

Once we are this way we are not to change. We are to stay strong!

  1. Lustrous

This is how well it shines by reflecting light. Undyed linen becomes brighter and bleached in sunlight, the more processing more luster.

1 Peter 2:9, Ephesians 5:8, Psalm 37:6, 1 John 1:5

  1. Whiteness

Heb. buts, “whiteness;” rendered “fine linen” in several places, but I was struck by it in 2 Chronicles 2:14  (the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre), skilled to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, stone and wood, purple and blue, fine linen and crimson, and to make any engraving and to accomplish any plan which may be given to him, with your skillful men and with the skillful men of my lord David your father.

Revelation 7:9, 13-14, Mark 9:3  Daniel 11:35

No less than 6 time in Rev are the white robes mentioned in conjunction with the righteousness of the Saints

  1. Durable

Micro organisms cannot penetrate, irritations, perspiration. Linen is renowned for its spectacular durability and long life.

90% of the flax plant is discarded and only 10% is used. It is purified by beating and combing.

2 Corinthians 9:9, Psalm 111:3, Matthew 24:13

  1. Launders Well

Linen absorbs moisture rapidly, gives up stains, softer, no shrinkage

Psa 51:1-7, 18:20

A. Easily cleaned

Linen and linen-containing articles are easily laundered in hot water, may be boiled and dried in the sun, besides they may be hot-ironed thereby ensuring maximum sterilization; rejects dirt and does not get teaseled;

B. Improves with cleaning

Improves  high quality improves with age, white, smooth (doesnt get teaseled)

The more linen is washed the softer and smoother it becomes;  Smooth and Lustrous

Linen has a smooth surface and mat luster and feels pleasant to the touch.

Hebrews 12:11

  1. Rot resistant

Silica present in the flax fiber protects linen against rotting – the mummies of Egyptian Pharaohs preserved to the present day are wrapped in the finest linen cloth;

Rotting can happen early in process.

James 4:7, 1 Peter 5:8-9, Jeremiah 13:1-11

Looks forward to a time when we become incorruptible – 1 Corinthias 15:50-54

  1. Copes well with heat

Linen possesses an high air permeability and heat conductivity properties. Heat conductivity of linen is five times as high as that of wool and 19 times as that of silk. In hot weather those dressed in linen clothes are found to show the skin temperature 3°-4°C below that of their silk or cotton-wearing friends. According to some studies, a person wearing linen clothes perspires 1.5 times less than when dressed in cotton clothes and twice less than when dressed in viscose clothes. Meanwhile in cold weather linen is an ideal warmth-keeper;

1 Peter 4:12, 1 Peter 1:7, 2 Peter 1:1, 1 Corinthians 3:13, Ephesians 5:26-27

EASTON – (3.) Heb. bad; rendered “linen”. It is uniformly used of the sacred vestments worn by the priests. The word is from a root signifying “separation.”

[Fausset Baad (from a root meaning “separate”, referring to the distinctness of the threads in the texture),  Baad is exclusively applied to the holy linen garments, ephod, etc., of priests, etc. (1Ch_15:27), and angels (Eze_9:2-3; Eze_9:11; Eze_10:2; Eze_10:6; Dan_10:5; Dan_12:6-7).]

bâdad BDB Definition: 1) to withdraw, be separate, be isolated

Leviticus 16:4, 23, 32, 2 Corinthians 6:17, Revelation 18:4, Ezekiel 18:24

Righteousness separates us from death and delivers us into LIFE!