The Train of His Robe Filled the Temple

Read Isaiah 6:1-8 again, either from your own Bible or you will find it in the very first post in this blog. In the next two posts (and before we go on) I would like to focus on God's enormous proportions -- the picture that Isaiah is poetically creating for us here.

The Scripture says God was seated on a throne above the temple -- high and exalted. It then tells us that just the train of His robe -- just the train -- filled the entire temple. That amount of fabric totally mesmerized me. The seamstress (one of several hats I wear from time to time) in me felt compelled to figure this out.

A little research uncovered this fact: Queen Elizabeth II of England donned a train made of purple velvet for her coronation. The train measured 6.5 meters (about 21 feet) from her shoulder to the tip of the train. The train had been constructed from 22 meters (about 24.5 yards) of fabric. Supposing that they used three lengths of 60 inch wide fabric -- that would come out just about right -- the train would have been 15 feet wide and 21 feet long. That's 315 square feet. How does that compare with the amount of fabric needed for the train of God's robe to fill the entire temple? Before we even start doing the math, let me add that most velvet fabrics are loomed much narrower than 60 inches, which may make the figures we will be using on the conservative side.

Looking at Solomon's blueprints (see 2 Chronicles 3) for the temple, the measurements show that the inside of the temple was 90 feet long by 30 feet wide by 45 feet high. Multiplying that out, just the square feet of fabric to cover the floor would have had to be 2700 square feet. There are 15 square feet in each yard of 60 inch wide fabric. That's 180 yards of fabric to cover the floor. Now the temple is 45 feet high, and the train of His robe filled  the temple.

Must next calculation was how many layers of fabric it would take to get a stack 45 feet high. Velvet is pretty thick, and not accounting for the weight of it mashing the layers dow, I conservatively estimated six layers per inch. Forty-five feet equals 540 inches. Five hundred forty inches times six layrs to the inch is 3,240 layers of fabric.

Since each layer is 180 yards of fabric, we now need 583,200 yards of fabric to fill the temple. One mile is 1,760 yards long. That means we are talking about 331 miles of fabric. Consider, too, that He is seated high above the temple -- the train had to reach the temple before it could fill it up. We can only imagine how much more fabric that would require.

There is no conclusive evidence of what fabric this train would have been constructed, but hair of goats, sheep and camels as well as linen, flax, hem and silk were the common fibers of the day. Since Jesus is the King, and He is also the Lamb of God, I chose to learn a little about wool production. Soft fleece from the smaller sheep is produced at a rate of 2-6 pounds per sheep per year. There are two shearings each year. Since the average amount here is 4 pounds per sheep per year, if follows that for one shearing the average is 2 pounds. Are you still with me here?

Now I don't presume to know if 2 pounds of wool makes 2 pounds of yarn or not -- I'd guess it takes more ounces of the wool make the same measure of yarn, but for our purposes today, we're just going to say that the two measurements are equal. Just using an afghan pattern and dimensions and yarn weight to get an idea of how much wool it would take to create 583,200 yards of fabric, my calculations indicate that 4,665,600 sheep would need to be sheared. I can't even begin to imagine how many angels would have been employed to do the shearing, much less spin that wool and weave it! Again, this is all hypothetical, but allow it to paint you a picture of just how incredible Isaiah's vision really was, and why he saw his own shortcomings so intensely magnified.

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All other content, Copyright Lynn U. Watson, 2004, 2011


New England Wedding Style said...

You put so much thought into your post, and the bottom line is that you find delight in that the train of His robe will fill the temple! Thank God for that! I learned a bit of history regarding kings and what they did when they conquered another king. This bit of history really speaks to our truth of the KING of kings:
I learned that, historically, when a king defeated another king he would behead him and then cut the train of his robe off. He would then attach it to his own. Basically, the length of the train displayed how powerful he was and who he has defeated.

The train of his robe filled the temple.... He has defeated it all.

Thank you for your lovely blog, I will be returning to see additional posts.

God bless you and Merry Christmas!
Gina Roberts

Lynn said...

Thanks, Gina! You also offer some beautiful insights. Pray you had a joyous and Merry Christmas. Ours continues as the rest of our children and grandchildren arrive today. :-)

Lynn said...

Looks like I need to return to posting to this page. So much more to share.

New England Wedding Style said...

I did have a wonderful Christmas, thank you! I am trying to find a picture of Jesus train filling the temple. I would love to see the imagery of it!

Happy New Year to you and your family!

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