Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Thigh

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THIGH (Heb. yârçk , Gr. mçros ). The hollow of Jacob’s thigh was strained as he wrestled at Peniel ( Genesis 32:25 ), and to this is attributed the Jewish custom (enjoined in the Mishna) of not eating ‘the sinew of the hip’ ( Genesis 32:32 ). On the thigh the sword was girded ( Exodus 32:27 , Psalms 45:3 , Song of Solomon 3:8 ); Ehud’s on the right thigh because he was left-handed ( Judges 3:16; Judges 3:21 ). Under the jealousy ordeal the woman’s thigh falls away if she has been guilty of adultery ( Numbers 5:21 ff.). To smite ‘hip and thigh’ (lit. ‘leg upon thigh’) is a phrase denoting utter discomfiture accompanied by great slaughter ( Judges 15:8 ). Its origin is unknown, and its meaning much disputed. Is Jeremiah 31:19 and Ezekiel 21:12 smiting upon one’s thigh is a gesture of sorrow or terror. In Heb. (cf. AVm [Note: Authorized Version margin.] ) of Genesis 46:25 , Exodus 1:5 , Judges 8:30 a man’s children are described as coming out of his thigh. This explains the oath taken by placing the hand under the thigh ( Genesis 24:2; Genesis 24:9; Genesis 47:29 ), a special sacredness being ascribed to the organs of generation. In NT ‘thigh’ occurs only in Revelation 19:16 , where perhaps the meaning is that the name was written on that part of the garment which covered the thigh.

J. C. Lambert.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Thigh'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/t/thigh.html. 1909.

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