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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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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.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Thigh'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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