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People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Phylactery. Matthew 23:5. A strip of parchment on which some verses of Scripture were written, e.g., Exodus 13:2-16; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Deuteronomy 11:13-21. Such strips were enclosed in small leathern boxes, and during the time of prayer worn by men on the forehead between the eyebrows, or on the left arm near the region of the heart, being attached by leathern straps. They were supposed to be preservatives against the power of demons; hence the name phylacteries, i.e., safeguards. The practice was founded upon a literal interpretation of Exodus 13:9; Exodus 13:16; Deuteronomy 6:8; Deuteronomy 11:18, and is continued to the present day.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Phylactery'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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