Saturday, October 26, 2019

An interesting tidbit about that "Put your hand under my thigh” thing…

Genesis 24: 1 By now Avraham was old, advanced in years; and ADONAI had blessed Avraham in everything. 2 Avraham said to the servant who had served him the longest, who was in charge of all he owned, "Put your hand under my thigh; 3 because I want you to swear by ADONAI, God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not choose a wife for my son from among the women of the Kena'ani, among whom I am living; 4 but that you will go to my homeland, to my kinsmen, to choose a wife for my son Yitz'chak." * (CJB)

Referencing Parasha 5 in this week’s Torah Study, we did some research  – and discovered this very interesting tidbit:

QUESTION:  What do you think it meant to “Put your hand under my thigh” and swear an oath when Avraham asked his servant to do that?

ANSWER: In that time, to “put your hand under the thigh” meant just that. It was an act of two, honorable, men of God (“the circumcised”) to cement an oath. In men of that time, the “loins” were his source of posterity and to “swear” by one’s loins was thus being honorable and worthy of having descendants.

The phrase “under the thigh” was likely a euphemism for “on the loins.” It is interesting to note that today, we “swear” by putting our hands on the Bible and we “testify” to the truth. Our English word “testify”, indeed, has its orgin in “testis”, or “testicles”.

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