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Why did oaths involve putting a hand under someone's thigh?


Genesis 24:9

ESV - 9 So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning this matter.

Clarify Share Report Asked August 30 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
In our culture, taking an oath usually involves raising the right hand or placing a hand over the heart or on a Bible. In ancient Hebrew culture, we find something a little different. Genesis 24:9 ...

August 30 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
My Ryrie Study Bible says "thigh" is a euphemism for the procreative organ. I have always believed this for half a century now. It was an act symbolizing that the yet unborn children would get involved by attesting to this oath and/or avenging any violation of the oath.

The Strong's Concordance has this:
yarek: thigh, loin, side, base
Original Word: יָרֵךְ
Part of Speech: Noun Feminine
Transliteration: yarek
Phonetic Spelling: (yaw-rake')
Definition: thigh, loin, side, base

Brown-Driver-Briggs, undoubtedly the best Hebrew lexicon of the Old Testament, says “thigh”, 
יָרֵךְ noun feminine Numbers 5:27 thigh, loin, side, base 
This word, “thigh” means loins, as seat of procreative powerְ ירך those proceeding from the loins of any one Genesis 46:26; Exodus 1:5, Judges 8:30; hence שִׂים יַד תַּחַת ירך place the hand under thigh, in taking oath Genesis 24:2, 9, Genesis 47:29.

March 16 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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