Day 9--Living in God (Genesis 24-25)
January 9, 2021, 4:44 PM

Maybe you were immediately fascinated by the phrase “Put your hand under my thigh”  in the beginning of Genesis 24:6 today, as I was. Abraham said this to his servant as he gave him the important assignment of finding a wife for Abraham’s son, Isaac. Doing this was part of sealing an oath, or promise, between Abraham and his servant. In Gen 24:9, we see that the servant does exactly this, making a promise to Abraham and putting his hand under Abraham’s thigh to seal the promise.

Well, there are two ways of seeing this. The more polite way suggests that putting a hand under the master’ thigh is a way of saying that the master is in complete control of the servant. To put your hand under someone’s thigh brings you very close to that person, and basically, your hand is trapped under their leg!! They, meanwhile, have both hands free to grab you or smack you or do whatever they choose. Consequently, the person with the free hands is in a position of power.

We think, however, that the word ‘thigh’ is actually a euphemism (an inoffensive expression which is substituted for one that is considered offensive) for Abraham’s sexual organs. Why?!? Because the sexual organs were the true seat of power (no pun intended) for Abraham, or for any man in biblical times because a man’s importance was often judged by the size of his family and the number of his descendants. The sexual organs were also the place where the covenant with God was sealed in the act of circumcision, which we read about last week. All men after the time of Abraham had to be circumcised in order to be considered truly Jewish, truly dedicated to God. This is still true today.

(and as a side note, the words ‘testify’ and ‘detest’ are directly related to the word ‘testicles’. Under Roman law, only men who were verified as being able to bear children were able to bear witness, or testify, in court.)

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