Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

Genesis 24:9

    Genesis 24:9 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning that matter.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning this matter.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And the servant put his hand under Abraham's leg, and gave him his oath about this thing.

    Webster's Revision

    And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning this matter.

    World English Bible

    The servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning this matter.

    Clarke's Commentary on Genesis 24:9

    Put his hand under the thigh of Abraham - This form of swearing has greatly puzzled the commentators; but it is useless to detail opinions which I neither believe myself, nor would wish my readers to credit. I believe the true sense is given in the Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel, and that called the Jerusalem Targum. In the former it is said, Put now thy hand בגזית מהולתי bigzirath mehulathi, in sectione circumcisionis meoe; in the latter תחות ירך קימי techoth yerech keyami, sub femore foederis mei. When we put the circumstances mentioned in this and the third verse together, we shall find that they fully express the ancient method of binding by oath in such transactions as had a religious tendency. 1. The rite or ceremony used on the occasion: the person binding himself put his hand under the thigh of the person to whom he was to be bound; i.e., he put his hand on the part that bore the mark of circumcision, the sign of God's covenant, which is tantamount to our kissing the book, or laying the hand upon the New Testament or covenant of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2. The form of the oath itself: the person swore by Jehovah, the God of heaven and the God of the earth. Three essential attributes of God are here mentioned:

    1. His self-existence and eternity in the name Jehovah.

    2. His dominion of glory and blessedness in the kingdom of heaven.

    3. His providence and bounty in the earth.

    The meaning of the oath seems to be this: "As God is unchangeable in his nature and purposes, so shall I be in this engagement, under the penalty of forfeiting all expectation of temporal prosperity, the benefits of the mystical covenant, and future glory." An oath of this kind, taken at such a time, and on such an occasion, can never be deemed irreligious or profane. Thou shalt swear by his name - shalt acknowledge and bind thyself unto the true God, as the just Judge of thy motives and actions, is a command of the Most High; and such an oath as the above is at once (on such an occasion) both proper and rational. The person binding himself proposes for a pattern the unchangeable and just God; and as He is the avenger of wrong and the punisher of falsehood, and has all power in the heavens and in the earth, so he can punish perjury by privation of spiritual and temporal blessings, by the loss of life, and by inflicting the perdition due to ungodly men, among whom liars and perjured persons occupy the most distinguished rank. Our ideas of delicacy may revolt from the rite used on this occasion; but, when the nature of the covenant is considered, of which circumcision was the sign, we shall at once perceive that this rite could not be used without producing sentiments of reverence and godly fear, as the contracting party must know that the God of this covenant was a consuming fire.