I know it sounds like a silly or weird question, but I'm serious.

Genesis 24:2

One day Abraham said to his oldest servant, the man in charge of his household, “Take an oath by putting your hand under my thigh.

Genesis 47:29

As the time of his death drew near, Jacob called for his son Joseph and said to him, “Please do me this favor. Put your hand under my thigh and swear that you will treat me with unfailing love by honoring this last request: Do not bury me in Egypt.

Leviticus 7:33

The right thigh must always be given to the priest who offers the blood and the fat of the peace offering.

Revelation 19:16

On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all >lords.

Why is the thigh important?

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    Just a suggestion... have you considered the level of trust it would take to allow another man to hold the inside of your leg, near your private parts? This is beyond a handshake.. Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 20:56
  • Maybe a similar question on Hermenutics.stackexchange would be beneficial. Commented May 22, 2014 at 17:20
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    This could have been a Euphemism. This site isn't supposed to be explaining the "truth" behind things but only what Christian doctrines and writings say. The Bible says it was thigh, and gives no explanation. @Caleb am I correct that this question doesnt belong on Christianity site and should be asked on Hermeneutics instead? Commented May 23, 2014 at 13:52

4 Answers 4


The usages you give here are varied and not necessarily related. In today's English would could use the word hand as in to 'offer a helping hand' or to 'hand something over' or 'hand something out' or any number of other expressions. In the same way not every instance of the word 'thigh' necessarily refers to the same thing.

The first two cases you give in Genesis have to do with oaths. Placing a hand on the thigh of someone while you made a promise was a sign of submission and the seriousness of the oath. Such an action could also be taken on ones self as a sign of remorse. There several other examples of these two usages throughout the OT.

In your Leviticus passage the meaning is entirely different and you need look no farther than the prices of different cuts in your local butchers shop for an explanation. Some cuts of meat are considered more valuable. Breast and thighs were considered the best portions.

I don't know what the significance in Revelation is. For this one the suggestion to ask on Judaism.SE might be a good one because It think it has to do with a specific piece of clothing, the Tallit. The tassels have significance and where on the garment the name is inscribed corresponds to something about the tassels.


In ancient Israel putting right your hand on your inner thigh while giving an oath was the equivalent of how people put their right hand on a bible in modern times.

The reason for the thigh was that there was a basic belief that the thigh equalized your walk and represented a well-balanced, just point of view.

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    Do you have any sources where I could find more information?
    – Andrew
    Commented Sep 5, 2011 at 17:27

In Jewish Mysticism the thighs represent two of the ten sefirot; they are named "Netzach" and "Hod." In totality, the ten sefirot are said to be aspects of God; through them God manifests himself.

These sefirot are applied to parts of the body so to understand the significance of the thighs as human body parts within this teaching would have us explore what netzach and hod are said to represent.

Netzach represents victory and eternity (although depending on what you read you may find slight variations but those words capture the essence of netzach). Hod represents glory and also prophecy. It has been speculated that together, the archangels Raphael and Michael represent hod.

Using any combination of these understandings of Jewish mysticism as applied to the thigh would indicate that, let's say, placing your hand on another's thigh for an oath would bring victory in the promise that you are making (the Genesis examples above) and glory in instances involving priests or the Messiah in that glory is always for God and his kingdom.


I have my own idea while looking at the Torah in the original Hebrew...in particular the first book Beresheet or Genesis....the answer lies in mathematics. Look up "PHI" or the "GOLDEN MEAN" if you're not familiar with them. Then look at the total number of verses in Genesis and the verse numbers that have this hand and thigh mentioned. I found that they are the golden mean from each end of Genesis... or Beginning and End.

When I found this out... I went to the wall of my home and had my height marked on the wall...then I marked where the end of my fingers touched the wall in a normal standing posture. I then measured from tip of my head to tip of my finger and found that it is exactly the golden mean of my body. So, you see... this line runs from fingertip to fingertip through the bottom of the scrotum across the body...and has an important mathematical significance...that the ancients were very aware of.

You can verify what I've said here with this nifty database: http://www.biblewheel.com//GR/GR_Database.php Just type in the word "thigh" under the "search by words" and do the math yourself... (1-sqrt5)/2 * total verses in Genesis. Then you'll get an idea why the weird symbolism of Jacob wrestling all night and hurting his thigh.

I also found reference to 7 upper chakras and 7 lower chakras..and the mid thigh deals with anger or revenge where the bottom of the foot deals with murder or malice... the 7 upper chakras being good and the 7 lower being bad...according to this site... so there is a chakra just at or above the navel that is the golden mean of the body from the soles of the feet to the tip of the head. I personally had experience with that and know that the spirit attaches to the body in that location. It seems the lower golden mean mark of the body is more to do with animal type instincts where the upper are more spiritual / godly.

This is my ideas. I pray they are not misleading in any way. They are just my present level of understanding..and that changes quite a bit quickly over time..so take it for what it's worth please.

  • Welcome to C.SE. When you get the chance, please check out our tour and specifically How we are different than other sites. Please understand that normally we're looking for established doctrine rather than personal opinion. I'm not saying that your ideas aren't thought out, but they're definitely not "common knowledge" either. Commented May 22, 2014 at 17:20
  • @DavidBrandon Please consider the question here which is a site dedicated to interpretations of the Bible and understanding Hermeneutics. While your answer may not be a good fit there either, it's clearly not a good fit here. That is, Christianity.SE is a place to ask questions about practices and beliefs of Christian denominations with a focus on references. Commented May 22, 2014 at 17:56
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    Please tell me this is a hoax :(
    – Benjol
    Commented May 23, 2014 at 6:26

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