Genesis 24:2-3, Keep your man-parts out of harm’s way, part II of III
[Abraham] said to the chief servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh. I want you to swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites …”
//Now, I don’t know exactly where that hand “under the thigh” went, but this I do recognize from linguistics: The word testify, like testimony, is rooted in the word testicles … the source of human seed. God’s promise to Abraham was that his seed would be plentiful, and in ancient times, it was believed that the source of life existed entirely in the sperm; a woman’s role in reproduction was no more than to provide a house for the seed to grow.
Dating back to the time of Abraham, then, an oath is sworn “under the thigh,” where life resides.
Yesterday, I discussed the severity of the punishment for any woman who grabs a man’s testicles in a fight. Her hand was cut off. Perhaps we should not be surprised that laws such as this cropped up, protecting the life within another man.
There is, however, another way to look at this punishment of mutilation. We’ll wrap up this discussion tomorrow with an interesting twist.