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When one swore an oath in Old Testament times, one would put one's hand under the thigh of the person you were swearing it to. It's an equivalent of putting one's hand on one's heart in modern terms.


Close, yet not quite there. Abraham was the patriarch of his tribe. This may be a KJV delicate way of alluding to what he was instructing his eldest servant to do. Which was for him to reach down and grasp his (Abraham's) lower manhood, then to swear an oath upon the seed of their tribe, that he would make every effort to adhere to the promise he was to make.

We find similar oath taking in the ancient courts of Rome, where a man was required to take hold of the aforementioned, with his right hand and swear an oath to tell the absolute truth before the court. The appropriate penalty for perjury was castration. It is from this practice that the word "testimony" derives, as the Latin root "testi" refers to the glans from which the seeds of life, and each man's future progeny/legacy, hails.

Thus, as Abraham required his servant not to take hold of his (the servant's own) groin while making his pledge, but that of Abraham's, it symbolically stood for that of every member of their tribe. He was instilling in his servant the grave importance that Abraham himself invested in what was being demanded of his servant. It may be interpreted as implying Abraham was staking the future of his entire tribe on this one oath.

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Q: What does Abraham meant when he said 'Put I pray thee thy hand under my thigh' in Genesis 24 v2?
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Nimrod persecuted any who would question his idolatrous cult.The Kuzari (Rabbi Judah HaLevi, 1075-1141) states that Abraham was gifted with high intelligence; and, as Maimonides (1135-1204) describes, Abraham didn't blindly accept the ubiquitous idolatry. The whole populace had been duped, but the young Abraham contemplated the matter relentlessly, finally arriving at the conclusion that there is One God and that this should be taught to others as well. This is what is meant by his "calling out in the name of the Lord" (Genesis ch.12). As a young man, he remonstrated with passersby in public, demonstrating to them the falsehood of their idols; and our tradition tells how he was threatened and endangered by Nimrod.Subsequently, Terah relocated to Harran; and it is here that Abraham began to develop a circle of disciples (Rashi commentary, on Genesis 12:5).Later, God told Abraham in prophecy to move to the Holy Land, which is where he raised his family.He continued his contemplations, eventually arriving at the attitudes and forms of behavior which God later incorporated into the Torah given to Moses.Abraham became the greatest thinker of all time. His originality, perseverance, strength of conviction, and influence, cannot be overestimated.Abraham, with God's help, trounced the supremacy of the evil Nimrod.He received God's promise of inheriting the Holy Land (Genesis ch.13).He strove to raise a family (Genesis ch.15, 17, and 24) which would serve God (Genesis 18:19); and God eventually blessed his efforts, granting him numerous descendants (ibid., ch.16, 21 and 25), in keeping with His promise (Genesis ch.17).Abraham founded the Jewish people and lived to see his work live on in the persons of Isaac and Jacob; and he taught many other disciples as well (Talmud, Yoma 28b).He saved the population of the south of Canaan from invading foreign kings (Genesis 14); and he was feared by neighboring kings (ibid., ch.12 and 20).Abraham gave tithes (Genesis ch.14), entered into a covenant with God (Genesis ch.15 and 17), welcomed guests into his home (Genesis ch.18) unlike the inhospitable Sodomites (Genesis ch.19), prayed for people (Genesis ch.18), rebuked others when necessary (Genesis ch.20), eulogized and buried the deceased (Genesis ch.23), and fulfilled God's will unquestioningly (Genesis ch.22). 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He received the Torah from God (Exodus 24:12) and later recorded it in writing (Deuteronomy 31:24). He went up on Mount Sinai for 40 days and nights (Deuteronomy ch.9-10) and brought down the Two Stone Tablets with the Ten Commandments (Exodus 31:18). He brought the Israelites into the covenant with God (Exodus ch.19 and ch.24), and he oversaw the building of the Tabernacle (Exodus ch.35-40). He was the humblest of men and the greatest of prophets (Numbers ch.12).