I was sure Duane had posted on "feet" and "fingers" in Hebrew and Ugaritic, I've now had time to look, and behold, my memory was unusually accurate! Actually it was hands and feet, not fingers and feet. In this post I'll briefly link to his "hand" post: An Ancient Euphemism for
. In that post after rehearsing examples from Isaiah 57:8; the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Manuel of Discipline
(1 QS VII, 13) and the Ugaritic texts (UT 52:33, 34, 35) he concluded:
Let me be clear on what I am claiming; it is very modest indeed. The strongest thing I want to say is that the "hand" has been used as a euphemism or, perhaps better, metaphor for penis or phallus from time to time in human history. While I think that it was a widespread usage in the Northwest Semitic world, I have not proven that.
I think this is a careful and accurate conclusion, each of the examples is a strong one, where almost any reader will suspect that the word is being used euphemistically. But they are too few to demonstrate a regular usage.
The follow-up post A Euphemism for Pudenda
deals with the evidence for "feet" as a euphemism. I will return to that post when I next have time for blogging.
Labels: bible, biblical.studies, isaiah