3.23.2011

Tephillin

"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

Deuteronomy 6:5-9

These verses are so eloquent and beautiful. I think the most amazing thing of all is that although they were written in the Old Testament under the Old Covenant, they still apply to us thousands of years later.

My favorite part is when it says, "and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes." The reason I am partial to it is because it symbolized always having God's word and commands before your eyes. Now, this is completely random, but when I first read this, I pictured it more as something dangling in front of a person's eyes, such as when a dog has a bone in front of him, and as he tries to chase it he can never get it because it's attached to him. I know, I know, completely wrong. I still like the image, though, because I'm weird. Haha.

Since I try to educate my ignorant mind every so often, I looked up the definition of "frontlets" online, and found this definition: a decorative band, ribbon, or the like, worn across the forehead.

After scrolling down a few lines, I was surprised to find a "Bible Dictionary" section which read as follows:

Frontlets definition

occurs only in Ex. 13:16; Deut. 6:8, and 11:18. The meaning of the injunction to the Israelites, with regard to the statues and precepts given them, that they should "bind them for a sign upon their hand, and have them as frontlets between their eyes," was that they should keep them distinctly in view and carefully attend to them. But soon after their return from Babylon they began to interpret this injunction literally, and had accordingly portions of the law written out and worn about their person. These they called tephillin, i.e., "prayers." The passages so written out on strips of parchment were these, Ex. 12:2-10; 13:11-21; Deut. 6:4-9; 11:18-21. They were then "rolled up in a case of black calfskin, which was attached to a stiffer piece of leather, having a thong one finger broad and one cubit and a half long. Those worn on the forehead were written on four strips of parchment, and put into four little cells within a square case, which had on it the Hebrew letter called shin, the three points of which were regarded as an emblem of God." This case tied around the forehead in a particular way was called "the tephillah on the head."


Interesting, isn't it? So now we all know what a tephillin is. Yay! I feel so educated now.

.....Umm, does anyone know how to pronounce that?

Definitions {via}

3 comments:

  1. Interesting!! I like it.... man, so many fascinating facts in the Bible... The OT is awesome, it's really starting to grow on me. :) Thanks for sharing about your finding!

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  2. I have not the slightest idea how to pronounce it! :D You could always go to dictionary.com and type the word in, then it'll give you the option of hearing the word (pretty nifty, right? :D).

    I love looking through the Old Testament and seeing just how important it is to us today, even though it was written all those thousands of years ago. God is so awesome like that :)

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  3. Rachel, haha, it took me a few seconds to figure out what OT was! I'm guess you mean the Old Testament? ;) Happy you liked the post!

    Laura, Hehe, yes, going to dictionary.com would be a good idea ;) And, yeah, our Lord is just soooo amazing.

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