Free Online Bible Library | Armhole

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ARMHOLE (אַצִּיל, H723). This word is used twice in the KJV. In Jeremiah 38:12 it is used in the sense of “armpits,” which is the rendering of the RSV. In Ezekiel 13:18, where the KJV has “Thus saith the Lord God; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes,” the RSV has “Thus says the Lord God; Woe to the women who sew magic bands upon all wrists,” and the ASV has “Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Woe to the women that sew pillows upon all elbows.” The meaning of the Heb. is far from clear. There seems to be a reference to amulets worn on the arms or wrists.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

arm’-hol: The Hebrew word ’atstsil, is used in Jer 38:12 in the sense of armpits. When the prophet was pulled up out of the pit by ropes, the armpits were protected with rags and old garments. The meaning in Eze 13:18 the King James Version (the Revised Version (British and American) "elbows," the Revised Version, margin "joints of the hands") is far from clear. The phrase is used, without doubt, of some ornament or article of dress worn by the false prophetesses and priestesses of Ashtaroth in order to allure the unwary and tempt the simple. The "pillows" were probably "amulets" supposed to have magical virtues, and worn on the arms or wrists.

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