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THUMB. Either the great toe of the foot or the thumb of the hand. The Hebrew word bōhen, followed by a modifying term, indicates which is meant (Exod.29.20; Lev.8.23; Lev.14.14). To cut off these members was to handicap a victim and brand him. A son of Reuben was named Bohan, “thumb” (Josh.15.6).

THUMB (בֹּ֫הֶן, H991). The thumb constitutes the most versatile of the five fingers. Its attachment at the wrist facilitates its rotation into a position in which its tip can directly oppose the tips of any one of the other fingers of the same hand. Experience shows that the loss of the thumb severely cripples the hand. Under modern workmen’s compensation laws this loss receives a high percentage of monetary recompense. Modern surgery often endeavors to make one of the other fingers of the hand function as a thumb by making attachments that are similar to those of the thumb, frequently with a fair measure of success. It is therefore noteworthy that special prominence is given to the thumbs of Aaron’s sons in connection with their consecration to the priestly ministry of the Tabernacle, since consecration involves the whole being, and esp. those parts of the body that are most serviceable (Lev 8:23, 24).

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