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208 BrieJ Notes 

The hagoroth of Genesis 3? 

The hagorah in later time designates without exception a 
certain kind of loin-girdle (II Sam. 18 ii; I Kings 2 5; II Kings 
3 21 etc.); only in one passage, Gen. 3 7, does it apparently 
denote a kind of apron, which was made of fig-leaves, and 
which seemingly differed only in regard to material from the 
ordinary loin-cloth, or the short skirt as worn for instance by 
the early Sumerians. It would therefore appear that the word 
hagorah, as many other words designating garments, has under- 
gone a change of meaning. That this, however, is not the 
case, it is the object of the following note, to show. 

Some of the archaic Babylonian cylinder seals present to 
us the fact that it was the custom among the early Sumerians 
simply to tie a cord a few times around the loins. To the 
front of the cord were attached generally two small pieces of 
cloth to hide the privy parts; these two flaps serving a similar 
purpose as the Phallustasche among the pre- dynastic Egyptians, 
and among the Libyans down to a comparatively late period. 
For this ancient Sumerian custom see for instance Ward, 
Seal Cylinders of Western Asia, p. 43, No. 110 a and p. 55, 
No. 138 b. The statue of the god Min, discovered at Koptos, 
and now in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, shows as the 
only garment a girdle which is wound eight times round the 
body, one end of the girdle falling down the right side and 
widening toward the base. Among the lower classes in Egypt 
in the time of the Old and Middle Kingdoms it was often 
customary to wear only a girdle from which hung a special 
small piece of cloth, which could be pushed to the side or 
even to the back in case it was in the way during hard work 
(see e. g. Davies, The Mastaba of Ptahhetep, II, pis. 5, 7, 8, 
17, 21, 22, 23; Lepsius, DenkmaUr, II, 61b, 69, 70, 101b, 102). 
Sometimes the middle piece was drawn between the legs, and 
the end fastened to the girdle in the back, like an infant's 
diaper. 

These considerations would tend to show that the hagoroth 
mentioned in Genesis 3 7 consisted of girdles which were 
wound once or more often around the loins, and to which were 
fastened, instead of the pieces of cloth, fig-leaves, which had 
been sewed together. 



Brief Notes 209 

In view of the fact, furthermore, that the text reads ^13J|l".1 
nhin urh Wv*\ TONn n"?? and not nrh dj its^jM njun rh^ nsn'i 

nnin it seems most likely that the hagordh, or hagor in the 
other passages where the word occurs, no more means "girdle", 
than it does "apron" or "loin-cloth" in Genesis 3 7. In every 
instance it means the girdle plus the additional shame-cover, 
be it in the form of leaves or in the form of small pieces of 
cloth. The hagorah is the oldest piece of garment seen on 
the monuments both of Egypt and Sumer, and, of course, was 
the predecessor of the loin-cloth. 

The hagorah, in other words, is very similar to the priestly 
mikhnas, which may be a development of the hagorah. Accord- 
ing to Exod. 28 42 the mikhnas serves the purpose "lb'? DID?^ 
Vn\ n':?l';-nj;i nii;;!)?!? nnj?. Josephus describes the mikhnas 
similarly as "a girdle composed of fine twined linen and is 
put about the privy parts, the feet to be inserted into them 
in the manner of breeches, but about half of it is cut off, and 
it ends at the thighs, and is there tied fast". Brown-Driver- 
Briggs renders mikhnas by "drawers" which of course is ab- 
solutely wrong. Notice especially that also Josephus terms 
the mikhnas a "girdle", and his description leaves no doubt 
what we have to understand by it. Also here as in the case 
of the "layman's" hagorah it is primarily a girdle, to which, 
however, is fastened a piece of cloth which is drawn between 
the legs and fastened at the back of the girdle; the cloth 
being wide enough to cover the loins and especially the inner 
part of the upper legs. It thus resembled somewhat short 
breeches as indicated by Josephus. 

H. F. Ltjtz 

University of California 

Ku, Hhread, cord" in Egyptian 

In Egyptian the idea of "spinning" is expressed by the word 
a from which the verbal noun sty.t X, 

-^ n ci <§. "thread, cord" is derived. The root stg, Coptic 

GOTe is preserved in Hebrew "'ril?' "warp", which is given in 
Hebrew dictionaries under the root nntJ'. It is rather curious 
that in Arabic the root appears with > and Cj in ^o.^ and 

It JAOS 42 



sty, y