Shoulder Piece

Shoulder piece (כָּתֵŠ, kathe'ph, from an unused root meaning [according to Furst ] to bend or protect; often rendered "side," sometimes "arm"), a term specially used (in the plur. fem. כּתֵפוֹת kethephoth) of the side pieces on the upper part of the high priest's ephod (q.v.), which came up over the shoulder, where the front and back flaps were fastened by a golden stud (Ex 28:7,25; Ex 39:4; simply "shoulders," 28:12; 39:7; or "sides," 28:27; 39:20); also of the arms of an axle ("undersetters," 1Ki 7:30,34), and the wings or side spaces of a porch or gate ("sides," Eze 41:2,26). The term is frequently applied to that part of the body called the shoulder, but only of persons, either literally or figuratively; or metaphorically to places or inanimate objects. According to Gesenius it differs from שׁכֵ, shekem, in specifically meaning the upper part of the side or arm, the shoulder proper; whereas the latter term denotes originally the shoulder blade, and hence that part of the back where these bones approach each other. But Furst thinks the two words are altogether synonymous. Milhlau (new ed. of Gesenius's Handworterbuch, 's.v.) remarks that שׁכֶם signifies only the rear part of the shoulder where the neck joins the back, and hence occurs only in the sing. SEE SHECHEM.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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