occurs only in Exodus 13:16 ; Deuteronomy 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, Exodus 12:2-10 ; 13:11-21 ; Deuteronomy 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." (See PHYLACTERY .)
Frontlets, or Phylacteries.
( Exodus 13:16 ; 6:8 ; 11:18 ; Matthew 23:5 ) These "frontlets" or "phylacteries" were strips of parchment, on which were written four passages of Scripture, ( Exodus 13:2-10 Exodus 13:11-17 ; deuteronomy 6:4-9 deuteronomy 6:13-23 ) in an ink prepared for the purpose. 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 and a half cubits long. They were placed at the bend of the left arm. Those worn on the forehead were written on four strips of parchment, and put into four little cells within a square case on which the letter was written. The square had two thongs, on which Hebrew letters were inscribed. That phylacteries were used as amulets is certain, and was very natural. The expression "they make broad their phylacteries," ( Matthew 23:5 ) refers not so much to the phylactery itself, which seems to have been of a prescribed breadth, as to the case in which the parchment was kept, which the Pharisees, among their other pretentious customs, ( Mark 7:3 Mark 7:4 ; Luke 5:33 ) etc., made as conspicuous as they could. It is said that the Pharisees wore them always, whereas the common people only used them at prayers.
frunt'-lets (ToTaphoth, from Tuph, "to bind"):
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