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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Handful

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hand´fool : There are five words in Hebrew used to indicate what may be held in the hand, either closed or open.

(1) חפן , ḥōphen , חפנים , ḥophnayim ̌ . The fist or closed hand occurs in the dual in Exodus 9:8 , where it signifies what can be taken in the two hands conjoined, a double handful.

(2) כּף , kaph , "hollow of the hand," the palm; an open handful ( Leviticus 9:17; 1 Kings 17:12; Ecclesiastes 4:6 ).

(3) עמיר , ‛āmı̄r , "sheaf or bundle." It signifies the quantity of grain a gleaner may gather in his hand ( Jeremiah 9:22 (Hebrew 21)).

(4) קמץ , ḳōmec , "the closed handful" ( Genesis 41:47; Leviticus 2:2; Leviticus 5:12; Leviticus 6:15 ( Hebrews 6:8 ); Numbers 5:26 ).

(5) שׁעל , shō‛al , "the hollow of the hand," or what can be held in it ( 1 Kings 20:10; Ezekiel 13:19 ). In Isaiah 40:12 it signifies "measure."

(6) פסּה , piṣṣāh ( Psalm 72:16 ) is rendered "handful" by the King James Version, but is properly "abundance" as in the Revised Version (British and American).

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Handful'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/h/handful.html. 1915.

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