[Heb., ya·rekhʹ; Gr., me·rosʹ].
That part of the leg that extends from the hip to the knee. Since it is on a person’s side, the Hebrew word also may refer to the side of something, as the “side” of the tabernacle, or of an altar.—Ex. 40:24; 2 Ki. 16:14.
The sword was worn at the side, on the thigh. (Ex. 32:27; Judg. 3:16, 21; Song of Sol. 3:8; Ps. 45:3) In Revelation 19:11-21, Christ Jesus is portrayed as riding a white war mount into the battle against the “wild beast” and the kings of the earth with their armies. His title “King of kings and Lord of lords” is plainly announced in writing on his outer garment at the thigh, where usually the sword of authority is worn.
The drawers of the priests in Israel extended from the hips and to the thighs, that is, to where the thighs ended, so that their nakedness was well covered when they served at the sanctuary and Jehovah’s altar. Otherwise, they would die.—Ex. 28:42, 43.
When swearing an oath, a custom occasionally followed was for the swearer to put his hand under the thigh of the person to whom it was sworn. (Gen. 24:2-4, 9; 47:29-31) As to the significance of this, see ATTITUDES AND GESTURES (Swearing). The practice of slapping the thigh denoted grief, sorrow or remorse.—Jer. 31:19; Ezek. 21:12.
The thigh being in the general area of the body in which the reproductive organs are located, offspring are said to ‘issue out of the upper thigh.’ (Gen. 46:26; Ex. 1:5; Judg. 8:30) In the case of the trial of a woman suspected by her husband of secret adultery, the word is used euphemistically for the procreative organs.—Num. 5:21-27.