A tool used for cutting or stabbing. A knife was used for the ritual slaughter of animals for sacrifice. It was also used for the circumcision ceremony, where at least some of the knives were made of flint rather than metal (Josh 5:2-3). Yet another ritual use is recorded by the prophets of Baal, who cut themselves to receive their god’s attention (1Kgs 18:28). Such activity is forbidden in levitical law (Lev 19:28). A knife could also function as the equivalent of a razor, used for shaving or trimming a beard or other body hair (Ezek 5:1; Isa 7:20). There is some overlap in biblical references to knives and swords. The account of Joab’s murder of Amasa, where the latter is stabbed as the two men embrace, probably presupposes a knife or dagger rather than a sword (2Sam 20:10).

Josh 5:2-3

2At that time the Lord said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelites a second time.”3So Joshua made flint knives, and circumcised the Israeli ... View more

1Kgs 18:28

28Then they cried aloud and, as was their custom, they cut themselves with swords and lances until the blood gushed out over them.

Lev 19:28

28You shall not make any gashes in your flesh for the dead or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the Lord.

Ezek 5:1

A Sword against Jerusalem
1And you, O mortal, take a sharp sword; use it as a barber's razor and run it over your head and your beard; then take balances for we ... View more

Isa 7:20

20On that day the Lord will shave with a razor hired beyond the River—with the king of Assyria—the head and the hair of the feet, and it will take off the beard ... View more

2Sam 20:10

10But Amasa did not notice the sword in Joab's hand; Joab struck him in the belly so that his entrails poured out on the ground, and he died. He did not strike ... View more

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