Rope on the high priest's ankle? (off topic)

From: Rodney J. Decker (
Date: Mon Aug 23 1999 - 17:07:32 EDT

This is not a NT or even Greek question, so please send any responses to me
off list. My only justification for the post is that I suspect someone here
can offer an answer! It has often been said that a tradition had developed
in OT times (?) that a rope was always tied to the ankle of the high priest
when he entered the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement so that they
might pull him out if he were struck dead. One of my OT colleagues got
curious about that statement and has been trying to track down the origin
of either the story or the event. At this point we suspect that it is a
modern apocryphal story with no basis in fact. It is an interesting
account, so we wouldn't mind being proved wrong in our hunch, but we'd be
interested in any suggestions or information that anyone on the list might
offer us. (We've hunted through Josephus and Philo, some Mishnaic
materials, Ency. Judaica, ISBE, etc.)



(A CC: to my colleague Alan Ingalls <> would be
appreciated, but I'll forward anything if you don't.)

Rodney J. Decker, Th.D. Baptist Bible Seminary
Assoc. Prof./NT PO Box 800, Clarks Summit, PA 18411
The *Resources for NT Study* site is accessible at:

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