Phylactery Cases

Qumran Phylactery Cases

First century B.C.E.-first century C.E.


               C         D         B

                    A         E

4Q Phyl cases 1008
Case A: length 3.2 cm (1 1/4 in.), width 1 cm (3/8 in.)
Case B: length 2.2 cm (7/8 in.), width 1.2 cm (1/2 in.)
Case C: length 2 cm (3/4 in.), width 1 cm (3/8 in.)
Case D: length 2.3 cm (7/8 in.), width 2.6 cm (1 in.)
Case E: length 1.3 cm (1/2 in.), width 2.1 cm (13/16 in.)
Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority (84)
Phylactery case A is constructed of two pieces of stitched leather. It contains four chambers and each compartment can hold a minute slip containing a prayer. Meant to be worn on the arm, phylactery case B has only one compartment. It is formed of a single piece of leather folded in two, with one half deeply stamped out to contain a tiny inscribed slip. A fine leather thong was inserted at the middle, and the halves were folded over and stitched together. Cases C-E are similar to the four- compartment case A.

Discoveries in the Judaean Desert, I, p.7. Oxford, 1955.