Friday, October 15, 2010


And the curious girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof; even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen. Exodus 28:8

Curious is used in its now obsolete sense of made with care and art. The "curious girdle of the ephod" (Exodus 28:8) was a "skillfully woven band to gird it on." The "curious works" which Bezalel devised were "artistic designs" (Exodus 35:32). [This is the sense of 1Nephi 16:10 regarding the liahona.]

The Bible Word-Book, 1884, quotes from an old concordance the following statement concerning the expression "curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth" (Psalms 139:15): "the word is the same which is usually translated 'embroidered'; the adjusting and formation of the different members of the human body being by a bold and beautiful metaphor compared to the arranging the threads and colours in a piece of tapestry."

In the New Testament "curious" appears once only, in an obsolete sense defined by OED as "recondite, occult." This is in the account of Paul's successful ministry at Ephesus, Acts 19:1-20. In verse 19, "them which used curious arts" means "those who practiced magic arts."

(The Bible Word Book, Bridges & Weigle, pg 92)

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