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HANDFUL - hand'-fool: There are five words in Hebrew used to indicate what may be held in the hand, either closed or open.

(1) chophen, chophnayim. The fist or closed hand occurs in the dual in Ex 9:8, where it signifies what can be taken in the two hands conjoined, a double handful.

(2) kaph, "hollow of the hand," the palm; an open handful (Lev 9:17; 1 Ki 17:12; Eccl 4:6).

(3) `amir, "sheaf or bundle." It signifies the quantity of grain a gleaner may gather in his hand (Jer 9:22 (Hebrew 21)).

(4) qomets, "the closed handful" (Gen 41:47; Lev 2:2; 5:12; 6:15 (Hebrew 6:8); Nu 5:26).

(5) sho`al, "the hollow of the hand," or what can be held in it (1 Ki 20:10; Ezek 13:19). In Isa 40:12 it signifies "measure."

(6) piccah (Ps 72:16) is rendered "handful" by the King James Version, but is properly "abundance" as in the Revised Version (British and American).

H. Porter

Also see definition of "Handful" in Word Study

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