There is no need to seek information outside of the bible - everything is clearly interwoven throughout the Hebrew and Greek scriptures regarding pathil/pathal which, together, are used a total of sixteen times in the Hebrew - a significant number in spiritual terms for it denotes the four compass points of this world multiplied by the four compass points of the world yet to come.
Twice is pathil (Strong 6616) used of Judah and Tamar's interaction wherein Tamar sought that which was rightly hers - that which had been denied her by being sent back to her people and away from God's people, away from the prospect of fruitfulness and inheritance among them.
For this cause she took her life in her hand and by a bold faith, without rising up against proper authority, without rebellion, she nevertheless prevailed such that Judah, in the end, admitted of her righteousness, that it was greater than his own, for he had been unwilling to risk his third son after God's judgments had slain the first two.
The Eleven Mentions of Pathil
Pathil is evidently a very thin wire or thread, the word denoting not the substance of it but the slender nature of it. Samson's withs were parted by his strength, Judges 16:9, as though they were pathil of tow - they just melted away when Samson awoke and exerted himself.
Pathil were interwoven - as thin wires of gold - within the ephod, Exodus 39:3 and also as thin blue threads joining the breastplate to the ephod, and the plate to the mitre, Exodus 28: 28,37 and Exodus 39: 21,31.
Divinity (gold) and heavenliness (blue) are woven into, and connective of, the artefacts which adorn the High Priest. His ministry is a matter of heavenly connection, not earthly interaction.
And, of Samson, it may be seen that his strength lies in the flowings from the head, down to the shoulders of the body. The body receives its strength by the flowings from the head, just as the oil flowed down the head and beard of Aaron the High Priest, even to the skirts of the garments - that which clothed the body, Psalm 133:2.
- So, thin strands of connection - yet by them is mighty strength received.
Then there is the matter of containment from uncleanness. The vessel is only clean if there is pathil binding a cover to its mouth, Numbers 19:15. The slender binding is needed, slender though it be, to maintain a closure from that which is without - otherwise it becomes contaminated.
The vessel of the body must needs be kept for the Master of the household's use.
Next is the matter of measuring. It is a slender pathil that is used to measure the house of God, Ezekiel 40:3. That which professes to be the house of God, and the professed worshippers within, is subject to assessment - measuring. This is seen again in the Apocalypse, Revelation 11:1 - the man with the measure.
- Heavenly strength by connection to the Head. Clean separation by a binding. Measured worship in the House of God.
And then the ribband of blue.
The fringe of the border of the garment, Numbers 15:38, is tipped with a thread of blue which pathil runs through the linen fringe. Again, a matter of heavenly separation as one walks through the dust of this earth.
They came to Jesus, Mark 6:56, and begged just to touch the hem of his garment, and as many as touched - were made whole. A heavenly connection. Just a touch to a slender thread, is all it takes.
Such was the woman who came behind in the pressing crowds and, in fear and trembling, hoping he wouldn't notice, hoping none would thrust her away - just . . . touched, Luke 8:44.
Twelve years of her life just draining out of her, under an old covenant which could neither make her clean nor restore her drained life. And in that instant . . . clean.
But some, Matthew 23:5, enlarge the borders of their garment. Oh, very remote from the populace. Oh, very distant and unobtainable. But, says Jesus, Whosoever exalteth himself, shall be abased.
Then there are the five mentions of pathal, as in Rachel's pathal - wrestling with her sister, whereby she called her child Naphtali, Genesis 30:8. But that is wandering into another word and trespassing into what should be another question.