How The Sacrum Got Its Name...
" The os sacrum (sacred bone) was so named by the Romans as a direct translation
from the older Greek 'hieron osteon'. Explanations of the attribute " sacred " or
" holy " in the past have included misinterpretation of the Greek word 'hieron',
use of the bone in sacrificial rites, the role of the bone in protecting the
genitalia (themselves considered sacred), and the necessity for the intactness
of this bone as a nidus for resurrection at the Day of Judgment. A more
plausible explanation may be that the holiness of the sacral bone was an
attribute borrowed from the ancient Egyptians, who considered this bone sacred
to Osiris, the god of resurrection and of agriculture. "
" Why the bone under the last lumbar vertebra should be called the os sacrum or
holy bone, has been a mystery for centuries. That it is a direct translation
from the Greek 'hieron osteon' merely pushes the inquiry back from the first
Latin use in about 400 AD to the time of Hippocratres (about 400 BC).... (who.)
in describing different large bones in the spine, designated the sacrum as
'hieron' and used 'megalos spondylos' (great vertebra) for the large bone at the
end of the lumbar spine... These words, from his section 45, " On Articulations " ,
are said to be the first recorded use of the words 'hieron osteon' for the
sacral bone. "
" ... The idea that the sacrum is the last bone in the body to disintegrate after
death and, therefore, necessary for resurrection, could qualify it as sacred.
The first Biblical intimation that a single bone might be the bone needed for
resurrection is in
Psalms 34:21: " He watches over all the bones; one of them shall not be
(The following anecdote is taken from Jewish lore
" (Emperor) Hadrian (may his bones rot and his name be obliterated) asked Rabbi
Joshua ben Hananiah: " Whence will man sprout in the Hereafter? " He replied,
" From the nut of the spinal column. " He said to him: " Prove it to me. " He had
one brought; he placed in in water but it did not dissolve, in fire but it was
not burnt; in a mill but it was not ground. He placed it on an anvil and struck
it with a hammer; the anvil split and the hammer was broken, but it remained
unaffected. He added: " Hence even if the rest of the body disintegrates, this
will remain intact, and it will provide the starting point for its
reintegration. " "
(The Hebrew word for " nut " is " Lux " , which has also been translated as " light " .
In Aramaic usage it refers to the bone at the base of the spinal column.)...
" the Arabs as well as the Jews held that the coccyx (el ajb) was the first bone
to be formed in the human and would persist to the last day when it would be the
seed from which the whole body would be renewed. "
(The Australian Sahaja Newsletter - 18 March, 1994)