These two words first appear in Exod. 28:30, where they refer to a physical means of determining the will of God for the nation, later Kings, through the High Priest (cf. Lev. 8:8; Num. 27:21; Deut. 33:8; 1 Sam. 28:6; Ezra 2:63; Neh. 7:65).

There has been no consensus about the Semitic roots from which they originate. Traditionally they are associated with

1. light – BDB 22, KB 25

2. perfection – BDB 1070, KB 1743

They were kept in a pouch behind the High Priest's breastplate. They probably were some type of lot oracle (i.e., stones engraved with "yes" or "no," cf. LXX 1 Sam. 14:41).

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