nal: (1) As denoting the finger-nail, the Hebrew word is tsipporen (De 21:12), the captive woman "shall shave her head, and pare her nails." The latter was probably intended to prevent her from marring her beauty by scratching her face, an act of self-mutilation oriental women are repeatedly reported to have committed in the agony of their grief. Aramaic Tephar (Da 4:33, "his nails like birds' claws"). (2) As pin or peg (for tents, or driven into the wall) the word is yathedh (in Jg 4:21 the Revised Version (British and American), "tent-pin"); in Isa 22:23, "a nail in a sure place" is a peg firmly driven into the wall on which something is to be hung (Isa 22:24); compare Ec 12:11, where the word is masmeroth, cognate with macmer below. (3) For nails of iron (1Ch 22:3) and gold (2Ch 3:9), and in Isa 41:7 and Jer 10:4, the word is macmer. (4) In the New Testament the word is helos, used of the nails in Christ's hands (Joh 20:25), and "to nail" in Col 2:14 ("nailing it to the cross") is proseloo.
In a figurative sense the word is used of the hard point of a stylus or engraving tool: "The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point (literally, "claw," "nail") of a diamond: it is graven upon the tablet of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars" (Jer 17:1).