The common Akkadian phrase sissiktaka ṣabātu, “to seize your hem,” and its several variations is echoed in Zechariah 8:23, “In those days, ten men from nations of every tongue will take hold – they will take hold of every Jew by a corner of his cloak (והחזיקו בכנף) and say, ‘let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you’” (JPS). The Hebrew and Akkadian expressions are semantic but not cognate equivalents. The equivalent phrase can also be found in Old Aramaic, אחז בכנף (KAI 215:11), and Ugaritic, tiḫd mt bsin, “She (Anat) seized Mot by the hem . . .” (KTU 1.6 II:9-11). The Old Aramaic example is particularly interesting because it refers to grasping the hem of Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria. As a metaphor the phrase means to submit to some authority, divine or human.
The Hebrew Bible appears to have a couple of other echoes of this metaphor. In 1 Samuel 15:27, Saul seizes the corner of Samuel’s cloak and it tears and, in 1 Samuel 24:5, David cuts off the corner of Saul‘s cloak. In both places, allegiance is broken. In Akkadian, a person may cutoff his own hem as an act of ritual humility.
Tawil suggests that there may be another Hebrew phrase that means something similar to cutting off/tearing off a hem as a symbol of broken allegiance. The phrase is נפץ יד from Daniel 12:7. This notoriously nasty phrase has been explained, unexplained, emended, unemended, and worried over for a very long time. Tawil equates נפץ יד with Akkadian qāta napāṣu. As Tawil tells us, the Akkadian expression, literally, “to thrust away the hand,” denotes “to refuse, to reject, to push back.” As such, he sees it as the idiomatic opposite of sissiktaka ṣabātu. In the context of Daniel 12, Tawil sees נפץ יד as “covenantal rejection” and contrasts it with covenantal acceptance, והחזיקו בכנף, in Zechariah 8:23. Here’s Tawil’s, translation of Daniel 12:7. The parenthetical explanation is his.
For a time, times, and a half a time, and at the time of termination of thrusting the hand (i.e. of the covenantal rejection) of the holy people all these things will come to an end.
Note: Tawil does not address the tearing of the hem issue; I copped that from elsewhere.
Tawil, Hayim ben Yosef, An Akkadian Lexical Companion For Biblical Hebrew: Etymological-Semantic and Idiomatic Equivalents with Supplement on Biblical Aramaic, Jersey City, NJ: KTAV, 2009, 243-244. Here Tawil provides an abbreviated recap of his 2002 paper.