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The acts and postures by which the Hebrews expressed adoration bear a great similarity to those still in use among Oriental nations. To rise up and suddenly prostrate the body was the most simple method; but, generally speaking, the prostration was conducted in a more formal manner, the person falling upon the knee and then gradually inclining the body until the forehead touched the ground. Such prostration was usual in the worship of Jehovah, ( Genesis 17:3 ; Psalms 95:6 ) it was the formal mode of receiving visitors, ( Genesis 18:2 ) of doing obeisance to one of superior station, ( 2 Samuel 14:4 ) and of showing respect to equals. ( 1 Kings 2:19 ) It was accompanied by such acts as a kiss, ( Exodus 18:7 ) laying hold of the knees or feet of the person to whom the adoration was paid, ( Matthew 28:9 ) and kissing the ground on which he stood. ( Psalms 72:9 ; Micah 7:17 ) Similar adoration was paid to idols, ( 1 Kings 19:18 ) sometimes, however, the act consisted simply in kissing the hand to the object of reverence, ( Job 31:27 ) and in kissing the statue itself. ( Hosea 13:2 )

Bibliography Information

Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Adoration'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary". . 1901.