M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.
Bibliography InformationEaston, Matthew George. "Entry for Obeisance". "Easton's Bible Dictionary".
It is used 9 times in the King James Version in the phrase "made (or did) obeisance" as a rendering of the reflexive form of (shachah), and denotes the bow or curtsey indicative of deference and respect. The same form of the verb is sometimes translated "to bow one's self" when it expresses the deferential attitude of one person to another (Genesis 33:6,7, etc.). Occasionally the vow of homage or fealty to a king on the part of a subject is suggested. In Joseph's dream his brother's sheaves made obeisance to his sheaf (Genesis 43:28; compare also 2 Samuel 15:5; 2 Chronicles 24:17). But in a large number of instances the verb denotes the prostrate posture of the worshipper in the presence of Deity, and is generally rendered, "to worship" in the King James Version. In all probability this was the original significance of the word (Genesis 24:26, etc.). Obeisance (= obedience) originally signified the vow of obedience made by a vassal to his lord or a slave to his master, but in time denoted the act of bowing as a token of respect.
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