Adoration

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)