Kissing the lips by way of affectionate salutation was customary among near relatives of both sexes, in both patriarchal and later times. (Genesis 29:11; Song of Solomon 8:1) Between individuals of the same sex, and in a limited degree between those of different sexes, the kiss on the cheek as a mark of respect or an act of salutation has at all times been customary in the East, and can hardly be said to be extinct even in Europe. In the Christian Church the kiss of charity was practiced not only as a friendly salutation, but as an act symbolical of love and Christian brotherhood. (Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:6; 1 Peter 5:14) It was embodied in the earlier Christian offices, and has been continued in some of those now in use. Among the Arabs the women and children kiss the beards of their husbands or fathers. The superior returns the salute by a kiss on the forehead. In Egypt an inferior kisses the hand of a superior, generally on the back, but sometimes, as a special favor, on the palm also. To testify abject submission, and in asking favors, the feet are often kissed instead of the hand. The written decrees of a sovereign are kissed in token of respect; even the ground is sometimes kissed by Orientals int he fullness of their submission. (Genesis 41:40; 1 Samuel 24:8; Psalms 72:9) etc. Kissing is spoken of in Scripture as a mark of respect or adoration to idols. (1 Kings 19:18; Hosea 13:2)
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