Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Knee, Kneel

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KNEE, KNEEL . The knees are often referred to in Scripture as the place where weakness of the body, from whatever cause, readily manifests itself: e.g . from terror ( Job 4:4 , Daniel 5:8 ), or fasting ( Psalms 109:24 ). The reference in Deuteronomy 28:35 seems to be to ‘joint leprosy,’ in which, after the toes and fingers, the joints of the larger limbs are attacked (Driver, Deut. in loc .). The laying of children on the knees of father or grandfather seems to have involved recognition of them as legitimate members of the family ( Genesis 30:8; Genesis 50:23 ). In many passages of Scripture kneeling is spoken of as the attitude assumed in prayer ( 1 Kings 8:54 , Psalms 95:8 , Daniel 6:10 , Acts 20:36 etc.). To ‘bow the knee’ is equivalent to ‘worship’ ( 1 Kings 19:18 , Isaiah 45:23 , Romans 14:11 etc.). To fall upon the knees before a superior is an act at once of reverence and of entreaty ( 2 Kings 1:13 , Matthew 17:14 , Luke 5:8 etc.). In the court of an Eastern judge the writer has often seen men prostrate themselves, and then make their plea, resting upon their knees.

W. Ewing.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Knee, Kneel'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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