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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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The customary salutation in the East as a mark of respect or affection (Genesis 27:26; Song of Solomon 1:2; Luke 7:45); hence the token used by the hypocrite to pretend love (2 Samuel 15:5 Absalom; Matthew 26:48 Judas). The "kiss of charity" or love, "an holy kiss" (pure and chaste), was the pledge of Christian brotherhood (Apostol. Const. 2:57; 8:11) in the early church (Justin Martyr, Apology 1:65), especially at the Lord's supper, when the kiss was passed through the congregation, the men kissing the men, the women the women (Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; Acts 20:37; 1 Thessalonians 5:26; 1 Peter 5:14). Tertullian calls it (de Orat. 14) "the kiss of peace." Not a mere conventional salutation, "the mystic kiss" (Clemens Alex. Paedag. 3:11), i.e. symbolizing union in Christ. A kiss was the mark also of reverence and subjection. So Samuel after anointing Saul kissed him (1 Samuel 10:1). Also used in religious "adoration" (derived from the Latin, ad os "to the mouth," namely, kissing the hand in homage), whether of idols (Job 31:27; 1 Kings 19:18; Hosea 13:2) or of Jehovah (Psalms 2:12). So the Muslims kiss the Kaabaat Mecca.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Kiss'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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