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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
"To seek the face" is to seek an audience with a prince or with God, to seek favor (Psalm 24:6; Psalm 27:8 bis; Psalm 105:4; Proverbs 7:15; Hosea 5:15; compare Proverbs 29:26 , where the Revised Version (British and American) translates "Many seek the ruler's favor," literally, many seek the face (Hebrew
If God "hides his face" He withdraws His presence, His favor (Deuteronomy 32:20; Job 34:29; Psalm 13:1; Psalm 30:7; Psalm 143:7; Isaiah 54:8; Jeremiah 33:5; Ezekiel 39:23 , Ezekiel 39:14; Micah 3:4 ). Such withdrawal of the presence of God is to be understood as a consequence of man's personal disobedience, not as a wrathful denial of God's favor (Isaiah 59:2 ). God is asked to "hide his face," i.e. to disregard or overlook (Psalm 51:9; compare Psalm 10:11 ). This is also the idea of the prayer: "Cast me not away from thy presence" (literally, "face," Psalm 51:11 ), and of the promise: "The upright shall dwell in thy presence" (literally, "face," Psalm 140:13 ). If used of men, "to hide the face" expresses humility and reverence before an exalted presence (Exodus 3:6; Isaiah 6:2 ); similarly Elijah "wrapped his face in his mantle" when God passed by (1 Kings 19:13 ). The "covering of the face" is a sign of mourning (2 Samuel 19:4 = Ezekiel 12:6 , Ezekiel 12:12 ); a "face covered with fatness" is synonymous with prosperity and arrogance (Job 15:27 ); to have one's face covered by another person is a sign of hopeless doom, as if one were already dead. This was done to Human, when judgment had been pronounced over him (Esther 7:8 ).
"To turn away one's face" is a sign of insulting indifference or contempt (2 Chronicles 29:6; Ezekiel 14:6; Sirach 4:4; compare Jeremiah 2:27; Jeremiah 18:17; Jeremiah 32:33 ); on the part of God an averted face is synonymous with rejection (Psalm 13:1; Psalm 27:9; Psalm 88:14 ).
"To harden the face" means to harden one's self against any sort of appeal (Proverbs 21:29; Isaiah 50:7; Jeremiah 5:3; compare Ezekiel 3:9 ). See also
In this connection we also mention the phrase "to respect persons," literally, to "recognize the face" (Leviticus 19:15 , or, slightly different in expression, Deuteronomy 1:17; Deuteronomy 16:19; Prov 24; 23; Proverbs 28:21 ), in the sense of unjustly favoring a person, or requiting him with undue evil. Compare also the Hebrew
The "showbread" meant literally, "bread of the face," "of the presence," Hebrew
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Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Face'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/f/face.html. 1915.