Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. and Chald. בֶּרֶךְ, be'rek; Gr. γόνυ; Psalms 109:24; in Daniel 5:6, the Chald. term is אִרְכֻּבָה, arkcubah'). The Hebrew word, as a verb, signifies to bend the knee (2 Chronicles 6:13), also to bless, to pronounce or give a blessing, because the person blessed kneels. (See BLESSING). In this sense it refers to the benediction of dying parents (Genesis 27:4; Genesis 27:7; Genesis 27:10; Genesis 27:19), of the priest to the people (Leviticus 9:22-23), of a prophet (Numbers 24:1; Deuteronomy 33:1). It also signifies to salute, which is connected with blessing (2 Kings 4:29). In relation to God, to praise, to thank him (Deuteronomy 8:10; Psalms 16:7).

The expression is also, in another form, used in reference to camels, as to make them bend the knee in order to take rest: "And he made his camels to kneel down without the city" (Genesis 24:11). (See CAMEL).

To bow the knee is to perform an act of worship (1 Kings 19:18), and in this sense it is used in the Heb. in Isaiah 66:3; "He that worships idols" is, literally, " He that bows the knee" to them. (See WORSHIP). That kneeling was the posture of prayer we learn from 2 Chronicles 6:13; Daniel 6:10; Luke 22:41; Acts 7:60; Ephesians 3,14. (See PRAYER).

Knees are sometimes put symbolically for persons, as in Job 4:4; Hebrews 12:12 (Wemyss). (See KNEEL).

For the peculiar term in Genesis 41:43 (see Reineccius, De nomine, אִבְרֵךְ W Veissenf. 1726), see ABRECI.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Knee'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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