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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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The allusions in Scripture to attitudes and postures expressive of adoration, supplication, and respect, are very numerous. From these we learn enough to perceive that the usages of the Hebrews in. this respect were very nearly, if not altogether, the same as those which are still practiced in the East, and which the paintings and sculptures of Egypt show to have been of old employed in that country. These sources supply ample materials for illustration, which it may be well to arrange under those heads into which such acts naturally divide themselves.

Adoration and Homage

The Muslims in their prayers throw themselves successively, and according to an established routine, into the various postures (nine in number) which they deem the most appropriate to the several parts of the service. For the sake of reference and comparison, we have introduced them all at the head of this article; as we have no doubt that the Hebrews employed on one occasion or another nearly all the various postures which the Muslims exhibit on one occasion. This is the chief difference. In public and common worship the Hebrews prayed standing; but in their separate and private acts of worship they assumed the position which, according to their modes of doing homage or showing respect, seemed to them the most suitable to their present feelings or objects. It would appear, however, that some form of kneeling was most usual in private devotions (1 Kings 8:54; Ezra 9:5; Daniel 6:10; 2 Chronicles 6:13).

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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Attitudes'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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Wednesday, November 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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