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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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KISS (Heb. nĕshîqah , Gr. Philçma ). Kissing is a mark of affection between parents and children ( Genesis 27:26 f., Ruth 1:9 , 1 Kings 19:20 etc.), members of a family, or near connexions ( Genesis 29:13 ; Genesis 45:15 ), and equals in rank ( 2 Samuel 20:9 , Acts 20:37 ). Guests are received with a kiss ( Luke 7:45 ). A kiss from a superior marks condescension ( 2 Samuel 15:5 ; 2 Samuel 19:39 ). These kisses may he on the lips, but are usually on the cheek or neck. The kiss was a token of love ( Song of Solomon 1:2 ; Song of Solomon 8:1 ), of homage and submission ( Genesis 41:40 , Job 31:27 , Psalms 2:12 ), and was also an act of idolatrous worship ( 1 Kings 19:18 , Hosea 13:2 ). The Moslems kiss the black stone at Mecca. Juniors and inferiors kiss the hands of seniors and superiors. A wife kisses the hand or beard of her husband. The hand, garments, even the feet of one appealed to may he kissed. Prohably Judas presumed to salute with the kiss of an equal ( Matthew 26:49 etc.). A kiss on the hand would have been natural. The ‘holy kiss,’ or ‘kiss of love’ ( 1 Corinthians 16:20 , 1 Peter 5:14 ), marked the tie that united Christians in a holy brotherhood.

W. Ewing.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

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

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