Re: Semantic range of PROSKUNEW

Date: Thu Jun 25 1998 - 03:15:52 EDT

I think that we can all agree that PROSKUNEO was capable of conveying various
degrees of homage, including worship. But a quick check of the LXX shows that
this term was frequently used of those who held prominent positions in God's
arrangement. Consider:

The English is from the RSV:

1SA (1 Kings in LXX) 24:8 (24:9) Afterward David also arose, and went out of
the cave, and called after Saul, "My lord the king!" And when Saul looked
behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth, and did obeisance [epi
proswpon autou epi ten gen kai prosekynhsen autw; prosekynhsen is a form of

1SA 25:23-When Ab'igail saw David, she made haste, and alighted from the ass,
and fell before David on her face, and bowed to the ground [prosekynhsen autw
epi ten gen].

1SA 25:41-And she rose and bowed with her face to the ground [prosekynhsen epi
ten gen epi proswpon], and said, "Behold, your handmaid is a servant to wash
the feet of the servants of my lord."

2SA 1:2 (2 Kings in the LXX)-And on the third day, behold, a man came from
Saul's camp, with his clothes rent and earth upon his head. And when he came
to David, he fell to the ground and did obeisance [epesen epi ten gen kai
prosekynhsen autw].

You may also wish to consider 2Sa 9:6, 14:4, 22, 33; 16:4; 18:28; 24:20; 1Ki
1:16, 23; 2Ki 2:15; 4:17; 1Ch 21:21; 29:20; Isa 60:14; Ru 2:10.

In view of these (and other) examples, there would appear to be little
difficulty explaining the NT use of PROSKUNEO in reference to Jesus, since the
NT authors were no doubt aware of the semantic range of this term, and used it
in varying degrees, in different contexts, for different individuals.

Greg Stafford

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