Hi, Randolph —
- Who says the Bible says it is
categorically wrong to bow to
There is lots of bowing to men in
the Bible. The exact same Hebrew phraseology
used in the First Commandment in Exodus is used by righteous Isaac when speaking
to Jacob in Genesis 27:29,
May nations serve you and
peoples bow down to you.
Here are some other examples:
- 1 Kings 1:16: "Bathsheba
bowed low and knelt before the
king. 'What is it you want?' the
king asked." <No
rebuke from David.>
- 1 Kings 1:31: "Then Bathsheba
bowed low with her face to the
ground and, kneeling before the
king, said, "May my lord
King David live forever!"
- 1 Samuel 24:8: "Then David
went out of the cave and called
out to Saul, 'My Lord and king!'
When Saul looked behind him, David
bowed down and prostrated himself
with his face to the ground."
- 1 Samuel 25:23: "When Abigail
saw David, she quickly got off
her donkey and bowed down before
David with her face to the ground.
She fell at his feet. . ."
Again in verse 41.
- 1 Samuel 28:14: "Then Saul
knew it was Samuel, and he bowed
down and prostrated himself with
his face to the ground."
- 2 Samuel 9:6-8: "When Mephibosheth
son of Jonathan, the son of Saul,
came to David,
he bowed down to pay him honor.
David said, 'Mephibosheth! . .
. Don't be afraid, for I will
surely show you kindness . . .'
Mephibosheth bowed down and said,
'What is your servant, that you
should notice a dead dog like
- 2 Samuel 14:33: "Then the
king summoned Absalom, and he
came in and bowed down with his
face to the ground before the
king. And the king kissed Absalom."
- 2 Samuel 18:28: "Then Ahimaaz
called out to the king, 'All is
well!' He bowed down before the
king [David] with his face to
the ground . . ."
- 2 Samuel 22:40, in David's song
of praise to the Lord: "You
made my adversaries bow at my
feet." Also Psalm 18:39.
- 1 King 1:22-23: "While she
was still speaking with the king,
Nathan the prophet arrived.
And they told the king, 'Nathan
the prophet is here.' So he went
before the king and bowed with
his face to the ground."
the prophet, bowing to King David!
What blasphemy! ;-) (cf.
- 1 Kings 2:19: "When Bathsheba
went to King Solomon to speak
to him for Adonijah, the king
stood up to meet her, bowed down
to her and sat down on his throne."
- 1 Kings 18:7: "As Obadiah
was walking along, Elijah met
him. Obadiah recognized him, bowed
down to the ground, and said,
'Is it really you, my lord Elijah?'" verse
3 says, "(Obadiah was a devout
believer in the Lord...)"
- 2 Kings 2:15: "The company
of the prophets from Jericho,
who were watching, said, '
The spirit of Elijah is resting
on Elisha.' And they went to meet
him and bowed to the ground before
Also see 2 Samuel 15:5, 2 Samuel
24:20, 1 Kings 1:53, 2 Kings 4:37,
and 1 Chronicles 21:21.
- Don't the angels in the Bible correct
men when they bow to them
Not always. Cf. Genesis 19:1 and
Numbers 22:31 for starters. Note
that in Revelation 22:8,
it explicitly says that John fell
down to worship at the feet of the
angel. The angel rebuked him, Worship
God! Thus it was the worship
he was objecting to; not the bowing.
As a matter of fact, my concordance
and my online (KJV) New King James Version do not find any
occurrences of people bowing to angels
and being rebuked, simply for bowing.
I pointed out earlier that on a number
of occasions in the Old Testament,
you find people bowing down to one
another, even prophets to kings or
people to prophets, without anyone
indicating that something is wrong.
Bowing in Eastern culture is a form
of honor, and not exclusively associated
with worship. This is evident because
very frequently, when the Scriptures
speak of bowing down in worship to
a deity, it says explicitly, so
and so bowed down and worshiped, but
in other places, when people bow
down to other people in a non-worship
context, it simply says that they
Thus worship is not inherent in bowing.
As for saints, do a Knowledge
base search, on some key words
and you'll find postings such
Hope this helps,