Obeisance (a frequent rendering of שָׁחָה, shachah', in Hithpael, to bow one's self in reverence). In 1Ki 1:16, when Bathsheba presented herself to David, it is said, "And Bathsheba bowed and did obeisance unto the king; and the king said, What wouldest thou?" In India, "When a husband goes on a journey, or when he returns," Roberts says, "his wife on seeing him puts her hands together, and presents them to him as an act of obeisance. When she has an important request to make, she does the same thing; and it is surprising to see the weakness of him who pretends to be the stronger vessel, for, undersuch circumstances, she will gain almost anything she wants. Hence the force of their popular proverb, 'The woman who regularly makes obeisance to her husband, can make it rain whenever she pleases.' When Bathsheba made her obeisance to the king, he asked, 'What wouldest 'thou?' but the Hebrew has this, 'What to thee?' This accords with the idiom of the Tamul language. Thus it will be asked of a person who stands with his hands presented to a great man, 'To thee what?' If speaking of a third person, 'To him what?' or, literally, 'Him to what?' SEE ATTITUDE; SEE BOWING; SEE COURTESY; SEE SALUTATION.

Definition of obeisance

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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