a mode of showing respect. Abraham "bowed himself to the people of the land" (Ge 23:7); so Jacob to Esau (Ge 33:3); and the brethren of Joseph before him as the governor of the land (Ge 43:28). Bowing is also frequently mentioned as an act of adoration to idols (Jos 23:7; 2Ki 5:18; Jg 2:19; Isa 44:15), and to God (Jos 5:14; Ps 22:29; 72:9; Mic 6:6; Ps 95:6; Eph 3:14).
So Abraham rose and bowed to the people of the land, the sons of Heth.
But he himself passed on ahead of them and bowed down to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
They said, "Your servant our father is well; he is still alive." They bowed down in homage.
He said, "No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, "What has my lord to say to his servant?"
so that you will not associate with these nations, these which remain among you, or mention the name of their gods, or make anyone swear by them, or serve them, or bow down to them.
But it came about when the judge died, that they would turn back and act more corruptly than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them and bow down to them; they did not abandon their practices or their stubborn ways.
All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship, All those who go down to the dust will bow before Him, Even he who cannot keep his soul alive.
Let the nomads of the desert bow before him, And his enemies lick the dust.
Come, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
Then it becomes something for a man to burn, so he takes one of them and warms himself; he also makes a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it; he makes it a graven image and falls down before it.
With what shall I come to the LORD And bow myself before the God on high? Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings, With yearling calves?
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,