Bow (To) - Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament Words

Usage Number: 1
Strong's Number: H3766
Original Word: kara‘

Usage Notes: "to bow, bow down, bend the knee." This term is found in both ancient and modern Hebrew and in Ugaritic. It occurs in the Hebrew Old Testament approximately 35 times. Kara‘ appears for the first time in the deathbed blessing of Jacob as he describes Judah: "… He stooped down, he couched as a lion" (Gen. 49:9).

The implication of kara‘ seems to be the bending of one's legs or knees, since a noun meaning "leg" is derived from it. To "bow down" to drink was one of the tests for elimination from Gideon's army (Judg. 7:5-6). "Kneeling" was a common attitude for the worship of God (1 Kings 8:54; Ezra 9:5; Isa. 45:23; cf. Phil. 2:10).

"Bowing down" before Haman was required by the Persian king's command (Esth. 3:2-5). To "bow down upon" a woman was a euphemism for sexual intercourse (Job 31:10). A woman in process of giving birth was said to "bow down" (1 Sam. 4:19). Tottering or feeble knees are those that "bend" from weakness or old age (Job 4:4).

Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament Words