A symbolic act done to various parts of the body, especially cheeks, feet, forehead, and lips <Prov. 24:26>. Ideally, a kiss shows a close relationship to another person, although the relationship and purpose may vary greatly.

Romantic kisses are mentioned infrequently in the Bible, whether genuinely loving <Song 1:2; 8:1> or seductive <Prov. 7:13>. The most common type of kiss, however, was that between relatives <Gen. 29:11-13>. A kiss could serve either as a greeting <Ex. 4:27> or a farewell <Ruth 1:9,14; Acts 20:37>. It can even express one's anticipation of departure by death <Gen. 48:10>. The family kiss was extended in the New Testament to apply to the Christian family <1 Cor. 16:20; 1 Pet. 5:14>.

Friends might kiss in greeting <1 Sam. 20:41; 2 Sam. 19:39> although occasionally such a kiss could be given insincerely <Prov. 27:6>. Kissing also has figurative meaning when righteousness and peace are pictured as harmonious friends kissing each other <Ps. 85:10>. A kiss can also mean betrayal. Judas' treachery is eternally symbolized by a kiss <Luke 22:47-48>.

(from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary)

(Copyright (C) 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

Click on the 'back' button to continue.