PROSKUNEO* – εχηγεομαι – to worship

PROSKUNEO* – εχηγεομαι – to worship, to bow down, to show reverence and submission

Please note that all Biblical quotes are presented from the Literal Translation.

For many Christians today the word worship means, “to sing”; but the true meaning of the word as it is used in scripture means something very different. Since worship is an important function in the Church, we should study its Biblical meaning so that our understanding is what the Lord intended for it to be.

Several Greek words are translated as “worship” in the Bible. However, the Greek word most often used for its translation (in the English versions) isπροσκυνὲω, Strong’s #4352. Προσκυνὲω is compounded from the prepositionπρὸς (Strong’s #4314) meaning “to” or “towards”, and κυνὲω, meaning “to kiss.” (Κυνὲω itself is derived from the Greek word κὺων (Strong’s #2965), which means, “dog.”) Κυνὲω came to mean, “kiss” from a dog licking the hand.

So the basic meaning of προσκυνὲω is to “bow down to the ground before someone and the kissing of his feet, the hem of his garment, or the ground in front of him.” In both the Old and New Testaments, the meaning conveyed by this word represents both the outward physical expression and the internal attitude of reverent submission on the part of the worshipper.

In the Classical Greek period, προσκυνὲω was used as a technical term for worship of the gods. The Persians would fall to the ground in reverence before their kings, and the Greeks would prostrate themselves before anyone whom they considered to be divine or holy.

In the Septuagint – the Greek Old Testament – προσκυνὲω is used to express the concept of bowing to show respect to a person in a position of authority; but it is also used to convey the concept of showing reverence and submission, either to the true God of Israel or to the false gods of paganism. About seventy-five percent of the occurrences of προσκυνὲω in the Septuagint express the concept of worship, whether it be of the God of Israel or of the gods of paganism. The following are examples of this word being used to express the concept of worship to the God of Israel: the servant of Abraham bowed down in worship (προσκυνὲω) of the Lord after he found a wife for Isaac (Genesis 24:26); the Israelites in Egypt bowed in worship of God when they heard that God was going to deliver them (Exodus 4:31); during the dedication of Solomon’s Temple—when the people saw the temple filled with the glory of the Lord—they fell face down upon the ground and worshipped (προσκυνὲω) the Lord (2 Chronicles 7:3).

The preceding scriptures add greatly to our understanding of the meaning of the word “worship,” but the twelfth chapter of Exodus, in the Greek Old Testament scriptures, gives the classic example of the meaning ofπροσκυνὲω. In verses 21-28, Moses directs the people to kill the Passover Lamb and to put the blood of the lamb on their doorposts. He also institutes the Passover meal and commands them to recite how the Lord delivered them and struck the Egyptians. In response to his instructions, verse 27 tells us “and when the people bowed they worshipped” (LXX translation) in an expression of reverence and submission to the command given by the Lord through Moses.

The concept of worship, as established in the Old Testament, that conveys the meaning which embraces the physical act of bowing to the ground, as well as the expression of the internal attitude of reverence and submission to the Lord, is carried over into the New Testament usage of προσκυνὲω. We will begin our study of “worship” in the New Testament scriptures next week.

* PROSKUNEO is the English font spelling of the Greek word προσκυνὲω.


Copyright Statement
Greek Thoughts‘ Copyright 2020© Bill Klein. ‘Greek Thoughts‘ articles may be reproduced in whole under the following provisions: 1) A proper credit must be given to the author at the end of each article, along with a link to https://www.studylight.org/language-studies/greek-thoughts.html  2) ‘Greek Thoughts‘ content may not be arranged or “mirrored” as a competitive online service.

Source: https://www.studylight.org/language-studies/greek-thoughts.html?article=80

PROSKUNEO* – εχηγεομαι – Part 2 -To worship, to bow down, to show reverence and submission

Please note that all Biblical quotes are from the Literal Translation.


This week’s study is a continuation of our study of προσκυνὲω (Strong’s #4352), the Greek word most often used for the English translation “worship.”

Προσκυνὲω is compounded from the preposition πρὸς (Strong’s #4314) meaning “to” or “towards” and κυνὲω meaning “to kiss.” Κυνὲω itself is derived from the Greek word κὺων (Strong’s #2965), which means, “dog.” It evolved from its original meaning to represent first the kiss of “a dog licking a hand,” and then simply, “to kiss.”

The basic meaning of προσκυνὲω is “to bow down to the ground before someone and kiss his feet, the hem of his garment, or the ground in front of him.” While the physical part of the act of worship can be readily seen from this description, the word’s meaning is actually much deeper. In both the Old and New Testaments, the meaning ofπροσκυνὲω conveys the concept of reverent submission that encompasses both an outward physical posture and an internal attitude of the heart.

Last week, we studied some of the uses of προσκυνὲω found in the Septuagint – the Greek Old Testament. It is used there, approximately seventy-five percent of the time, to express the concept of worship, whether of the God of Israel or of pagan gods. Its most notable use is found in Exodus 12:27, where it is used to express the response of the Hebrew people to the commands of God, given through Moses, regarding Passover. The verse reads, “and when the people bowed they worshipped.” (LXX translation) The use of προσκυνὲω in this verse gives understanding that the Hebrew people responded with both submission and reverence to the Lord’s commands.

This is important to understand— that the Old Testament establishes the concept of worship, expressed through the physical act of bowing to the ground, as encompassing not only an attitude of reverence and submission which is expressed physically, but that is also expressed spiritually, from the heart; because this same comprehensive meaning is carried over into the New Testament.

In the New Testament, the verb προσκυνὲω is found mostly in Matthew, John, and the Book of Revelation. There are also five uses of this word in Mark and Luke. Today, our study focuses on several examples of worship as expressed toward the Lord in His ministry. All are found in the Gospel of Matthew.

In Matthew 2:1-2, it is recorded that Magi came from the East to Jerusalem and said, “Where is the One who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and came to worship Him.” The term “worship” is again used in Matthew 2:11: “And having come into the house, the Magi found the child with Mary His mother, and having fallen down they worshiped Him.” Although this text does not indicate whether the Magi fall down voluntarily or involuntarily, in response to the presence of the Lord; it does tell us, through the use of προσκυνὲω, that they express their reverence and submission to the One who is born King of the Jews. This sets the tone for the use of “worship” in the rest of the New Testament.

Matthew, chapter 8:1-2, tells of a leper who came to Jesus and was worshiping Him, saying, “If You should will, You are able to cleanse me.” Προσκυνὲω is in the imperfect tense showing that the leper started and kept on worshiping the Lord, expressing his reverence and submission by declaring that if the Lord should will (subjunctive mood), the Lord is able to cleanse him. From the use of προσκυνὲω here, his submission to the will of the Lord is understood as being expressed physically in his posture and from his heart (as indicated by the words of his mouth).

Matthew 14:22-33 records an incident between Jesus and His disciples. He commands them to enter into a boat and to cross the Sea of Galilee, while He dismisses the crowds. Later, as the disciples toil in the midst of the storm-tossed sea, Jesus comes to them walking on the water. Once He is in the boat, the wind ceases. Verse 33 gives their response to this event, “and the ones in the ship worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly You arethe Son of God!’” Because of the use of προσκυνὲω, we understand that their worship involves a heart response in reverence to the Lord from out of their awareness of His Deity.

The understanding we have gained, from both the Old and New Testament usage of this word, is that true worship is deeper than simple participation in a worship service or other such human expression. Worship actually involves a response of reverence, shown through both a physical act and/or a heart confession of submission to the Lord and His greatness.

Next week, we will study the premier teaching on “worship” as taught by the Lord to the woman of Samaria which is recorded in the fourth chapter of John’s gospel.

*PROSKUNEO is the English font spelling of the Greek word προσκυνὲω.

Bill Klein has been a pastor, counselor, and educator for the past 41 years. He has had extensive training and education in biblical languages, and has authored a Biblical Greek course.
He is currently serving as Professor of Biblical Greek at Master’s Graduate School of Divinity, and president of BTE Ministries – The Bible Translation and Exegesis Institute of America, a non-profit organization located in California that provides Bible study tapes and Greek study materials through their website BTEMinistries.org.


Copyright Statement
Greek Thoughts‘ Copyright 2020© Bill Klein. ‘Greek Thoughts‘ articles may be reproduced in whole under the following provisions: 1) A proper credit must be given to the author at the end of each article, along with a link to https://www.studylight.org/language-studies/greek-thoughts.html  2) ‘Greek Thoughts‘ content may not be arranged or “mirrored” as a competitive online service.

PROSKUNEO* – εχηγεομαι – Part 3 -To worship, to bow down, to show reverence and submission

Please note that all Biblical quotes are from the Literal Translation.

This week we continue our study of προσκυνὲω (Strong’s #4352), which is translated “worship.”Προσκυνὲω is a compound word meaning “to kiss toward” and represents a form of worship that shows reverence and submission to someone or something by bowing to the ground and kissing his feet, the hem of his clothing, or the ground.

We have established, from the Old and New Testaments, that the meaning of προσκυνὲωconveys the concept of reverent submission encompassing both an outward physical posture and an internal attitude of the heart.

Last week, we studied some of the uses of προσκυνὲω from the Gospel of Matthew. In Matthew 2:11, in reference to the Magi, Scripture says: “And having come into the house, the Magi found the child with Mary His mother, and having fallen down they worshiped Him.” Through the use of προσκυνὲω, we see the expression of their reverence and submission to the One who is born King of the Jews. In Matthew 8:1-2, a leper comes to Jesus and is worshiping Him, saying, “If You should will, You are able to cleanse me.” Again, the use of προσκυνὲω shows his submission to the will of the Lord and gives understanding that his worship is expressed both physically, in his posture, and from his heart, as indicated by the words of his mouth.

The understanding we have gained, from both the Old and New Testament usage of this word, is that worship actually involves a response of reverence, shown through a physical act which is coupled with a heart confession of submission to the Lord and His greatness.

This week we are studying προσκυνὲω as the word Jesus uses, in John 4:21-24, to establish a whole new perspective of worship. In this chapter, Jesus comes into Sychar, a city of Samaria. Jacob’s well is located there, and Jesus, being tired from his journey, sits upon the well to rest. A Samaritan woman comes to draw water and Jesus asks her for a drink. She is surprised because Jews do not associate with Samaritans. Jesus says to her, “If you had known the gift of God, and who is the One saying to you, ‘Give Me to drink,’ you yourself would have asked Him, and He would have given to you living water.” (John 4:10) She asks Him where the living water is. Jesus responds by telling her that everyone drinking of the water from Jacob’s well will thirst again. He also tells her that everyone drinking of the water He gives will never again thirst, that His water will “become a fountain of water springing up into eternal life.” (John 4:14) The Samaritan woman finally asks for this living water. Jesus then tells her to get her husband and come back. She answers that she has no husband. Jesus responds by saying that she has spoken truly, because she has had five husbands, and the man she is presently living with is not her husband. At this point, the woman changes the subject and says that she perceives Him to be a prophet; she then presents the religious issue of their day (a dividing point between the Samaritans and the Jews) — worship. She says, “Our fathers worshipped (προσκυνὲω) in this mountain; and you yourselves say that in Jerusalem is the place where it is necessary to worship (προσκυνὲω).” (John 4:20) The Lord then takes the opportunity to minister the whatwhere, and how of worship.

John 4:21-24

John 4:21-24 is divided into two sections, each beginning with the phrase, “an hour is coming.” In the first section, verses 21,22, Jesus deals with the where and what of worship. In the second section, verses 23-24, Jesus deals with the how of worship.

Verses 21-22: The Where and What of Worship21)Jesus says to her, “Woman, believe me, that an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship (προσκυνὲω) the Father.

In the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, the Samaritans were prohibited from helping with the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, so they built a temple on Mount Gerizim. They worshipped there, while the Jews worshiped in Jerusalem. Both groups believed that their temple was the only official site of true worship. But in this meeting with the Samaritan woman, Jesus proclaims that “an hour is coming” when the physical location for worship will no longer be a factor. During this exchange, Jesus changes the geography of worship forever — the where of worship is not a physical location. After the resurrection and ascension of Christ, the Early Church took this same message to the Jewish leaders.

We see this at the end of Stephen’s message to the Jewish council. He says, “But the Most High does not dwell in handmade temples, according as the prophet says: ‘Heaven is My throne, and earth is a footstool of My feet. What house will you build for Me?’ says the Lord, ‘Or what is the place of My rest? Did not My hand make all these things?’ (Acts 7:48-50). The message of the Early Church is that God does not dwell in a physical building made by human hands, but dwells in the hearts of His people.22)You yourselves are worshiping (προσκυνὲω) what you do not know; we ourselves are worshiping (προσκυνὲω) what we have known; because the salvation is from out of the Jews.

At this point, Jesus addresses the what of worship. He emphatically proclaims that the Samaritans are worshiping, but haven’t known what they are worshiping; and that the Jews have known what they worship, because “the” salvation is from out of the Jews. It is very important to note that the definite article “the” used here with “salvation” is denoting the particular salvation that both Jews and Samaritans are expecting. Jesus says what He does, because the Jews have a more complete understanding of salvation and of the coming Messiah than the Samaritans did; since the Samaritans accepted only the Pentateuch (the first five books of Moses) and rejected the prophets and psalms. We see from this that it is possible to worship God in form only, without worshipping in substance—from the heart, in the truth of God.

Verses 23-24: The How of Worship23)But an hour is coming and now is, when the true worshipers will worship (προσκυνὲω) the Father in spirit and truth; for indeed the Father is seeking such ones worshiping (προσκυνὲω) Him.

At this point, Jesus repeats the phrase “an hour is coming,” but adds the phrase “and now is.” With this added phrase, He establishes that, from the time of this declaration forward, all worship is to be done in a prescribed way. He uses two phrases to establish the how of worship.

The first phrase, “True worshiper,” is found in verse 23. The word “true” is the adjective ἀληθινὸς (Strong’s #228), which means “true” or “genuine.” The word translated “worshiper” is the noun form προσκυνητὴς (Strong’s #4353) from the verb formπροσκυνὲω and is found only here in the New Testament. Here Jesus is establishing that there are genuine worshipers and those who are not genuine. He then defines a “genuine worshiper” as one who is worshiping the Father “in spirit and truth.”

In the literal translation of “in spirit and truth” there is one preposition with two nouns. The preposition ἐν (Strong’s #1722) denotes the location of worship—the sphere or realm in which genuine worship takes place. The two nouns that are the objects of the preposition indicate two aspects of worship, “spirit,” and “truth.” Jesus establishes that true or genuine worship takes place in the spirit realm and in the realm of the truth. Jesus then gives the reason: “the Father is seeking such ones worshiping Him.” The Father is actively seeking a certain kind of person, one who is worshiping Him in the realm of spirit and truth.24)God is Spirit; and it is necessary that the ones worshiping Him should worship προσκυνὲωF1 in spirit and truth”

In the second phrase, “…and it is necessary that the ones worshiping Him should worship in spirit and truth,” Jesus states that it is a “necessity” for those who worship Him to do so “in spirit and truth.” The reason stated by Jesus is that God is Spirit. Notice that the literal translation is “Spirit” not “a Spirit.” By expressing that “God is Spirit,” Jesus emphasizes the character or nature of God. God is Spirit, not flesh; therefore it is necessary for the ones who are worshiping Him to worship in the spirit realm and according to truth.

From the Old Testament, we learn that worship was expressed by bowing to the ground to signify reverence and submission. From our study of the Gospel of Matthew, we also see this same physical posture carried over into the New Testament. However, when Jesus spoke with the Samaritan woman, He changed the perspective of worship forever. At a specific point in time, revealed in John 4:23-24, Jesus establishes that true worship does not take place in a physical, geographical location, but takes place in the spirit realm, in the heart (or spirit) of the believer. The reason for this is that God is Spirit, not flesh. God dwells in the hearts of His people, not in buildings.

When we connect the meaning of the word worship (προσκυνὲω) with the teachings of Jesus that we studied in this chapter, we gain an understanding of the true concept of worship. Genuine worship is the expression of reverence and submission to the Spirit of God and His truth. Even though most Christians identify worship with singing, the Scriptures clearly establish that the true meaning of worship embodies the reverent submission of our hearts to the Spirit of God and His truth. This same principle is also found the Old Testament: “To listen (obey) is better than sacrifice, and to be attentive than the fat of rams.” (I Samuel 15:22). Later in this series, we will see that prayer and singing are done in vain if a person’s heart is not right with the Spirit of God and His truth.

Next week we will study how Satan tempts people to worship him as we study from the Temptation of the Lord, in Matthew 4:1-11.

* PROSKUNEO is the English font spelling of the Greek word προσκυνὲω.

F1: the infinitive of purpose, προσκυνεῖν, “to worship” is translated by νὰ͂προσκυνῶσι, “that they should worship.”

Source: https://www.studylight.org/language-studies/greek-thoughts.html?article=82

Copyright Statement
Greek Thoughts‘ Copyright 2021© Bill Klein. ‘Greek Thoughts‘ articles may be reproduced in whole under the following provisions: 1) A proper credit must be given to the author at the end of each article, along with a link to https://www.studylight.org/language-studies/greek-thoughts.html  2) ‘Greek Thoughts‘ content may not be arranged or “mirrored” as a competitive online service.

PROSKUNEO* – εχηγεομαι – Part 4 -To worship, to bow down, to show reverence and submission

Please note that all Biblical quotes are from the Literal Translation.

This week we continue our study of προσκυνὲω (Strong’s #4352), the Greek word most often used for the English translation “worship.” Προσκυνὲω is a compound word that represents a form of worship which shows reverence and submission to someone or something by bowing to the ground and kissing the feet, the hem of a garment, or the ground.

We have established, from the Old Testament usage of the word, that προσκυνὲω conveys the meaning of a person or group of people showing reverence and submission by bowing to the ground. In the early stages of the Lord’s public ministry, instances of this physical posture expressing submission are recorded in the New Testament Gospels. Last week we studied from John 4:21-24, and saw how Jesus changes the principles of worship forever. Jesus establishes that true worshipers worship the Father “in spirit and truth.” He gives two reasons for this: first, the Father is seeking this kind of person to worship Him; and second, He is Spirit in nature and character. In this teaching, Jesus removes the physical posture and geographical location previously attendant to worship. He teaches that genuine worship takes place in the spirit realm where the heart of the worshiper expresses reverence and submission to the Spirit of God and His truth. This is the highest form of worship; in fact, Jesus teaches that it is necessary for worship to be done this way (John 4:24).

This week and next, we consider the seriousness and depth of true worship through the study of the temptations of the Lord, as recorded in Matthew 4:1-11. (Please note that the word προσκυνὲω will only be directly involved in next week’s study.)

Matthew 4:1-111)Then Jesus was led up into the desert by the Spirit, in order that He might be temptedF1 by the devil.2)And when He fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He became hungry.

Matthew gives four pieces of information that we need to know before we study the actual temptations with which Jesus is confronted: First, that Jesus is led into the desert by the Spirit of God— not by the devil; second, that Jesus is led into the desert to be tempted. (The Greek word used here for tempt is πειρὰζω (Strong’s #3985), which means “to put to the test” or “to prove.” This Scripture does not imply that Jesus could, or ever would, succumb to temptations, since James 1:13 establishes that God is unable to be tempted by evils Instead, God leads Jesus into this place and time of temptation, so that He can defeat the devil and give example for all of those who will follow after Him.); Third, that the temptations are to be carried out “by the devil;” Fourth, that Jesus would spend forty days fasting and then would physically become hungry.

ςερσεσ͂͂Τηε͂Φιρστ͂Τεμπτατιον3)And when the tempterF2 came near to Him, he said, “If you are the Son of God, speak — in order that these stones might become bread.”

The devil begins his string of temptations with, “If you are the Son of God.” The Greek word translated “if” is the conjunction εἰ(Strong’s #1487). Εἰ is used here with the present tense verb and is in the first class condition assumed to be true. Therefore, the Greek would be more literally translated, “If you are the Son of God, and You are.” The more literal English meaning is rendered, “Since you are the Son of God.” So we first learn that the devil is not tempting Jesus to prove that He is the Son of God, but rather is tempting Him to abuse His authority as the Son of God. Another thing we learn from this first temptation is that the devil is appealing to Jesus’ physical condition, hunger. The devil is calling for Jesus to use His authority as the Son of God to turn stones into loaves of bread, so that His hunger can be satisfied.4)And when He answered, He said, “It has been written, ‘Man shall not live upon bread only, but upon every word going out through the mouth of God.’”

In His response, the Lord references Deuteronomy 8:3, which says that human beings will not live upon the basis of bread only, but upon the basis of “every word going out through the mouth of God.” In response to this first temptation from the devil, Jesus establishes the premise of His approach to the physical, material world around Him. The Lord is not going to use His authority as the Son of God to satisfy the hunger of His physical body; He will feed, instead, upon the Words of God. Although He is still physically hungry, Jesus reveals that His source of satisfaction is found in the words coming from God’s mouth.

Verses 5-7: The Second Temptation5)Then the devil takes Him into the holy city, and stood Him upon the ledge of the temple.

For this temptation, the devil takes Jesus into the holy city and stands Him upon a ledge of the temple. Then Satan quotes fromPsalm 91:11-12 (Psalm 90:11-12 LXX).6)And he says to Him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For that it has been written, ‘To His angels He will command concerning you,’ and, ‘upon their hands they will lift you up, in order that you should not strikeF3 your foot against a stone.’”

The devil begins this temptation with the same phrase he used to begin the first temptation: “If you are the Son of God.” Again, the conjunction εἰ (Strong’s #1487) — translated “if”— is used with the present tense verb and is in the first class condition assumed to be true. A more accurate translation would be “Since you are the Son of God.” Again, with this temptation, the devil is not challenging Jesus to prove that He is the Son of God, since we see from the Greek that the devil already acknowledges Him as the Son of God. The devil’s actual challenge is for Jesus to throw Himself down from the ledge while claiming the promise given to the one who puts his trust in God: “To His angels He will command concerning you,” and, “Upon their hands they will lift you up, in order that you should not strike your foot against a stone.” The devil is tempting Jesus to make a glorious and miraculous entrance by coming down from the ledge and landing safely for all to see, since the Jews had long expected the Messiah to come down from the clouds as Daniel had prophesied7)Jesus was saying to him, “Again it has been written, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”

The Lord’s response references Deuteronomy 6:16: “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.” In this reply, Jesus does not treat the devil’s words as a misquoting of the Psalms (as some people presume Satan’s statement to be), but reveals the devil’s misapplication of Scripture. Jesus corrects the devil by stating that one does not tempt God by putting His promises to the test.

Abraham is a good example of someone who put a promise of God to the test. God promised a son to Abraham, and Abraham waited many years. But when the promised son did not come, Abraham went into Hagar, the handmaid of his wife Sarah. Hagar conceived and bore a son, Ishmael. Abraham claimed Ishmael to be the promised son but God did not recognize Ishmael as the son He promised. This is because God is the only One who can fulfill any promise that He makes; and He does not produce His promise according to the time table and perceptions of man. If God promises something, He Himself will bring that promise to fulfillment.

Throughout these temptations, Jesus remains in submission to God alone. He does not take matters into His own hands by seizing the opportunities laid out before Him to satisfy His physical hunger or to make a glorious (and painless) entrance into “Messiahship.” Instead, Jesus entrusts Himself fully and completely to the Father, a living example for us in our struggles against the temptations the devil places before us.

Next week we will study the third temptation considering the what and how of Jesus’ triumph over Satan.

* PROSKUNEO is the English font spelling of the Greek word προσκυνὲω.

Technical Notes:

F1: The infinitive of purpose πειρασθῆναι, “to be tempted,” is translated by διὰ͂νὰ͂πειρασθῇ, “in order that He might be tempted.”

F2: The Greek phrase is ὁ͂πειρὰζων, the article with the present participle and is literally translated, “the one continually tempting.”

F3: The conjunction μὴποτε, “not ever,” used with the subjunctive expressing purpose προσκὸψῃς, “you should strike,” is translated διὰ͂νὰ͂μὴ͂προσκὸψῃς, “in order that you should not strike.”

Copyright Statement
Greek Thoughts‘ Copyright 2021© Bill Klein. ‘Greek Thoughts‘ articles may be reproduced in whole under the following provisions: 1) A proper credit must be given to the author at the end of each article, along with a link to https://www.studylight.org/language-studies/greek-thoughts.html  2) ‘Greek Thoughts‘ content may not be arranged or “mirrored” as a competitive online service.

PROSKUNEO* – εχηγεομαι – Part 5 -To worship, to bow down, to show reverence and submission

Please note that all Biblical quotes, in this and all other lessons posted to Greek Thoughts, are from the literal translation produced by BTE Ministries – The Bible Translation and Exegesis Institute of America.

This week we continue our study of προσκυνὲω (Strong’s #4352), our focus being on the temptations of Jesus, as recorded in Matthew 4:1-11.

If you have been following our studies on worship, you will remember that προσκυνὲω is compounded from the preposition πρὸς (Strong’s #4314) meaning “to” or “towards” and κυνὲωmeaning “to kiss.” Κυνὲω is derived from the Greek word κὺων (Strong’s #2965), which means “dog.” It came to mean “kiss”—from a dog licking the hand.

So the basic meaning of προσκυνὲω, is to “bow down to the ground in front of someone while kissing his feet, the hem of his garment or the ground in front of him.”

We have seen, from the Old Testament, that submission to someone is expressed through the physical act of bowing to the ground in front of the person to whom you are showing submission and reverence. Submission and reverence are also expressed through this physical posture in the New Testament, as we studied from Matthew 2:1-11; 8:1-2; 14:22-33. And Jesus, in John 4:21-24, uses προσκυνὲω to describe the true worship that must now take place in the spirit realm. He teaches that true worshipers must express their submission and reverence to the Spirit of God and the truth of God from their hearts, not from a physical position or geographical location.

Last week, we began the part of our study that focuses on the seriousness and depth of true worship by analyzing the temptations of the Lord, as recorded in Matthew 4:1-11.

We looked at the first two temptations (Matthew 4:1-7) and found that God led Jesus into this time and place of temptation, so that He could defeat the devil (who was doing the tempting) and give example for all who would follow after Him.

We also saw, from the use of the Greek language, that satan already acknowledged Jesus as the Son of God, so He was not tempting Jesus to reveal that fact. Instead, Satan was attempting to divert Jesus from the true worship of God: First, by tempting Him to use His authority, as the Son, to satisfy His physical hunger (a subversion of the true satisfaction Jesus finds in every Word that comes from the mouth of God); and second, by tempting Him to put God’s promises to the test. The Lord, however, entrusts Himself wholly to the Father, knowing that what He promised, God will bring to fulfillment.

This week we continue our study of the temptations of Christ, considering verses 8-10 of Matthew 4.

Verses 8-10: The Third Temptation8)Again, the devil takes Him into an exceedingly high mountain, and shows to Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.

The Greek word translated “shows” is δεὶκνυμι (Strong’s #1166) and means “to show,” in the sense of “to display” or “to expose.” So we understand that the devil displays all of the kingdoms of the world and their glory before Jesus. Then, after this display, the devil presents the condition for obtaining these glorious things.

9)And he says to Him, “All these things I will give to you, if after falling down, you should worship (προσκυνὲω) me.”

The devil uses προσκυνὲω, our study word, to express his condition (that Jesus worship him, satan) for giving the world and its glory to Jesus. This temptation clearly shows that those who desire the kingdoms of this world, the glory of this world, must first worship the devil. The required worship is not the singing of hymns or attendance at a satanic ritual, but rather is an act of submission. In order for anyone to get the things of the world from the devil, that person must submit his life to the devil and serve him.

On the basis of this important principle, James writes the following words to those believers who are striving in the flesh to obtain the things of this world (James 4:4), “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship of the world is hostility against God? Whoever therefore should decide to be a friend of the world positions himself as an enemy of God.”

The truth about lusting after the things of the world is very serious. For a person (Christian or not) to obtain something from the world, in order to satisfy the flesh, he must first submit himself to the devil. This can be seen in what a person does, in the actions he must take, to achieve this goal; he must surrender and become a slave to the world’s system, in order to get what he wants.

The Bible calls this worship. Unfortunately, many believers, lacking an understanding of the meaning and components of worship, are caught up in the “American way” of sacrificing time and effort to get ahead, to gain worldly things, without realizing that they have entered into a system of worship that requires the sacrificing of themselves in order to obtain what they want.

10)Then Jesus says to him, “Go away, satan; for it has been written, ‘You yourself shall worship (προσκυνὲω) the Lord your God, and Him only you will serve.’”

The Lord’s response here reveals two things. The first is that satan has the authority to offer the kingdoms of this world and their glory to Jesus. This is established by the fact that Jesus did not rebuke Satan for offering what he had no authority to give. The reason for this is made clear in Scripture. When the devil is expelled from heaven, he is given authority over the earth. His authority is established for us in 2 Corinthians 4:4 where he is called, “the god of this age.” In addition, the devil is called “the ruler of the authority of the air.” (Ephesians 2:2)

The second thing revealed by the Lord’s response is His choice of worship, which He takes from Deuteronomy 6:13: “You Yourself shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you will serve.” The Lord expresses that worship is comprised both of submission and service. We also see this emphasis in the great commandment of Deuteronomy 6:5, which states: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.” This expresses that loving the Lord requires that all of our heart, soul, and strength must belong to Him.

One cannot love the Lord in the manner prescribed by Scripture and still chase after the things of this world, since the world system demands a competing submission and effort in order to obtain any desired object. Whom we are submitted to, and whom we serve, with our time and devotion, determines whom we are worshiping. Jesus expresses that His choice is to be in obedience to Scripture and to worship God only.

11)Then the devil leaves off from Him, and behold, angels came near and were ministering to Him.

Most people skip over verse 11, but it is crucial in understanding the temptations of Jesus. In it, we are told that the devil “leaves off from Him” after the temptations. Many people believe that the devil left Jesus because He quoted Scripture—that the devil fled because of the Scripture. This idea does not hold up, however, since the devil is not afraid of Scripture; in fact, he quotes it himself. Instead, consider that Satan has failed, throughout all of these temptations, to obtain the worship he desires from Jesus. In response to every temptation, the Lord shows that His worship is to God. Jesus’ submission to God alone, and His service to God alone, cannot be diverted, diluted, or subverted in any way, because His whole heart, soul, and strength belong solely to God. The truth is that the devil leaves because Jesus has expressed His submission to the truth of God as it is expressed in God’s Word.

As we have seen from our studies, the meaning of true worship is much deeper than the vague, ill-defined meaning present in the Christian world today. In contrast to it, the expression of true worship demands that every aspect of our being is in submission to God —mind, strength, even time.

The hearts, souls, and strengths of most modern believers, however, are submitted to the world system, as can be seen by the time and effort they lavish on obtaining the glory and things of this world; while they consider an hour or two at Sunday service to be their act of worship. But true worship is expressed in the spirit realm, from the depths of the believer’s heart to the Spirit of God alone, in submission to His truth only.

Another shallow application of Scripture, prevalent in the church today, is the quoting of Scripture in order to chase the devil away. But the verses we have studied on worship have now exposed the depth of true worship, showing that Jesus did not quote the truth from God’s Word in order to chase the devil away. Instead, it was His choice of worship, His choice to truly worship God alone, that rendered the devil ineffective, and forced Satan to leave Him. Submission to the truth of God renders the devil ineffective, not the mere quoting of Scripture.

This conclusion is supported by teachings from other parts of Scripture. In James 4:7, we are admonished, “Therefore be submitted to God. And resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Satan cannot overpower any believer; but he can, and does, tempt every believer to enter into a life of servitude in order to gain worship from him. As Christians, we must follow the example of Jesus, who rendered the devil ineffective by His true worship of the Father.

Next week we will continue our study of the meaning and seriousness of worship from the Book of Revelation.

* PROSKUNEO is the English font spelling of the Greek word προσκυνὲω.

Copyright Statement
Greek Thoughts‘ Copyright 2021© Bill Klein. ‘Greek Thoughts‘ articles may be reproduced in whole under the following provisions: 1) A proper credit must be given to the author at the end of each article, along with a link to https://www.studylight.org/language-studies/greek-thoughts.html  2) ‘Greek Thoughts‘ content may not be arranged or “mirrored” as a competitive online service.

PROSKUNEO* – εχηγεομαι – Part 6 -To worship, to bow down, to show reverence and submission

Please note that all Biblical quotes, in this and all other lessons posted to Greek Thoughts, are from the literal translation produced by BTE Ministries – The Bible Translation and Exegesis Institute of America.

We are continuing our study of προσκυνὲω (Strong’s #4352), which is rendered in the English translations of the Bible as “worship.” Προσκυνὲω is a compound word meaning “to kiss toward” and represents a form of worship that shows reverence and submission to someone or something by bowing to the ground and kissing his feet, the hem of his clothing, or the ground.

We have studied, from the Old Testament, that προσκυνὲω represented an expression of reverence and submission through a physical posture of bowing to the ground. This physical act was also practiced in early New Testament times, until Jesus used the word προσκυνὲω to signify an attitude of the heart or spirit toward God. He said, in John 4:23, “But an hour is coming and now is, when the true worshipers will worship (προσκυνὲω) the Father in spirit and truth; for indeed the Father is seeking such ones worshiping (προσκυνὲω) Him.” Here Jesus established that the only true worshipers of the Father are those whose spirits are in submission and reverence to the Spirit of God and His truth.

We also saw, in Matthew 4:8, that the devil tempted Jesus by displaying before Him all the kingdoms of the world in their glory. In his dialogue with Jesus, Satan presented the prerequisite for obtaining these kingdoms (verse 9): “All these things I will give to you, if after falling down, you should worship (προσκυνὲω) me.” These scriptures show that worship —the devotion of one’s life— is the prerequisite for obtaining the things of this world. This worship does not necessarily entail attendance at satanic worship services, but does require the devotion and commitment of one’s life to the devil and his worldly system in order to gain the things of the world. Jesus, in His answer to the devil, repudiated this kind of worship by stating that His submission was to God alone. He said: “Go away, satan; for it has been written, ‘You yourself shall worship (προσκυνὲω) the Lord your God, and Him only you will serve.’” After this expression of submission to worshiping God only, the devil left Jesus.

This week we continue to study the depth and seriousness of the meaning of worship as we study from the Book of Revelation. In the ninth chapter, the Lamb is at the throne of God with a book sealed with seven seals. When the Lamb breaks the seventh seal, seven angels are seen who have been given seven trumpets. John, the writer of the Book of Revelation, sees events transpire as each of these seven angels sounds his trumpet. When he hears the sixth angel sounding his trumpet, John sees demonic forces being unleashed upon mankind on the earth. A third of the people on the earth are killed as a result. Revelation 9:20 summarizes the condition of those who have survived the first six plagues.

Revelation 9:20

20)And the rest of the men, who were not killed in these plagues, did not repent from the works of their hands, in order that they should not worship (προσκυνὲω) demons, and gold, and silver, and bronze, and stone, and wooden idols, which are neither able to see, nor to hear, nor to walk.

As God’s judgment is unfolding from heaven to the earth upon mankind, the survivors of His judgment do not repent. Their lack of repentance is described as “the works of their hands” which are said to be worshiping demons and idols. Προσκυνὲω is used here to describe a devotion of one’s hands to demons and idols. Therefore, the condition of mankind is described as the surrendering of their hands to demons and to those things that man creates out of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood.

In the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation, John witnesses the Devil being cast out of heaven. John says, “And the great dragon was cast out, that ancient serpent, the one being called Devil and Satan,” (Revelation 12:9). In Revelation 13, John witnesses a beast rising up from out of the sea. He then says, “And the dragon gave to it his power, and his throne, and great authority”, (Revelation 13:2). Then we are told:

Revelation 13:5-85)And a mouth was given to it speaking great things and blasphemies. And authority was given to it to function forty-two months.6)And it opened its mouth for blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, and the ones tabernacling in Heaven.7)And it was given to it to make war with the saints, and to overcome them. And authority was given to it over every tribe and tongue and nation.8)And all the ones dwelling upon the earth will worship (προσκυνὲω) it, of whose names have not been written in the Book of the Life of the Lamb, which has been slain from the foundation of the world.

At this point during the Tribulation Period, the beast is given authority to blaspheme God, His name, His dwelling place, and all of those dwelling in Heaven. It is also given authority “to make war with the saints, and to overcome them.” Then, the condition of those dwelling on the earth is presented: “All the ones dwelling upon the earth will worship it,” that is — the ones whose names have not been written in the Book of the Life of the Lamb.

Verses 15-17 describe how those dwelling upon the earth will worship the beast.

Revelation 13:15-17

15)And it was given to it to give a spirit to the image of the beast, in order that the image of the beast might even speak, and might cause in order that, as many as would not worship (προσκυνὲω) the image of the beast, might be killed.16)And it makes everyone, small and great, and rich and poor, and free and slaves, in order that it might give to them a mark upon their right hand, or upon their foreheads.17)In order that not anyone would be able to buy or to sell, except the one having the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of its name.

John observes, during the Tribulation Period, a second beast that is given authority to give a spirit to the image of the first beast to do three things: to make the image speak; to cause those not worshiping the image to be put to death; and to make everyone take a mark upon their hand or their foreheads. The purpose for this mark is given in verse 17: the one having the mark of the beast will be able to buy and sell. Most Christians know about the mark of the beast and its significance, but do not know that worship is the prerequisite for obtaining that mark. Προσκυνὲω is synonymous here with enrollment in Satan’s economic, political and religious system. In order to buy and sell, one must pay homage to the image of the beast, submitting and surrendering to satan’s political authority and economic system. Refusal to worship the image of the beast will bring physical death.

As can be seen from the preceding scriptures, true worship entails devoting and committing one’s mind, strength, and time to a lifestyle that is serving either the Lord Jesus Christ or the Devil. The seriousness of this depth of meaning cannot be over emphasized because Jesus has declared that Man has been given the capacity to serve only one master. He said: “No one is able to serve two lords; for he will either hate the one, and he will love the other; or else he will hold to one and he will despise the other. You are not able to serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24) All of history is heading toward the final stages of mankind’s choices. And the spiritual battle is not being waged for just a few actions of each human being, but for his whole devotion and entire submission. The Heavenly Father is seeking worshipers, but Satan is also gathering worshipers. This makes it imperative that we understand what true worship is. We have seen that it is not defined in scripture as being the songs we sing in church on Sunday; instead, it is defined by whom we live in submission to— who and what we serve daily with our bodies, minds, and spirits.

Next week we will continue this same study of the meaning and seriousness of worship from the Book of Revelation.

* PROSKUNEO is the English font spelling of the Greek word προσκυνὲω.

Copyright Statement
Greek Thoughts‘ Copyright 2021© Bill Klein. ‘Greek Thoughts‘ articles may be reproduced in whole under the following provisions: 1) A proper credit must be given to the author at the end of each article, along with a link to https://www.studylight.org/language-studies/greek-thoughts.html  2) ‘Greek Thoughts‘ content may not be arranged or “mirrored” as a competitive online service.

PROSKUNEO* – Part 7 -εχηγεομαι To worship, to bow down, to show reverence and submission

Please note that all Biblical quotes, in this and all other lessons posted to Greek Thoughts, are from the literal translation produced by BTE Ministries – The Bible Translation and Exegesis Institute of America.

This week we return to the second chapter of Matthew for a special in-depth study ofπροσκυνὲω (Strong’s #4352), which means, “to worship.” Προσκυνὲω is a compound word representing a person’s expression of reverence and submission to someone or something. The entire focus of the Old Testament concept of worship changed at the birth of the Christ child.

Matthew 2:1-31)Now after Jesus had been born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold, Magi from the east came into Jerusalem,2)saying, “Where is the One who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and we came to worship (προσκυνὲω) Him.

The term Magi is the plural form of Magus (μὰγος, Strong’s #3097). Μὰγος is a word used to describe a caste of Persian priests of the Babylonian area. It denotes one who is both a priest and an interpreter of dreams. In the Septuagint Old Testament,Daniel 5:11 tells us that Daniel was appointed by Nebuchadnezzar as ruler of the Magi in Babylon, because Daniel was able to interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. It is evident that the Persian Magi, who arrived in Bethlehem seeking the Christ child, knew Daniel’s writings and prophecies, because they understood that the King of the Jews would be born at that time. When His star appeared, they came to Jerusalem, not just to honor the King of the Jews, but also to worship Him. By using προσκυνὲωto express the desire of the Magi to worship the Christ, Matthew is conveying the understanding that the Magi came to Jerusalem to honor and to submit to the Christ.3)And after Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all of Jerusalem with him.

Three years prior to the arrival of the Magi in Jerusalem, Herod, a Roman government official, was given the title King of the Jews by the Roman government. History records that Herod was paranoid about his position as king, even having many of his relatives killed, because he thought they were plotting to overthrow him. So, when the Magi came to Jerusalem seeking to worship the baby born King of the Jews, Herod was troubled. All the people in Jerusalem were troubled as well, because they knew Herod’s murderous paranoia.

Matthew 2:88)And when he sent them into Bethlehem he said, “After you have gone, search accurately concerning the young child; and when you should find Him, report to me, so that after having come, I myself also might worship (προσκυνὲω) Him.

After learning from the Jewish chief priests and scribes that the Christ was to be born in Bethlehem, Herod informed the Magi of the location and sent them to find the child. He asked them to report the child’s whereabouts to him saying that he desired also to worship Him. Herod managed to deceive the Magi into thinking that he also had a desire to bow the knee and submit to the Christ as King; but Herod’s true intent was to murder the child, to remove this threat to his throne. 
Matthew 2:1111)And after having come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and after falling down they worshiped (προσκυνὲω) Him, and after having opened their treasures they offered to Him gifts; gold and frankincense and myrrh.

According to Matthew’s account of the birth of Christ, when the Magi arrived in Bethlehem, the Christ child was living in a house; He was no longer in the stable. Therefore, it is estimated that the child was most likely close to one year old when they found Him, but not more than two years old. This is reasoned from the fact that Herod had all of Bethlehem’s children, who were two years old and younger, killed when he realized that the Magi were not coming back to report the child’s location to him. This indicates that all of the events from Matthew 2:1 through 2:16 took place over a time span of just less than two years.

Once in the presence of the Christ child, the Magi fell to the ground and worshiped Him. The word προσκυνὲω used here expresses the fact that they bowed down to the ground and were expressing reverence and submission to their King. After this expression of worship, they opened their treasures and gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh—gifts representing three aspects of the Christ: His kingship, His humanity, and His death. Subsequently, the Magi returned home without going through Jerusalem, because they had been warned in a dream about Herod’s true intentions toward the child.

During this Christmas season, as many flock to churches for the purpose of remembering and celebrating the birth of Christ, it is important to understand that Scripture teaches reverence and submission alone constitute true worship—all other worship is futile. When the Magi came to Jerusalem, they were not looking to attend a church service in honor of the King of the Jews; they were looking for the Christ child Himself. They desired to be in His presence so that they could give Him their reverence, so that they could express surrender and submission to Him as their King. At this time of the year, we must remember that a one-day commemoration is not an acceptable form of worship to the King of Kings. The only worship acceptable to Him is an expression from a heart of surrender and the submission of one’s life.
Next week we will continue our study of the meaning and seriousness of worship from the Book of Revelation.

* PROSKUNEO is the English font spelling of the Greek word προσκυνὲω.

Bill Klein has been a pastor, counselor, and educator for the past 41 years. He has had extensive training and education in biblical languages, and has authored a Biblical Greek course.

He is currently serving as Professor of Biblical Greek at Master’s Graduate School of Divinity, and president of BTE Ministries – The Bible Translation and Exegesis Institute of America, a non-profit organization located in California that provides Bible study tapes and Greek study materials through their websiteBTEMinistries.org.

Copyright Statement
Greek Thoughts‘ Copyright 2021© Bill Klein. ‘Greek Thoughts‘ articles may be reproduced in whole under the following provisions: 1) A proper credit must be given to the author at the end of each article, along with a link to https://www.studylight.org/language-studies/greek-thoughts.html  2) ‘Greek Thoughts‘ content may not be arranged or “mirrored” as a competitive online service.

PROSKUNEO* – Part 8 – εχηγεομαι (Strong’s #1834)
To worship, to bow down, to show reverence and submission

Please note that all Biblical quotes, in this and all other lessons posted to Greek Thoughts, are from the literal translation produced by BTE Ministries – The Bible Translation and Exegesis Institute of America.


Today, we continue our study of προσκυνὲω (Strong’s #4352), which is rendered as “worship” in the English translations of the Bible. This week’s study focuses on scriptures taken from the Book of Revelation. As expressed in previous studies, Προσκυνὲω is a compound word expressing the reverence and submission of one person to another person or thing. In the Old Testament, this reverence and submission was expressed through the physical posture of bowing to the ground and the kissing of the ground, a person’s clothing, or hand. During the Lord’s earthly ministry, He changed the application of προσκυνὲω from this physical posture to a spiritual attitude of the heart. We see this in what Jesus said in John 4:23, “… an hour is coming and now is, when the true worshipers will worship (προσκυνὲω) the Father in spirit and in truth; for indeed the Father is seeking such ones worshiping (προσκυνὲω) Him.” In this scripture, Jesus uses the same word previously used for the physical expression of reverence and submission and applies it, instead, to the attitude of a person’s heart or spirit. From this point in scripture forward, worship entails a heart-desire rather than a physical position.

In our study from the thirteenth and fourteenth chapters of the Book of Revelation, we learned that the Beast, during the Great Tribulation Period, will set up his image in the Holy of Holies in the Temple. He will then dictate that any person desiring to participate in the economic system (whether buying or selling) must receive the Mark of the Beast. This mark, however, will be given only to those who worship (προσκυνὲω) the image of the Beast (Revelation 13:15-17). Here the full import of the meaning of worship can be seen.

This week, our study continues to focus on the depth and seriousness of worship as we study from Revelation 14:6-11.

In the fifth chapter of Revelation, we are told that the Lamb comes forward to take a book, which is sealed with seven seals, out of the hand of the One who is sitting upon the throne. The Lamb opens all seven seals. At the opening of the seventh seal, seven angels are seen with seven trumpets. At the sounding of the seventh trumpet, a series of events take place. Starting with the thirteenth chapter of Revelation, conditions upon the earth during the Great Tribulation are described; but it is in the fourteenth chapter that we discover the warning preached to those who are dwelling upon the earth during that time.

Revelation 14:6-116)And I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, having an eternal gospel to evangelize the ones dwelling upon the earth, even every nation and tribe and language, and people, 
7)saying in a great voice, “Fear God, and give to Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come, and worship (προσκυνὲω) the One who has made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.

These scriptures show that John saw an angel flying in mid-heaven preaching the two-fold gospel: “Fear God,” and “give to Him glory.” The angel then gives a two-fold reason for this necessity: first, the hour of God’s judgment has come; and second, the people dwelling upon the earth are to worship the Creator. The people living upon the earth are warned in these verses to worship only the Creator and are told not to give worship to the beast–they are not to participate in his religious, economic, and political system.8)And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon the great city, has fallen, has fallen, because she gave the nations to drink from out of the wine of the fury of her immorality. 

John sees another angel announcing the result of God’s judgment, which has taken place. The term “Babylon” is used to represent the religious system of the Beast present during the Great Tribulation. All of the corruption of the ancient Babylonian Empire has been carried into the Beast’s system. Although we find this same religious and cultural corruption to some degree in the world’s system today, they will come to fruition during the Beast’s reign over the nations during the Great Tribulation.9)And the third angel followed them, saying in a great voice, “If anyone is worshiping (προσκυνὲω) the beast and his image, and is taking a mark upon his forehead, or upon his hand,
10)he himself also will drink from out of wine of the fury of God, which has been mixed undiluted in the cup of His wrath, and he will be tormented in fire and sulfur before the holy angels, and before the Lamb;

A third angel follows the others giving warning: “If anyone is worshiping the beast and his image, or is taking a mark upon his forehead or upon his hand,” that person will drink out of the cup of the full fury of God and will be tormented in fire and sulfur before the angels and before the Lamb.11)and the smoke of their torment is going up forever; and the ones worshiping (προσκυνὲω) the beast and his image do not have rest day and night, and if anyone is receiving the mark of his name. 

Revelation 14:11 indicates that “the ones worshiping the beast and his image,” will be tormented “forever,” and “they have no rest day and night.” The same will happen to “… anyone who is receiving the mark of his name.”

During the Great Tribulation Period, the judgment of the person who worships the Beast — the one who enrolls in his religious, economic, and political system— is final and fatal. Judgment is visited upon anyone who commits his allegiance to the religious, economic, and political system of the world, which is under the control of the Beast.

This gives us an indication of the seriousness of worship in our day. John wrote, in 1 John 2:15-17, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world, if anyone should love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Because every thing in the world — the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not from out of the Father but is from out of the world. And the world is passing away, and the desire of it; but the one doing the will of God is abiding forever.” The choices we make today– desiring, seeking, and submitting to the world’s system in order to get the things of this world– are not fatal, as they will be during the Great Tribulation Period. However, we still experience the consequences of our actions. When our time and attention is given to fulfilling contractual obligations to the world system, and we become slaves to that, we do not grow in Christ as He intended. And, while we may continue to attend church weekly, frustration will remain in our hearts. True worship, as taught in God’s Word, is not limited to church attendance or membership. It encompasses the person we reverence, obey, and serve with our time and energy throughout our daily activities, as well as our reason for doing it.

Next week we will conclude our study of the meaning and seriousness of worship (προσκυνὲω) from the Book of Revelation.

* PROSKUNEO is the English font spelling of the Greek word προσκυνὲω.

Bill Klein has been a pastor, counselor, and educator for the past 41 years. He has had extensive training and education in biblical languages, and has authored a Biblical Greek course.

He is currently serving as Professor of Biblical Greek at Master’s Graduate School of Divinity, and president of BTE Ministries – The Bible Translation and Exegesis Institute of America, a non-profit organization located in California that provides Bible study tapes and Greek study materials through their websiteBTEMinistries.org.

Copyright Statement
Greek Thoughts‘ Copyright 2021© Bill Klein. ‘Greek Thoughts‘ articles may be reproduced in whole under the following provisions: 1) A proper credit must be given to the author at the end of each article, along with a link to https://www.studylight.org/language-studies/greek-thoughts.html  2) ‘Greek Thoughts‘ content may not be arranged or “mirrored” as a competitive online service.

PROSKUNEO* – Part 9 -εχηγεομαι To worship, to bow down, to show reverence and submission – Last part!

Please note that all Biblical quotes, in this and all other lessons posted to Greek Thoughts, are from The Literal English Translation of the Bible produced by BTE Ministries – The Bible Translation and Exegesis Institute of America.


This week we continue our study of προσκυνὲω (Strong’s #4352), which is translated “worship,” and will conclude our study of the scriptures on this topic which are taken from the Book of Revelation. Prior to the public ministry of Jesus, προσκυνὲω represented the physical posture of bowing to the ground for the expression of submission and reverence. During the public ministry of Jesus, He took this concept and applied it to the spirit or heart of a person, as we see from His teaching in John 4:23, “… an hour is coming and now is, when the true worshipers will worship (προσκυνὲω) the Father in spirit and in truth; for indeed the Father is seeking such ones worshiping (προσκυνὲω) Him.” From this point in scripture forward, προσκυνὲω is used to represent true worship, which is a heart-desire expressed through the submission of one’s time, life-goals, and strength rather than through the assuming of a physical position. This concept of worship continues from the time of Christ upon the earth through the time of the Great Tribulation that takes place before His Second Coming.

In Revelation 9:20, we see that as God’s judgment unfolds upon mankind, the survivors do not repent. Προσκυνὲω is used here to describe a devotion of one’s hands to serving demons and idols. We are then told, in Revelation 9:20, that those dwelling upon the earth are worshiping (προσκυνὲω) the beast. Next, in Revelation 13:15-17, we are told that giving worship to the beast means that people enroll in Satan’s economic, political and religious system in order to be able to buy and sell. Here it is established that worship (προσκυνὲω) is the prerequisite to enrolling in Satan’s system. Refusal to worship the image of the beast will bring physical death.

In , we see an angel flying in mid-heaven, during the Great Tribulation, evangelizing those dwelling upon the earth, saying, “Fear God, and give to Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come, and worship (προσκυνὲω) the One who has made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters” (Revelation 14:7). The people living upon the earth are warned to worship only the Creator and are told not to give worship to the beast— that is, they are not to participate in his religious, economic, and political system. In addition, in Revelation 14:9-11, we are told that a third angel says, “If anyone is worshiping (προσκυνὲω) the beast and his image, and is taking a mark upon his forehead, or upon his hand, he himself also will drink from out of the wine of the fury of God… and the smoke of their torment is going up forever; and the ones worshiping (προσκυνὲω) the beast and his image do not have rest day and night, and if anyone is receiving the mark of his name.”

This week we come to the events that take place at the end of history, as we know it, upon the earth. In Chapters 15-20 of the Book of Revelation, we see the activities and characteristics of all people in response to the choices they have made in life.

Revelation 15:1-41)And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, because in them the fury of God was made complete.
2)And I saw something like a glassy sea which had been mingled with fire, and the ones overcoming from out of the beast, and from out of his image, and from out of his mark, and from out of the number of his name, who had been standing upon the glassy sea, having harps of God.

In the Chapter 15, John sees seven angels who have the seven last plagues or judgments, ready to be poured out upon those who have rebelled against God and who have surrendered their allegiance to the beast. These judgments are actually described in Chapter 16. In Revelation 15:2, it is recorded that John sees a group of people who have overcome. They have been delivered from the beast and his economic, political, and religious system by not surrendering to him. They are seen in heaven singing the song of Moses and of the Lamb.3)And they are singing the song of Moses the slave of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvelous areyour works, Lord God Almighty;F1 righteous and true are your ways, King of the saints.”F2
4)Who should never fear You, Lord, and should never glorify your name? Because you only are holy; because all the nations will come and will worship (προσκυνὲω) before You, because Your righteous judgments have become known.

They declare in their song that all of the nations will come and worship (προσκυνὲω) before God, because God’s righteous judgments have become known. This echos Paul’s statement in Philippians 2:10-11 where he says that the Lord has been highly exalted and given the name which is above every name, “in order that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those of heaven, and of earth, and of those under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, unto theglory of God the Father.” In Revelation 15:4, John calls this confession worship (προσκυνὲω), not a religious confession, but an expression of the surrender of one’s life. In , we see the last judgments poured out upon the earth.

Revelation 16:1-21)And I heard a great voice from out of the temple, saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the bowls of the fury of God into the earth.”
2)And the first went off, and poured out his bowl upon the earth; and a painful and grievousF3 boilF4 came onto the people who have the mark of the beast, and the ones worshiping (προσκυνὲω) his image.

We are told that the first judgment is a painful and grievous boil coming upon those who have the mark of the beast and who are worshiping his image. By using προσκυνὲω to describe the activity of those who are to receive this judgment, John is stating that these people are receiving the judgment of God because they are the ones who have enrolled in the beast’s world system and have rejected the message of the angels to not surrender to it.

Revelation 19:20-2120)And the beast was captured, and with this one the false prophet who performed the signs before him, with whichF5 he misled the ones who had received the mark of the beast, and the ones worshiping (προσκυνὲω) his image; the two were thrown while alive into the Lake of Fire which is burning with sulfur.F6

The capture of the beast and the false prophet is described in Revelation 19:20-21. The false prophet is described as the one who performed the signs (in front of the beast) which were used to mislead the ones having the mark of the beast and the ones worshiping (προσκυνὲω) his image.21)And the rest were killed with the swordF7 which is going out of the mouth of the One sitting upon the horse; and all the birds were filled from their flesh. 

After the capture of the beast and the false prophet, the rest of mankind is killed with the sword that is coming out of the mouth of the Lord at His Second Coming. The birds are then pictured as gorging themselves from the flesh of those who have been killed.

Revelation 20:44)And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them; and the souls of the ones who had been beheaded on account of the testimony of Jesus, and on account of the Word of God, and whoever did not worship (προσκυνὲω) the beast, nor his image, and did not receive the mark upon their forehead, and upon their hand; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

The glorious end is presented here, showing those who rejected the worship of the beast and his image, who refused to take the mark of the beast, as living and reigning with Christ a thousand years.

These scriptures show that every person will be judged, not because of the church he has chosen to attend, but because of whom he has surrendered his life to. All of the teachings of worship go full circle and are expressed in the first and great commandment: Hear O Israel: Yaweh our God, is one Yaweh! And you shall love Yaweh your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and will all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). We see here all the tenants of worship being mentioned: we are to love God with ALL of our heart, soul, and strength. Love for the Lord and the worship of Him is presented as being surrendered to Him from out of our whole heart, mind, and strength, not just a few hours for church on Sunday or during the week. We are to surrender our human faculties and strength, as well as our time, to the Lord for His purposes, and are not to allow the material things of this earthly life, which are under the judgment of God, to become the focus of our being. It is possible to be deceived into thinking that we are worshiping the Lord by singing to Him in church; but in reality, according to the Word of God, the true worshipers are worshiping the Lord by surrendering to His spirit and His truth with their whole hearts, minds, and strength.

* PROSKUNEO is the English font spelling of the Greek word προσκυνὲω.

F1: The nouns in apposition to the noun in the vocative case require definite articles. ̔Ο͂Θεὸς, “the God” (Strong’s #2316), andὁ͂παντοκρὰτωρ, “the Almighty” (Strong’s #3841), are in apposition to Κὺριε, “Lord” (Strong’s #2962), in the vocative case.

F2: Some manuscripts have ἐθνῶν, “nations” (Strong’s #1484), and some have αἰὼνων, “ages” (Strong’s #165).

F3: When the adjectives κακὸς (Strong’s #2556) and πονηρὸς (Strong’s #4190) are used together, they express the outward, physical condition (κακὸς = painful, hurtful) and the inward, spiritual condition (πονηρὸς = grievous).

F4: The Greek word ἕλκος (Strong’s #1668) means an ulcer, sore, or boil. This is the same word used in the Septuagint for the boils with which God struck the Egyptians as recorded in Exodus 9:10-11, and the boils brought upon Job in Job 2:7.

F5: The preposition ἐν, “in” (Strong’s #1722), used with the instrumental dative οἷς, “which” (Strong’s #3739), is translatedμὲ͂τὰ͂ὁποῖα, “with which.”

F6: The preposition ἐν,”in” (Strong’s #1722), used with the instrumental dative τῷ͂θεὶῳ, “the sulfur” (Strong’s #2303), is translated μὲ͂τὸ͂θεῖον, “with sulfur.”


F7: The preposition ἐν,”in” (Strong’s #1722), used with the instrumental dative τῇ͂ῥομφαὶᾳ, “the sword” (Strong’s #4501), is translated, μὲ͂τὴν͂ῥομφαὶαν, “with the sword.”

Bill Klein has been a pastor, counselor, and educator for the past 41 years. He has had extensive training and education in biblical languages, and has authored a Biblical Greek course.

He is currently serving as Professor of Biblical Greek at Master’s Graduate School of Divinity, and president of BTE Ministries – The Bible Translation and Exegesis Institute of America, a non-profit organization located in California that provides Bible study tapes and Greek study materials through their websiteBTEMinistries.org.

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