וַיִּקֹּד וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ לְאַפָּיו

Ali Smith

Senior Member
Urdu - Pakistan
שלום

וַיְגַל יְהוָה אֶת עֵינֵי בִלְעָם וַיַּרְא אֶת מַלְאַךְ יְהוָה נִצָּב בַּדֶּרֶךְ וְחַרְבּוֹ שְׁלֻפָה בְּיָדוֹ וַיִּקֹּד וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ לְאַפָּיו.

What does וַיִּקֹּד וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ לְאַפָּיו mean? My guess is: ...and his sword was unsheathed in his hand and then he bent over and then he prostrated himself on his nose. Am I right? If so, this bears a striking resemblance to the Islamic mode of prayer!

אני מודה לכם מאוד
 
Last edited:
  • Abaye

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    This לאפיו is indeed of the same word אף as nose, but shouldn't be translated as such. Notice that it's plural, maybe because it refers to the nostrils, and yet this is not the meaning. In this case (a) אפיו symbolizes the face, and (b) face symbolizes the front. So the guy bowed in front of the angel (of bowed where the angel is in front of him). This is not a rare idiom, e.g.:
    וַתֵּרֶא אֲבִיגַיִל אֶת דָּוִד וַתְּמַהֵר וַתֵּרֶד מֵעַל הַחֲמוֹר וַתִּפֹּל לְאַפֵּי דָוִד עַל פָּנֶיהָ וַתִּשְׁתַּחוּ אָרֶץ.
     
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