|fas ((panim) presence, ('ayin) eye, ('aph) nose)
Easton's Bible Dictionary
means simply presence, as when it is recorded that Adam
and Eve hid themselves from the "face [RSV, 'presence'] of the Lord God" ( Genesis
3:8 ; Compare Exodus 33:14 , 33:15 , where the same Hebrew word is rendered "presence").
The "light of God's countenance" is his favour ( Psalms 44:3 ; Daniel 9:17 ).
"Face" signifies also anger, justice, severity ( Genesis 16:6 , 16:8 ; Exodus
2:15 ; Psalms 68:1 ; Revelation 6:16 ). To "provoke God to his face" ( Isaiah
65:3 ) is to sin against him openly.
The Jews prayed with their faces toward the temple and Jerusalem ( 1 Kings 8:38
, 8:44 , 8:48 ; Daniel 6:10 ). To "see God's face" is to have access to him and
to enjoy his favour ( Psalms 17:15 ; 27:8 ). This is the privilege of holy angels
( Matthew 18:10 ; Luke 1:19 ). The "face of Jesus Christ" ( 2 Corinthians 4:6
) is the office and person of Christ, the revealer of the glory of God ( John
1:14 , 1:18 ).
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
Smith's Bible Dictionary
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
In Hebrew the translation of three expressions:
(2) 'ayin, literally, "eye" and
(3) 'aph, literally, "nose," "nostril," already noted under the word \COUNTENANCE\,
The first and second of these words are used synonymously, even in metaphorical
expressions, as, for example in the phrase "the face of the earth," where panim
is used (Deuteronomy 6:15 et passim) and 'ayin (Numbers 22:5 et passim). The third
expression preserves more clearly its original meaning. It is generally used in
the phrases "to bow one's self to the earth," "to fall on one's face," where the
nose actually touched the ground. Often "my face," "thy face" is mere oriental
circumlocution for the personal pronoun "I," "me," "thou," "thee." "In thy face"
means "in thy presence;" and is often so translated. A very large number of idiomatic
Hebrew expressions have been introduced into our language through the medium of
the Bible translation. We notice the most important of these phrases.
|(1) "To seek the face" is to seek an audience with a prince
or with God, to seek favor (Psalms 24:6 ; 27:8 ; 105:4 ; Proverbs 7:15 ; Hosea
5:15 ; compare \Proverbs 29:26\, where the Revised Version (British and American)
translates "Many seek the ruler's favor," literally, many seek the face (Hebrew
pene) of a ruler).
(2) If God "hides his face" He withdraws His presence, His favor (Deuteronomy
32:20 ; Job 34:29 ; Psalms 13:1 ; 30:7 ; 143:7 ; Isaiah 54:8 ; Jeremiah 33:5 ;
Ezekiel 39:23 , 14 ; Micah 3:4). Such withdrawal of the presence of God is to
be understood as a consequence of man's personal disobedience, not as a wrathful
denial of God's favor (Isaiah 59:2). God is asked to "hide his face," i.e. to
disregard or overlook (Psalms 51:9 ; compare Psalms 10:11). This is also the idea
of the prayer:
(3) "Cast me not away from thy presence" (literally, "face," Psalms 51:11), and
of the promise: "The upright shall dwell in thy presence" (literally, "face,"
Psalms 140:13). If used of men, "to hide the face" expresses humility and reverence
before an exalted presence (Exodus 3:6 ; Isaiah 6:2); similarly Elijah "wrapped
his face in his mantle" when God passed by (1 Kings 19:13). The "covering of the
face" is a sign of mourning (2 Samuel 19:4 = \Ezekiel 12:6 ,12\); a "face covered
with fatness" is synonymous with prosperity and arrogance (Job 15:27); to have
one's face covered by another person is a sign of hopeless doom, as if one were
already dead. This was done to Human, when judgment had been pronounced over him
(4) "To turn away one's face" is a sign of insulting indifference or contempt
(2 Chronicles 29:6; Ezekiel 14:6 ; Sirach 4:4; compare Jeremiah 2:27 ; 18:17 ;
32:33); on the part of God an averted face is synonymous with rejection (Psalms
13:1 ; 27:9 ; 88:14).
(5) "To harden the face" means to harden one's self against any sort of appeal
(Proverbs 21:29 ; Isaiah 50:7 ; Jeremiah 5:3 ; compare Ezekiel 3:9).
See also \SPIT\.
In this connection we also mention the phrase "to respect persons," literally,
to "recognize the face" (Leviticus 19:15, or, slightly different in expression,
Deuteronomy 1:17 ; 16:19 ; Proverbs 24 ; 23 ; 28:21), in the sense of unjustly
favoring a person, or requiting him with undue evil. Compare also the Hebrew hadhar
(Exodus 23:3 the King James Version), "to countenance" (see under the word).
The "showbread" meant literally, "bread of the face," "of the presence," Hebrew
lechem panim; Greek artoi enopioi, artoi tes protheseos.
H. L. E. Luering
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