Kisses in the Bible
What role do kisses play in the Bible?
The first recorded use of kisses in Scripture may have come when God (the member of the Godhead who became Jesus Christ) gave consciousness to the first human being.
Kisses and Jewish Tradition
Jewish legend states based on Deuteronomy 34:5 that the death of Moses was accomplished through a kiss given by God. Jewish tradition also states that when a person died they were given last kisses before their eyes were closed and the body prepared for burial.
Tradition additionally infers, based upon a unique rabbinical interpretation of Psalm 62:12, that there were 903 ways of dying. The best and gentlest of these, compared to drawing a hair out of milk, was called 'death by a kiss.'
The Old Testament
The aging Isaac erroneously kissed Jacob, thinking it was his oldest son Esau, and gave him the birthright blessing (Genesis 27:24 - 27). Jacob kissed his cousin and future wife Rachel the first time he met her (Genesis 29:11). Despite earlier chicanery, Esau greeted his brother with this show of affection (Genesis 33:4). Joseph greeted his brothers, who had sold him as a slave because they envied him, with this sign of forgiveness (Genesis 45:14 - 15). Israel kisses his grandsons (through Joseph) before placing the family name upon them (Genesis 48:8 - 10). When death came to Israel Joseph gave him this sign of love (Genesis 49:33 - 50:1).
Joab, King David's army commander, murdered rival general Amasa by pretending to give him this symbol of greeting on the cheek (2Samuel 20:8 - 10).