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Honor

HONOR, the high respect, esteem, reverence, admiration, or approbation shown, felt toward, or received by a deity or person. Honor is accorded to those in a position of authority (Gen. 45:13) achieved by heroism (Judg. 8:22; I Sam. 18:5), wisdom (Gen. 41:39; Prov. 3:16), or divine favor (I Sam. 24:7, 11). Honor is due to parents (Ex. 20:12; Deut. 5:16; Mal. 1:6) and the aged (Lev. 19:32; Lam. 5:12) since they embody wisdom (Job 32:7, 9). Those who have wealth (Prov. 14:24) and children (I Sam. 2:1) are also subject to honor since these possessions are a sign of God's favor. Associated with stature (I Sam. 9:2) and comeliness (I Sam. 16:18; Ps. 45:3), honor is denoted in the Bible by terms whose primary meanings are "weight" (kavod, yekar (yeqar)), "height" (gedullah, gaʾon), "strength" (hod, ʿoz, ḥayil), "beauty" (hadar, tif'eret), or "praise" (tehillah). Honor may be conceived as a crown or garment (Ps. 8:6; 104:1; Job 19:9). It is conferred by symbolic investment (I Sam. 18:4; Esth. 6:7–8) and rescinded by symbolic stripping (Hos. 2:5). Charity and justice earn honor (Job 29:11ff.) for two reasons. First, ethics is a branch of wisdom (Job 28:28) whose reward is honor (Prov. 4:9). Second, morality honors God (Micah 6:8), who, in turn, honors those who honor Him (I Sam. 2:30). Thus the faithful are honored and the faithless disgraced (Ps. 91:15; Lam. 5:16). Honor is demonstrated by standing (Lev. 19:32; Job 29:8), prostration (Gen. 18:2), silence (Hab. 2:20; Job 29:9–10), shouting (Ps. 98:4; 100:1), and presenting gifts (Gen. 32:14; Ps. 72:10). These forms are employed in divine worship as an extension of their use in displaying honor to temporal authorities.