It's International Kissing Day, and all over the world people are marking the occasion with anything from a peck to a smooch. The kiss can be either a simple greeting or a romantic gesture. In some cultures it's common for men to kiss each other; in others it isn't.
In the Bible, kissing provides a rich vocabulary, speaking of the whole range of human experience. Here are nine times the Bible talks about kissing.
1. The kiss of reconciliation
But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept (Genesis 33:4)
2. The parting kiss
At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her (Ruth 1:14).
3. The kiss of betrayal
Joab said to Amasa, 'How are you, my brother?' Then Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him (2 Samuel 20:9) – Joab stabs Amasa.
4. The kiss of pardon
Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other (Psalm 85:10).
5. The kiss of truthfulness
An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips (Proverbs 24:26)
6. The kiss of passion
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth – for your love is more delightful than wine (Song of Songs 1:2).
7. The Judas kiss
Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, 'Greetings, Rabbi!' and kissed him (Matthew 26:49).
8. The kiss of devotion
You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet (Luke 7:45).
9. The kiss of fellowship
Greet one another with a holy kiss (2 Corinthians 13:12).