Neck






International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)


It was a military custom of antiquity for the conqueror to place his foot upon the vanquished. This custom, frequently represented in sculpture on many an Egyptian temple wall, is referred to in Jos 10:24; Baruch 4:25 and probably in Ro 16:20 and Ps 110:1. Paul praises the devotion of Aquila and Priscilla, "who for my life laid down their own necks" (Ro 16:4).

See Footstool.

To "fall on the neck" of a person is a very usual mode of salutation in the East (Ge 33:4; 45:14; 46:29; Tob 11:9,13; Lu 15:20; Ac 20:37). In moments of great emotion such salutation is apt to end in weeping on each other’s neck.

Readiness for work is expressed by "putting one’s neck to the work" (Ne 3:5). Severe punishment and calamity are said to "reach to the neck" (Isa 8:8; 30:28).

The Lord Jesus speaks of certain persons for whom it were better to have had a millstone put around the neck and to have been drowned in the sea. The meaning is that even the most disgraceful death is still preferable to a life of evil influence upon even the little ones of God’s household (Mt 18:6; Mr 9:42; Lu 17:2).