I know προσκυνέω can be translated as “kneel”, “bow”, “worship”, and other synonyms. When one reads the Gospel of Matthew in an English translation it becomes obvious that translators do their best to use the word they think matches the meaning of προσκυνέω in that particular context. For instance, in the ESV the thirteen uses of προσκυνέω are translated something like “worship” in 2.2; 2.8; 2.11; 4.9-10; 14.33; 28.9; and 28.17 or “knelt” in 8.2; 9.18; 15.25; 18.26; and 20.20. The NASB has something like worship in 2.2; 2.8; 2.11;  4.9-10; 14.33; 28.19; 28.17, “bowed” in 8.2; 9.18; 15.25; 20.20, and “prostrated” in 18.26. Of course, the basic idea would be to bow before a superior figure.

If one does this action before another it doesn’t mean that they see the other person at deity, per se. They could be a king or governor. That said, what I find interesting is how Matthew uses it.

What I am wondering out loud is how 4.9-10 impacts how we read this word through the rest of the book. Jesus is the figure being acted upon in 2.2; 2.8; 2.11; 8.2; 9.18; 14.33; 15.25; 20.20; 28.9; and 28.17. The only passages where he is not the focus of the bowing/kneeling/worship is 4.9-10 when Satan invites Jesus to bow before him and he says only God deserves such an honor and in 18.26 it is part of his parable where a servant falls before his master.

If in 4.9-10 Matthew uses the word as part of Satan’s invitation, and Jesus quotes Scripture that says God is the only one worthy of such admiration, does Matthew intend anything by associating the action with Jesus so often? Thoughts?