5420. 'And bowed down to him, faces to the earth' means an expression of humility. This is clear from the meaning of 'bowing down' as an expression of humility, dealt with in 2153, and of 'faces to the earth' as a reverent expression of humility, 1999. The phrase 'expression of humility' is not used here to mean that which arises out of acknowledgement or recognition and is therefore an inward humility. Rather, an outward humility is meant, because such a bowing down was the accepted way to behave in front of the governor of the land. No inward, only outward humility is meant because as yet no agreement existed, no agreement leading to a joining together. When such is the state of the natural it can indeed humble itself, doing so to the utmost; yet this is no more than an acquired habit. It is a posture devoid of genuine affection as the producer of it, and so is a bodily action lacking its own true soul. This kind of an expression of humility is meant here.
(References: Genesis 42:6)