With a few exceptions, children show their feelings through their faces. When they are happy, their faces radiate, and they often look upwards toward others. When they are sad, afraid, upset, disappointed or humiliated, they tend to look downward.
Biblical Hebrew uses some form of the word face nearly two thousand times, and it is always plural. No one has only one face. The root of face is to turn, and everyone’s face has turns and can turn.
If one’s faces (plural) are lifted, the person has become happy. If one’s faces have fallen, the person is unhappy. The following King James Version rendering is followed by a literal rendering:
Genesis 4:5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
Genesis 4:5 [literally] And unto Cain and unto his guiding [gift] He did not regard. And he heated to Cain very much. And his faces fell. And Yehovah said unto Cain, “Why did he heat to thee? And why did thy faces fall?”
A much more common usage of fallen faces will be shown in the following texts:
Leviticus 26:7 And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you [“fall to your faces”] by the sword. 8And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you [“fall to your faces”] by the sword.
Young children understand falling to their faces, whether because they tripped, were overcome (as when wrestling), or when making an urgent request, as in the following text:
1 Samuel 25:23 And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her faces, and bowed herself to the ground, 24and fell at his feet. And she said, “Upon me, my lord, upon me shall this iniquity be! And thine handmaid, I pray thee, shall speak in thine audience. And hear the words of thine handmaid.”
A child also understands a great defeat by falling on one’s faces:
1 Samuel 17:49 And David put his hand in his bag. And he took thence a stone. And he slang it and smote the Palestinian in his forehead so that the stone sunk into his forehead. And he fell upon his faces to the land.
Few in western cultures understand about the faces, though some expressions show some insight: “He fell on his face!”
Yehovah will lift the faces of all whose faces have fallen, yet who have truly put their hope in Him!