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The Kavod / Glory

To answer this question we need to recall the story of dedication of Solomon’s Temple. In response to Solomon’s prayer, God’s glory filled the newly build and dedicated Temple in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 6). The building was empty before Solomon offered the prayer and after it was filled with God’s glory to such a degree that even priests could not enter it (2 Chronicles 7).

But what does Glory mean in Hebrew?

The word used to signify glory is (כָּבוד – Kavod). This word also means honor and is connected with the general idea of (כָּבֵד – Kaved) “heavy”. The verb is (לְכַבֵּד – Lechabed) to honor, therefore, carries the idea of making something heavy (vs. making something light). The opposite word Kavod (Glory) is קַלון – Qalon (Shame/Dishonor) that is connected with the word קַל – Qal (which translated means light vs. heavy).

In post-biblical Jewish literature another term שְׁכִינָה – Shkhinah (less accurately pronounced as “Shekinah” or “Shekinah Glory” is used for God’s Glory when it comes to the felt presence and visible manifestations of God to men. Shkhenah in Hebrew simply means a neighbor (feminine singular). It is connected via its root the word מִשְׁכָּן – Mishkan which is one of the words used for tabernacle that Moses constructed. The concept, therefore, communicates the idea of “dwelling” or “dwelling with”.

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