1. The Glorious Kingdom in the Sinai Desert


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The theme of the Glorious Kingdom begins in the Pentateuch, where God reveals himself in glory, first to the patriarchs, then to Moses, and finally to the people of Israel as his portable throne room is erected as the Tabernacle in the wilderness, the presence of the Yahweh the King in the midst of his people.

Let's examine these early revelations of the Glorious Kingdom. First, let's look at the glory of God revealed to these early believers.

The Glory of God in the Pentateuch

Stephen recounts,

"The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran." (Acts 7:2-3)

As you read the book of Genesis,[3] you see a number of times when "the LORD appeared to Abram," using the Niphal stem of ʾâ, "to be seen or to reveal oneself,"[4] and then to Isaac[5] and Jacob.[6] In most of these incidents, what God looks like isn't described fully, though Abraham sees a torch moving between the pieces of the sacrifice and Jacob sees a ladder to and from heaven. The specific English word used to describe the visible manifestation of a deity is "theophany."[7]

Types of Glory

The most common word that accompanies a theophany throughout the Bible is the noun "glory," kābôd in Hebrew, doxa in Greek. The basic idea of the root of kābôd, "glory," is "to be heavy, weighty." That transitions to a "weighty" person in society, someone who is honorable, impressive, worthy of respect. The word "gravitas" carries this sense.[8] Common translations are to be "honorable, honored, glorious, glorified."[9] Likewise, Greek doxa refers to "reputation, fame, splendor, honor, praise, majesty."[10] Both words have several aspects that are developed in Scripture:

1. Reputation glory. Exploits that enhance one's reputation might be considered reputation glory. In Egypt, Yahweh "gets glory" over Pharaoh (Exodus 14:4; 17:17-18). In the Psalms we read: "Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name" (Psalm 96:7-8; also, Psalm 29:1-2). Alternatively, we are exhorted to "sing the glory of his name" (Psalm 66:2) or "to your name give glory" (Psalm 115:1). This means that we are to give credit to God for all the amazing things he does. We affirm and enhance his reputation for greatness by our praise. When we witness about our faith in the Lord, we are enhancing his reputation among our friends and associates. This is appropriate and important.

2. Derived glory. If the sun God created can be thought of (by way of analogy) as possessing inherent glory, then the moon has reflected glory. Any heat or energy the earth experiences is given it by the sun, either directly or indirectly. As we'll discuss later in this lesson, Moses absorbs God's glory by spending time in his presence and then radiates that glory as it gradually fades (Exodus 34:29-30, 33-35; 2 Corinthians 3:13). We, too, receive glory from our communion with the Lord. However, there is a third theme of glory in the Bible that I want to examine in greater detail.

3. Inherent glory. Yahweh has glory inherently, in and of himself, completely independent of whether people honor him or recognize his deeds. When Yahweh manifests himself to humans, his glory is overwhelming.

We sometimes describe people as having a "forceful personality," or that "the room lights up when she enters." But when God enters, all heaven breaks loose. You will see this as we examine the word "glory" in several passages from the Pentateuch. The Father and the Son have inherent glory.

To help you internalize and apply what you are learning from this study, I have included several Discussion Questions in each lesson. These are designed to help you think about and ponder the most important points. Don't skip these. It is best to write out your answers, whether you post them or not. However, you can post your answers -- and read what others have written -- by going to the online forum by clicking on the URL below each question. (Before you can post your answer the first time, you will need to register. You can find instructions at http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/instructions.htm

Q1. Describe the difference between (1) reputation glory, (2) derived glory, and (3) inherent glory. Which glory is involved when you praise God? Which glory is within you? http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1694-q1-types-of-glory/

The Brilliance of God's Glory

Throughout Scripture we see the brilliance of God's glory, both in theophanies where God reveals a vision of himself, and in appearances of God's angels. "Glory" also carries the idea of brilliant shining light, in both Old and New Testaments. For example:

  • In Psalms, Yahweh "wraps himself in light as with a garment" (Psalm 104:2).
  • Isaiah looks forward to the end time with the words, "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you" (Isaiah 60:1)
  • Ezekiel sees "the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east ... and the land was radiant with his glory" (Ezekiel 43:1-2).
  • To shepherds on the hills of Bethlehem, "an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them" (Luke 2:9).
  • The angel at the empty tomb: "His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow" (Matthew 28:3).
  • Jesus appears to Paul as "a light from heaven, brighter than the sun" (Acts 26:13).
  • Jesus appears in a vision in Revelation, "and his face was like the sun shining in full strength" (Revelation 1:16).
  • An angel comes down from heaven, "and the earth was illuminated by his splendor" (Revelation 18:1).
  • In Revelation's depiction of heaven, "the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb" (Revelation 21:23; cf. Isaiah 60:19-20).

We'll come back to this in Lesson 2 when we consider the glory of the Son of Man.

God's Glory on Mount Sinai

We begin to see God's glory manifest in Exodus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. There God's glory is often seen in brilliant light, as well as in fire and cloud. God's glory is also associated with God's holy presence.

Moses encounters Yahweh on Mount Sinai. Then God tells Moses to prepare the Israelites to encounter him themselves. Moses has the people consecrate themselves and then stand at the foot of the mountain.

"Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him." (Exodus 19:18-19)

A few chapters later we read:

 "The glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the LORD called to Moses from within the cloud. To the Israelites the glory of the LORD looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain." (Exodus 24:16-17)

Of course, the pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night that rest over the tabernacle in the wilderness indicate God's glory and presence (Exodus 13:21-22; 14:19, 24; Numbers 12:5, 14:14; Deuteronomy 31:15).

God's Glory in Judgment

God's glory also comes in response to the Israelites' grumbling:

"In the morning you will see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your grumbling against him....  While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the LORD appearing in the cloud." (Exodus 16:7, 10)

Keil sees it as "a flash of light bursting forth from the cloud, and revealing the majesty of God."[11] Often, however, the appearance of God's glory comes with severe judgment:

  • When the people accept the bad report of the ten spies (Numbers 14:10).
  • At the rebellion of Korah against Moses' authority (Numbers 16:19, 42).
  • At the people's complaint about no water (Numbers 20:6).

God's presence is nothing to be trifled with! The writer of Hebrews reminds us of the Old Testament warnings:

"For our 'God is a consuming fire.'" (Hebrews 12:29, quoting Deuteronomy 4:24)

Childs comments, "In all the wilderness stories, people complain, men dispute, but finally God himself appears and brings the matter to a halt with a decisive judgment."[12]

Q2. Why do you think God's glory is associated with judgment and consuming fire? What happens when people willfully disobey God and his laws? Why can't God's holiness coexist with sin?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1695-q2-glory-and-judgment/

Moses Face Glows (Exodus 33:18-23)

I am especially fascinated by Moses' personal encounters with God's glory, because Paul picks up this theme and applies it to us in 2 Corinthians. From them we learn more about God's glory. We'll study this in greater detail in Lesson 4.

On a number of occasions in the Wilderness, both on Mount Sinai and in the camp, Moses spends time in personal communication with God and is changed by it. In Exodus 33:7-11, we're introduced to a special tent where Moses would meet with God, a tent that precedes the construction of the Tabernacle.[13]

"7 Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the 'tent of meeting.' Anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. 8 And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent.

9 As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses. 10 Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to his tent.

11 The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent." (Exodus 33:7-11)

This "tent of meeting" is referred to when Moses speaks with the Lord "face to face," that is, intimately. After the tabernacle is built (also called the "tent of meeting"), Moses will enter there and seek the Lord:

"When Moses entered the Tent of Meeting to speak with the LORD, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the atonement cover on the ark of the Testimony. And he spoke with him." (Numbers 7:8-9).

Here Moses receives additional revelations from the Lord.[14]

Communing with God intimately has both a spiritual and physical effect on Moses.

"29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. 30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him....

"33 When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. 34 But whenever he entered the LORD's presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, 35 they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD." (Exodus 34:29-30, 33-35)

Gradually, the radiance fades (2 Corinthians 3:13). It is derived glory that must be renewed often through fresh face-time with the Lord.

Show Me Your Glory (Exodus 33:18-23)

Moses talks with God face-to-face, but he still longs for a greater knowledge of and intimacy with God. He wants to see Yahweh's glory more directly.

"18 Then Moses said, 'Now show me your glory.' 19 And the LORD said, 'I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence.... 20 But,' he said, 'you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.'
21 Then the LORD said, 'There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock.
22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.'" (Exodus 33:18-23)

This passage makes me think of a court martial episode in the film "A Few Good Men" (1992) where Jack Nicholson's character, a Marine Colonel and commanding officer, is questioned on the witness stand by a JAG attorney played by Tom Cruise, about whether he had given a specific order. In a heated exchange, voices are raised, charged with emotion:

Nicholson: "You want answers?"
Cruise: "I think I'm entitled."
Nicholson: "You want answers?"
Cruise: "I want the truth!"
Nicholson: "You can't handle the truth!"

It is a classic line that has made its way from the film into the popular culture.

I think of this scene because, in a very real sense, Moses can't handle the full-strength glory of God, and neither can we. Without God protecting Moses from his full glory, Moses will be instantly incinerated. And so God accommodates himself to Moses and us and shows us as much of his glory as we can handle at the time -- and just a bit more, for effect. In a similar way, dangerous high voltage power is stepped down to 240 volts by a transformer before coming into a house; full voltage would blow out the house wiring.

You understand, of course, that all the talk of God's face and his back are symbolic. God is Spirit, not flesh and bones (John 4:24). However, the symbolic language speaks of a very great reality, the power of intimacy with the Father! Do you desire it like Moses did when he asked, "Show me your glory"? Or are you content with the relationship you already have?

The discipleship lesson I learn here from Moses is that we must keep pressing into God, not content with a status quo relationship, but always desiring more. Paul shared Moses' heart towards God:

"I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.... I press on to make it my own.... This one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:8a, 12b, 13b-14)

Dear friend, Moses was an Old Covenant prophet, whose potential intimacy with God was far less than yours (Matthew 11:11). But did Moses love God more than you do?

Q3. Why does Moses hunger to see God's glory? Why does Paul press on? What spiritual hunger do you see in yourself? How might you increase this hunger? How might you satisfy this hunger?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1696-q3-spiritual-hunger/

God's Shekinah Glory

This extreme glory of God's presence is summarized in a word used by the ancient rabbis, the Hebrew noun Shekinah. It literally means, "the dwelling." It refers to "the majestic presence or manifestation of God which has descended to 'dwell' among men."[15] We see the Hebrew root in Exodus:

"The glory of the LORD dwelt (shākan) on Mount Sinai." (Exodus 24:16a, ESV)

The verb shākan means "to settle, inhabit, dwell." The word for the tabernacle (mishkān) is a derivative of the same root and is used in the sense of dwelling-place in the Bible (e.g. Psalm 132:5). The Shekinah expressed the presence of God dwelling in the midst of his people in the Wilderness, in the Tabernacle, and especially as he dwelt with them in the temple in Jerusalem.

The Kingdom of God in the Wilderness

Stanley C. Stein, The Tabernacle built during the time of Moses
Stanley C. Stein, The Tabernacle built during the time of Moses

We've examined Yahweh's Shekinah glory, as he dwells with his people. Now it's important to understand that presence in the context of a Kingdom.

The Scriptures make clear that Yahweh is Israel's King. The law, the tabernacle, and the priesthood all relate to worshipping Yahweh as King. Three passages from the Pentateuch make it clear that Israel considers Yahweh its King. First, the Song of Moses after crossing the Red Sea:

"The LORD will reign for ever and ever." (Exodus 15:18)

"Reign" is mālak, "'to reign,' that is, to be and exercise functions of a monarch."[16] Also:

"The LORD their God is with them;
the shout[17] of the King is among them." (Numbers 23:21)

"He was king over Jeshurun[18]
when the leaders of the people assembled,
along with the tribes of Israel." (Deuteronomy 33:5)

The whole concept of the giving of the Covenant in the Wilderness has a number of parallels to the ancient Suzerain Vassal Treaty. The Suzerain or Great King or King of kings makes treaties with kingdoms under him, and in return for obedience and subservience, offers protection and aid. However, in this case, Israel is the King's favorite of all the kingdoms on earth.

"5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." (Exodus 19:5-6)

At the end of the period of the Judges, when Samuel was prophet and judge, the people clamored for a king "to judge us like all the nations." Samuel brought it before the Lord in prayer, who told him:

"Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them." (1 Samuel 8:5-7)

But even Israel's human king was recognized as a vice-regent on behalf of the King of kings, who would select the king and could remove him (Deuteronomy 17:15).

Yahweh's Presence in the Midst of His People

Arrangement or layout of the Camp of Israel, Numbers 2:1-3:39

No other nation had this special relationship. Instead of being an absent Suzerain, this Great King chooses to live in the midst of his special people -- in a tabernacle or travelling throne room made to his specifications. In the face of the people's sin, Moses had interceded with God for his forgiveness and grace that God's presence might continue in their midst. Indeed, God in their midst is Israel's only distinctive feature as a nation (Exodus 33:2-3, 12-17).

The very organization of Israel's camp reflected this truth according to Numbers 2:1-3:39. God's presence dwelt in the tabernacle. The priests and Levites were camped closest. Each clan of Levites had its own responsibilities for the tabernacle and its furniture. Then arrayed around them were the twelve tribes, each in its assigned position and order of march, when the camp got ready to move.

Yahweh's Presence is with his people, at their very center. The same principle should apply to the church today. Christ is not only the theoretical Head of the congregation; he is also to be central to everything we do. Christ in our very midst is what makes the church different from any group of people on earth. At its core, the church is not merely a human organization, but one energized by the Spirit of Christ!

The Tabernacle as Yahweh's Throne Room

Yahweh dwells in the midst of Israel in an elaborate tent as might a desert monarch. The tabernacle is the throne-room and its courts as the precincts of the King's dwelling.

Tabernacle Complex

The furniture within the Tent would be familiar to those in the courts of monarchs of the period. The Table of Showbread represented food for the King. The 7-Branched Lampstand lit his court, and the Altar of Incense filled it with pleasing fragrances. At the very back of the tent was a section reserved for the King himself, his inner chamber. And in the Holy of Holies was the Ark of the Covenant.

The Ark as Yahweh's Throne (Exodus 25:10-22)

The ark was the most holy object of all, a gold-covered acacia-wood chest (dimensions 3¾ by 2¼ feet and 2¼ feet high or 1.1 meters x 0.7 x 0.7) that served as the portable throne of Yahweh. The top lid made of pure gold and called the "atonement cover" (NIV), "mercy seat" (NRSV, ESV, KJV) is the Hebrew noun kappōret, literally, "performance of reconciliation or atonement"[19] or "place of atonement," from kāpar, "make an atonement, make reconciliation."[20] At each end of the cover was a solid gold cherub. These cherubim faced each other with their "wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover" (Exodus 25:20). Kitchen says these were "possibly winged sphinxes, such that the box was base and footstool and the cherubs a throne for the invisible deity."[21] The idea that this was a throne is supported by several verses:

"There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the Testimony, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites." (Exodus 25:22, cf. Numbers 7:89)

"... The ark of the covenant of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned[22] between the cherubim." (1 Samuel 4:4 and elsewhere)

The ark contained the tablets of the Ten Commandments, called the Testimony or Covenant.

The whole imagery of the Tabernacle (and later the Temple in Jerusalem) was as the residence of the King in Israel's midst.

The Cloud and the Glory (Exodus 40:34-38)

Once you understand the Tabernacle and Temple as God's House or Residence as King, you are ready to see the combination of Kingdom and Glory displayed at their completion. As soon as the tabernacle is erected -- apparently even before it is dedicated -- God enters his dwelling.

"Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle." (Exodus 40:34-35; cf. Leviticus 9:6, 23)

The cloud of God's direction moves over the tent, and the Shekinah glory of God fills the tent in overwhelming Presence -- so much that Moses could not enter until later (Numbers 7:89). The same thing happens when Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem is completed.

"When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple." (1 Kings 8:10-11; cf. 2 Chronicles 5:13-14)

Q4. What is the relationship between the tabernacle in the wilderness and the Kingdom of God? How do God's Kingdom and glory come together in the wilderness tabernacle?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1697-q4-tabernacle-and-kingdom/

Lessons about Glory

We have covered quite a bit so far, material that is far removed from twenty-first century understanding, so it may take a while to grasp fully. Here's what we have learned so far.

  1. Glory (kābôd) in Hebrew comes from the idea of weightiness, worthy of honor and respect.
  2. Three concepts of glory are developed in the Bible: (a) reputation glory, that which enhances one's reputation, (b) derived glory, glory that finds its source in another person, and (3) inherent glory, glory that finds its source completely independent of others.
  3. Glory is often associated with God's judgment.
  4. When Moses spends time with God, his face takes on a glow from God's glory, which gradually fades until the next encounter.
  5. God's glory is often expressed as brilliant shining light and consuming fire.
  6. God's glory is so great that we cannot take it full-strength.
  7. God's Shekinah glory refers to his dwelling in the midst of humans.
  8. In the Old Testament God is seen as Israel's King, who reigns over them as a Suzerain.
  9. The Tabernacle in the wilderness typifies the presence of a desert monarch, with his courtroom and throne, dwelling in the midst of his people.
  10. God's glorious presence with his people is shown by the presence of a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
  11. God's glory is so awesome and beyond our human ability to grasp, that for God to dwell in glory in our midst is a true miracle of grace -- something none of us deserve. Yet it is God's desire to dwell in the midst of his people. To dwell in the midst of his Church. To dwell in the hearts of his people by his Holy Spirit.

The Glorious Kingdom: A Disciple's Guide to Kingdom Glory and Authority, by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Available in PDF and Kindle formats

My friend, if you have surrendered, truly surrendered, your life to Christ, then he has come in you to take up residence as King in your life. If you have been going through the motions of religion, but haven't really surrendered to let Christ be your King, why don't you pause and tell God? Confess your sins to him -- of pride, of resistance to him, and whatever else He shows you. Then invite Him to be King of your life and lead you in His ways. You will notice the difference!

His throne is in our midst. He is king. His throne is in our hearts, full of glory. Hallelujah!

Prayer

Father, thank you so much for your mercy in dwelling within us. Help us to respect your presence and your glory. Forgive us when we take you for granted and go our own way without first seeking your leading. Have mercy on us and teach us to be your disciples indeed and in deed. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Key Verses

"To the Israelites the glory of the LORD looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain." (Exodus 24:17)

"For our 'God is a consuming fire.'" (Hebrews 12:29, quoting Deuteronomy 4:24)

"Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the 'tent of meeting.' ...  As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses. ... The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent." (Exodus 33:7, 9, 11)

"When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.... "When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. 34 But whenever he entered the LORD's presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, 35 they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD." (Exodus 34:29-30, 33-35)

"Then Moses said, 'Now show me your glory.' And the LORD said, 'I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence.... But,' he said, 'you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.' Then the LORD said, 'There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.'" (Exodus 33:18-23)

"He was king over Jeshurun
when the leaders of the people assembled,
along with the tribes of Israel." (Deuteronomy 33:5)

"Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." (Exodus 19:5-6)

"Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle." (Exodus 40:34-35)

Endnotes

[3] Genesis 12:7; 17:1; 18:1.

[4] Rāʾâ, TWOT #2095.

[5] Genesis 18:1; 26:2, 24.

[6] Genesis 28:13; 35:9; 48:3.

[7] From Greek theos, "God" + phanō, "to appear." R.K. Harrison, Numbers (Baker, 1992), p. 212; George A.F. Knight, "Theophany," ISBE 4:827-831; M.F. Rooker, "Theophany," Mark J. Boda and J. Gordon McConville (editors), Dictionary of the Old Testament Prophets (InterVarsity Press, 2012), pp. 859-864.

[8] "Gravitas," from Latin, "high seriousness (as in a person's bearing or in the treatment of a subject)" (Merriam-Webster's 11th Collegiate Dictionary (1993).

[9] John N. Oswalt, kābēd, TWOT #943.

[10] R.K. Harrison, "Glory," ISBE 2:477-483

[11] Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament (10 volumes; Eerdmans, 1976, reprinted from earlier editions, originally appearing in 1861), Exodus, p. 66 (commenting on Exodus 16:10)

[12] Brevard S. Childs, The Book of Exodus (The Old Testament Library; Westminster Press, 1974), p. 288.

[13] What makes this confusing is that this "tent of meeting" uses the same term that in most places refers to the Tabernacle. Apparently after the construction of the Tabernacle (Exodus 39:32), the term "Tent of Meeting" was transferred to the formal location of God's presence in the center of the camp. However, the differences between the early tent and the later tabernacle are clear in Exodus 33:7-11 and Numbers 2. Other possible references to this tent of meeting outside the camp can be found in Numbers 11:14-17, 24-30 and Numbers 12:4-5. Richard E. Averbeck ("Tabernacle," in Mark J. Boda and J. Gordon McConville, Dictionary of the Old Testament Prophets (InterVarsity Press, 2012) pp. 807-827) believes that the oracular tent of meeting existed even after the tabernacle was dedicated.

[14] Exodus 40:34-35; Leviticus 1:1; 9:23; Numbers 1:1.

[15] Kaufmann Kohler, Ludwig Blau, "Shekinah," Jewish Encyclopedia (1906). Like the term "word" and "glory," "Shekinah" was used by the Rabbis in place of 'God' where the anthropomorphic expressions of the Bible were no longer regarded as proper.

[16] Robert D. Culver, mālak, TWOT #1199.

[17] "Shout" (NIV, KJV), "acclaimed" (NRSV) is terûʿâ, here, "human shout (of joy)" (Timothy R. Ashley, The Book of Numbers (New International Commentary on the Old Testament; Eerdmans, 1993), p. 479), from rûaʿ, "to raise a noise" by shouting or with an instrument" (William White, TWOT #2135). The idea is that wherever the King goes, his people acclaim him with shouts, such as with English monarchy, the customary shout would be, "Long live the king!"

[18] Jeshurun is yeshurûn, an honorific title for Israel, meaning something like "upright one" (J. A. Thompson, Deuteronomy (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries; Inter-Varsity Press, 1974), p. 308). Also used in Deuteronomy 32:15; 33:26; Isaiah 44:2.

[19] Kappōret, Holladay, p. 163.

[20] R. Laird Harris, kappōret, TWOT #1023c.

[21] K.A. Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Eerdmans, 2003), p. 280.

[22] Yāshab, "sit" (Holladay, p. 146). This phrase is also found in 2 Samuel 6:2 = 1 Chron. 13:6; 2 Kings 19:15; and Psalm 99:1.


Copyright © 1985-2017, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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