International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
I. METHOD OF TREATMENT
II. GENERAL USE OF THE TERM
1. As Applied to External Things
2. As Applied to Yahweh
III. THE USES OF KABHODH
1. Material Wealth
2. Human Dignity and Majesty
3. "My Soul": the Self
4. Self-Manifestation of God (Yahweh)
(1) Exodus 23:18
(2) Isaiah 6
(3) Psalms 19:1
(4) Sinai and the Temple
(5) Ezekiel's Visions
(6) Messianic Ideal
(7) Its Ethical Content
IV. IN THE APOCRYPHA AND THE NEW TESTAMENT
1. In the Apocrypha:
(1) As Applied to External Things
(2) As Applied to God
2. In the New Testament:
(1) As Applied to Men
(2) As Applied to God
(3) As Applied to the Saints
(4) As Applied to the Messianic Kingdom
3. Its Ethical Significance
I. Method of Treatment.
In this article we deal, first, with a group of words, translated "glory" in the English Versions of the Bible, and in which the ideas of size, rarity, beauty and adornment are prominent, the emphasis being laid in the first instance in each case upon some external physical characteristic which attracts the attention, and makes the object described by the word significant or prominent.
These are ('addereth) perhaps to be connected with the Assyrian root 'adaru, meaning "wide," "great"; (hadhar, hadharah), perhaps with root-meaning of "brightness"; (hodh), with essentially the same meaning of "brightness," "light"; (Tehar), Psalm 89:44, translated "glory" in the King James Version, in the Revised Version (British and American) rendered "brightness"; (yeqara'), an Aramaic root meaning "rare"; (tiph'arah), with the root-meaning of "beauty "; and finally (tsebhi), perhaps on the basis of the Assyrian cabu, meaning "desire," "desirable."
Secondly, this article will discuss the most common and characteristic word for "glory" in the Old Testament, the Hebrew (kabhodh) including the special phrase "the glory of God" or "the glory of Yahweh." In dealing with the Old Testament usage, attention will also be called to the original Hebrew of the Book of Ecclesiasticus or Wisdom of Jesus, the Son of Sirach, cited in this article as Sir. Thirdly, with the Greek word (doxa) in the Apocrypha and in the New Testament. The nouns kauchema, kauchesis, translated "glory" or "glorying" in the New Testament, will be dealt with in the concluding paragraphs in which the use of the word glory as a verb will briefly be discussed. It will be possible within the limits of this article to give only the main outlines of the subject as illustrated by a few of the most significant references. The lexicons and the commentaries must be consulted for the details.
II. General Use of the Term.
In the first group, as has already been stated, the ideas of beauty, majesty and splendor are prominent. And these qualities are predicated first of all, of things. David determines to make the temple which Solomon is to build "a house of fame and of glory" (1 Chronicles 22:5).
1. As Applied to External Things:
Then, and more commonly, glory belongs to men, and especially to men of prominence, like kings. This glory may consist in wealth, power, portion, or even in the inherent majesty and dignity of character of its possessor. The reference is most frequently, however, to the external manifestations. Physical power is suggested in Deuteronomy 33:17, where "glory" of the King James Version is replaced by "majesty" in the Revised Version (British and American). The king's glory consists in the multitude of his people (Proverbs 14:28). The glory and the pomp of the rebellious people shall descend into Sheol (Isaiah 5:14). Here the reference is clearly to those external things upon which the people depend, and the possession of which is the ground of their confidence.
2. As Applied to Yahweh:
But chiefly glory is the possesion and characteristic of Yahweh, and is given by Him to His people or to anything which is connected with Him. In Isaiah 60:7 the Lord promises to glorify the house of His glory, and the meaning is clearly that He will impart to His house something of the beauty and majesty which belong to Him. Glory is one of the qualities which are distinctive of Yahweh (1 Chronicles 29:11); and Isaiah, in one of his earliest utterances, uses the word "glory" to describe Yahweh's self-manifestation in judgment to bring to naught the pride and power of men (Isaiah 2:10, 19, 21). The use of the word in Psalm 78:61 is not quite certain. The most natural interpretation would perhaps be to refer it to the ark as the symbol of the presence of Yahweh, but in view of the parallel word "strength," it is perhaps better to interpret glory as meaning power, and to suppose that the Psalmist means that Yahweh allowed His power to be temporarily obscured, and Himself to be seemingly humiliated on account of the sin of His people.
III. The Uses of Kabhodh.
The use and significance of kabhodh in the Old Testament and in Sirach: The fundamental idea of this root seems to be "weight," "heaviness," and hence in its primary uses it conveys the idea of some external, physical manifestation of dignity, preeminence or majesty. At least three uses may be distinguished: (1) It defines the wealth or other material possesions which give honor or distinction to a person; (2) the majesty, dignity, splendor or honor of a person; (3) most important of all, it describes the form in which Yahweh (Yahweh) reveals Himself or is the sign and manifestation of His presence.
1. Material Wealth:
In Genesis 31:1 (margin "wealth") it describes the flocks and herds which Jacob has acquired; in Psalm 49:16, as the parallelism indicates, it refers to the wealth of the sinner; and in Isaiah 10:3 it is said that in the day of desolation the heartless plunderers of the poor shall not know where to leave their ill-gotten gain. This idea is also probably to be found in Haggai 2:7, where the parallelism seems to indicate that the glory with which Yahweh will fill the house is the treasure which He will bring into it. See also Sirach 9:11, where the glory of the sinner which is not to be envied is probably his wealth.
2. Human Dignity and Majesty:
It describes the majesty and dignity or honor of men due to their adornment or to their position. In Genesis 45:13, Joseph bids his brethren tell their father of his glory in Egypt; according to Exodus 28:40, the priestly garments are intended for the glorification of their wearers; in 1 Samuel 4:21, the loss of the ark means, for Israel, the loss of her glory, that which gave her distinction from, and preeminence over, her neighbors; in Isaiah 22:23 it is said that Eliakim is to be a throne of glory, i.e. the source and manifestation of the splendor and dignity of his father's house; in Job 19:9 the complaint that God has stripped him of his glory must be taken to refer to his dignity and honor. Reference may also be made to the numerous passages in which the glory of Israel and other nations describes their dignity, majesty or distinction; so we hear of the glory of Ephraim (Hosea 9:11), of Moab (Isaiah 16:14), of Kedar (Isaiah 21:16). This use is quite common in Sir. Sirach 3:10 states that the glory of man comes from the honor of his father; the possessor of wisdom shall inherit glory (4:13; 37:26); note also 4:21 with its reference to "a shame that is glory and grace," and 49:5 where the forfeited independence of Judah is described by the terms "power" and "glory."
3. "My Soul": the Self:
Closely related to this use of kabhodh to describe the majesty of men is the group of passages in which the phrase "my glory," in parallelism with nephesh, "soul," "self," or some similar expression, means the man himself in his most characteristic nature. In the blessing of Jacob (Genesis 49:6) we read, "Unto their assembly, my glory, be not thou united." Other passages are Psalm 4:2; Psalm 7:5; Psalm 16:9; Psalm 30:12; Psalm 57:8; 108:1 and perhaps Job 29:20. Some recent interpreters, partly because of the Septuagint rendering in Genesis 49:6 (ta hepata mou), "my liver," and partly because of the Assyrian root, kabittu, meaning "temper" or "heart" (see Delitzsch, Assyrisches Handwortebuch, 317a), would read in all these passages kabhedh, literally, "liver" as in Lamentations 2:11, and interpret the figure as referring to the emotions as the expression of the self. The arguments in favor of the change are not without weight. Of course on either interpretation the language is highly figurative. It hardly seems necessary to change the reading, especially as the Septuagint renders the passages in the Psalms and in Job by doxa, the ordinary Greek rendering for kabhodh, and it does not seem improbable that in poetry the word kabhodh might be used to describe the man himself indicating that man as such is honorable and glorious, possibly because as in Psalm 8:1, he is thought of as having been crowned by his Creator with glory and honor.
Before leaving this use of kabhodh it is necessary to call attention to the fact that in a few cases it is used to describe things, perhaps because these things are thought of as practically personified. The "glory of the forest" (Isaiah 10:18) is clearly a personification, referring to the majestic force of the Assyrians. We may probably assume a personification also in the case of the glory of Lebanon in Isaiah 35:2; Isaiah 60:13, and the nature of the parable in Ezekiel 31 makes it probable that personification is intended in 31:18.
4. Self-manfiestation of God (Yahweh):
But unquestionably the most important use of the word kabhodh is its employment either with the following gen. God or Yahweh, or absolutely, to describe the method or the circumstances of the self-manifestation of God. In discussing this subject we shall deal first of all with the use of the term as connected with actual or historical manifestations of the Deity, and then with its use to describe the characteristic features of the ideal state of the future, or, otherwise stated, the Messianic kingdom.
(1) Exodus 23:18.
The significance of the phrase in its earliest occurrence is by no means clear. Notwithstanding the uncertainty as to the exact documentary connection of the famous passage in Exodus 33:18, it seems quite certain that we may claim that this is the earliest historical reference that the Old Testament contains to the glory of Yahweh. "And he (Moses) said, Show me, I pray thee, thy glory. And he (Yahweh) said Thou canst not see my face;. and it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand until I have passed by: and I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my back; but my face shall not be seen." The passage in its present form bears unmistakable evidences of the editorial hand, due perhaps, as Baentsch (Hand-kommentar zum Altes Testament, "Exodus-Leviticus-Numbers," 279) suggests, to a desire to transform the primitive, concrete, physical theophany into a revelation of the ethical glory of God, but in its basis it belongs to the Jahwist (Jahwist) and is therefore the earliest literary reference to the glory of God in the Old Testament. The glory of Yahweh is clearly a physical manifestation, a form with hands and rear parts, of which Moses is permitted to catch only a passing glimpse, but the implication is clear that he actually does see Yahweh with his physical eyes.
It seems not improbable that in its original form it was related that Moses saw the glory, i.e., the form of Yahweh, and thus that we are to find in this narrative the source for the statement in Numbers 12:8, that he (Moses) will behold (or perhaps better rendering the tense as a frequentative), beholds the form of Yahweh (see also the description in Exodus 24:9-11). The mention of the cloud (Exodus 34:5) as the accompaniment of the manifestation of Yahweh suggests that the form of Yahweh was thought of as being outlined in cloud and flame, and that Yahweh was originally thought of as manifesting Himself in connection with meteorological or more probably volcanic phenomena.
(2) Isaiah 6.
Later the glory of Yahweh and the form of Yahweh are no longer identical terms, but the glory is still the physical manifestation of the Divine presence. This is clear from Isaiah's account of his great inaugural vision. The prophet sees the enthroned Yahweh with His skirts filling the temple. There is no indication of what it was that he saw or how he recognized that it was Yahweh. The attendant seraphim in addition to the solemn "Holy, Holy, Holy" declare that "the whole earth is full of his glory."
Unquestionably His glory is here regarded as something visible, something, a part of which at least, Isaiah sees. The glory as such has no ethical significance except in so far as it is the method of manifestation of one who is undoubtedly an ethical being. The phraseology suggests that the skirts which fill the temple and the glory which fills the whole earth refer to the phenomena of fire and smoke. Some think that the smoke is caused by the clouds of incense that would fill the temple in connection with the sacrificial observances. But in view of Isaiah's horror of these observances, this interpretation is very questionable. A more probable interpretation connects the clouds and gloom with the phenomena of a great storm, and even possibly of an earthquake, for it seems highly plausible that the call of Isaiah in the year of the death of King Uzziah coincided with thee great earthquake in the days of Uzziah referred to in Zechariah 14:5. (It seems at least probable that the references to the darkness and light in Zechariah 14:6 may have their origin in the phenomena attendant upon this earthquake. It is probable that the earthquake by which the prophecy of Amos is dated (Amos 1:1) is also this same historic earthquake.) The clouds and fire attendant upon this storm or earthquake become the media by which the glory of Yahweh is made known to the youthful prophet, and this glory partly reveals and partly conceals the presence of Yahweh of which, through, and in part by means of, these phenomena, Isaiah is made so vividly conscious.
(3) Psalms 19:1.
This conception of Isaiah that the glory of Yahweh fills the earth is closely related to the thought of Psalm 19:1 that "the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork," the difference being that in the psalm Yahweh's glory is manifested in the ordinary rather than in the extraordinary phenomena. Parallel thoughts may be found in Psalm 8:1; Psalm 57:5; Psalm 108:5; 113:04:00. In Psalm 29:1, 2, 3, 1, as in Isaiah, the glory of Yahweh is revealed in the extraordinary physical phenomena which the psalm describes. Glory here is a purely external, meteorological thing and is the manifestation of the presence of Yahweh, no matter whether the psalm is regarded, as it usually is, as a description of a thunderstorm, or whether with von Gall and others it is taken as a description of the phenomena which accompany the inauguration of the Messianic kingdom (see Joel 2:30 the English Revised Version).
(4) Sinai and the Temple.
Deuteronomy 5:24 indicates that in theophany at the time of the giving of the law, the glory and the greatness of Yahweh. consisted in the fire and thick darkness which enveloped the mountain, and out of which Yahweh spoke to the people. Essentially the same idea is expressed in the account of the dedication of Solomon's temple (1 Kings 8:10 2 Chronicles 5:14). The cloud which filled the house of Yahweh, preventing the priests from ministering, is identified with the glory of Yahweh which filled the house. It is noteworthy that in 2 Chronicles 7:1-3 the glory of Yahweh which fills the house manifests itself in the form of the cloud of smoke from the sacrifices which were consumed by the fire coming down from heaven.
(5) Ezekiel's Visions.
Perhaps the most elaborate description of the glory of Yahweh to be found in the Old Testament is that given by Ezekiel in the various accounts of his visions. It is not easy to interpret his conception, but it seems clear that he does not identify the glory with the stormy clouds, the fire, the cherubim and the chariots. "The appearance of the likeness of the glory of Yahweh" (Ezekiel 1:28) is not applied to all the phenomena which have been described in the preceding verses, but only to the likeness of form which looked like a man above the sapphire throne (1:26). The same idea is indicated in 9:3 which states that "the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon it was"; that is, the glory is something peculiar to Yahweh, and is not quite identical with the phenomena which accompany it. This is true of all his visions. The glory of Yahweh manifests itself with all the accompaniments which he describes with such richness of imagery, but the accompaniments are not the glory. For other descriptions of the glory of Yahweh in Ezekiel, see 3:12, 23; 8:04; 10:4, 18; 11:22.
Very similar to this conception of Ezekiel is that given in those passages of the Pentateuch which are usually assigned to the Priestly Code. When the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron on account of the lack of food, the glory of Yahweh appeared in the cloud as they "looked toward the wilderness" (Exodus 16:7, 10; compare Exodus 24:16). And just as in Ezekiel, the glory is distinguished from its attendant circumstances; for after the completion of the Tent of Meeting, the cloud covers the tent, and the glory of Yahweh fills the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34; see also Leviticus 9:6, 23 Numbers 14:21; Numbers 16:19, 42; 20:6). The same thought is suggested in the references in Sirach 17:13; 45:03:00.
(6) Messianic Ideal.
These passages just cited stand on the border between the historical and the ideal descriptions of the glory of Yahweh, for whatever may be one's views as to the historical worth of P's account of the Exodus and the wilderness sojourn, all must agree in seeing in it really the program or constitution for the ideal state of the future. And in this state the distinguishing characteristic is to be the manifest presence of Yahweh in His sanctuary, and this manifestation is the glory. This is the view of Ezekiel, for whom the essential action in the establishment of the new community is the return of the glory of Yahweh to the house of Yahweh (Ezekiel 43:2, 4, 5; Ezekiel 44:4). The same thought is expressed very clearly in Isaiah 4:5, which may be rendered on the basis of a slight rearrangement and regrouping of the original, `And Yahweh will create over. Mt. Zion., a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over everything the glory (of Yahweh) shall be a canopy and a pavilion, and it shall serve as a shelter from the heat, and a refuge and a covert from the storm and the rain.' This translation has the advantage that it furnishes an intelligible and characteristic conclusion to the description of the Messianic age which the chapter contains. Isaiah 11:10, reading with the Revised Version, margin, "and his resting-place shall be glory," has the same thought, for it is clearly the glory of Yahweh that is manifested in the resting-place of the root of Jesse, and this resting-place can be none other than Mt. Zion (compare also Isaiah 24:23).
The Psalms and Deuteronomy-Isaiah have many passages in which this phase of the thought is brought out. For both books the restoration of the people from captivity is to be accompanied by, or, perhaps better, itself is, a revelation of the glory of Yahweh (Isaiah 40:5). The children of Israel have been created for the glory of Yahweh, and hence they must be restored that His glory may be made manifest (Isaiah 43:7). The light of the restored community is to be the glory of Yahweh (Isaiah 60:1 f). The presence of Yahweh brings grace and glory (Psalm 84:11), and His salvation of those that fear Him causes glory to dwell in the land (Psalm 85:9). To these and many similar passages in Isaiah and the Psalms may also be added Sirach 36:14, which refers probably to the manifestation of God in glory in the Messianic kingdom.
(7) Its Ethical Content.
But these passages make it quite evident that "glory" is not always used in the external, literally or figuratively physical sense. It comes to have an ethical significance, and this because, like the holiness with which it is associated in Isaiah 6, it is connected with Yahweh, who is more and more exclusively viewed as an ethical being. As holiness gradually loses its physical sense of aloofness, apartness, and comes to describe moral purity, so glory, because it is an attribute or expression of Yahweh, comes to have a moral sense. This transformation, as we have seen, is already being made in the present text of Exodus 33:18, 20, and the connection with holiness in Isaiah 6 makes it almost certain that Isaiah gave the word an ethical connotation. So the God of glory of Psalm 29:3 suggests a moral quality because Yahweh is a moral being. All doubt on this matter disappears when we find the word "glory" used as the term for the essential nature of Yahweh, as we have already found it to be used of man. In Isaiah 42:8, "I am Yahweh, that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another," the meaning would seem to be, my essential character and power, that is, my glory, I will not share with other gods (compare also Isaiah 48:11). And in Isaiah 58:8 the glory must be taken in a figurative sense and refer to Yahweh Himself in His saving grace, who attends His people in advance and in the rear. It hardly seems possible to deny the ethical sense in Ezekiel 39:21, where the manifestation of the glory of Yahweh comes as a result of the execution of His purposes of justice and righteousness upon His people. And in Habakkuk 2:14, the glory of Yahweh which is to be known throughout the earth cannot be limited to any physical, external thing. It is equivalent to the righteous and just will of Yahweh. These passages are sufficient to prove the ethical significance of the word kabhodh, but it may be worth while to quote one more passage and this time from Psalm 97 with its wonderful description of the blessings of the righteous rule of Yahweh. It is stated in 97:6 that "the heavens declare his righteousness, and all the peoples have seen his glory." His righteousness may include, as Kirkpatrick suggests, "His faithfulness to His people and His sovereign justice in the punishment of all," or it may refer only to the former of these qualities; but in any case, it is a moral act, and by it the peoples recognize the glory of Yahweh as the supreme moral ruler.
IV. In Apocrypha and New Testament.
"Glory" in the apocryphal books and in the New Testament is almost exclusively the translation of the Greek noun doxa. In all these writings the Old Testament usage seems to be the most important, and it seems to be the fact, if one may judge from the Septuagint and from the original Hebrew of Sir, that the Greek noun doxa, in the great majority of cases, represents the Hebrew kabhodh, so that the underlying thought is Hebrew, even though the words may be Greek
1. In the Apocrypha:
(1) As Applied to External Things.
It will be perhaps a little more convenient to deal with the usage of the Apocrypha separately, following essentially the order that has been adopted for the Old Testament discussion of kabhodh, and bearing in mind that the usage of Sir has been discussed under the Old Testament. The use of the word "glory" to describe the honor, reputation and splendor which belong to men is quite common. In this sense 1 Esdras 1:33 refers to the glory of Josiah, while in The Wisdom of Solomon 10:14 the perpetual glory given by The Wisdom of Solomon to Joseph must be interpreted in the same way. In 2 Maccabees 5:16, 20 glory refers to the beautification and adornment of the temple in a sense like that of tiph'arah in Isaiah 60:7. In Judith 15:9 "glory" is the translation of the Greek gauriama, and indicates that Judith is the pride of Israel.
(2) As Applied to God.
But the most significant use of doxa in the Apocrypha is that in which it refers to the light and splendor which are regarded as the invariable accompaniments of God. The reference may be to the historic manifestation of God in glory at Mt. Sinai, as in 2 Esdras 3:19, or to the manifestation of God in Israel, which is to be the especial characteristic of the Messianic kingdom. In 1 Esdras 5:61 songs sung to the praise of the Lord, "because his goodness and his glory are forever in all Israel," are based upon the hope that Yahweh is about to establish the Messianic kingdom among the people who have bound themselves to obey His law. In several passages in 2 Esdras the reference seems to be not to the Messianic kingdom in the historical sense, but rather to that kingdom of God which the saints are to inherit after death. This is clearly the thought in 2 Esdras 2:36 and in 7:52; also in 8:51 where the context shows clearly that the reference is to the glory of Paradise, which is the heritage of all those who are like Ezra in their devotion to Yahweh (compare also 2 Esdras 10:50).
But most frequently in the Apocrypha, in a sense which approximates that of the New Testament, the word "glory" refers to the blaze of light and splendor which is the essential expression of the holy majesty of Yahweh. The prayer of Manasseh refers to the unbearable majesty of the glory of Yahweh; while 2 Esdras 8:30, trusting in Yahweh's glory is equivalent to trusting in Yahweh Himself; and in 16:53 the oath "before God and his glory" is simply before the Lord God Himself. The same thought is expressed in Tobit 12:15; 13:14; The Wisdom of Solomon 7:25. In the So of Three Children, verses 31, 33, the glory of Yahweh refers to His self-manifestation in His heavenly kingdom, and this is undoubtedly the significance in the frequently recurring doxologies, "Thine is the glory forever."
2. In the New Testament:
(1) As Applied to Men.
In the New Testament, much the same variety of usage is to be noted as in the Old Testament and the Apocrypha, and it is not easy to trace the exact relationship and order of the various meanings. The ordinary classical use of the word in the sense of "opinion," "judgment," "view," occurs in Hellenistic Greek only in 4 Maccabees 5:17 (18) on the authority of Thayer.
It is perhaps as convenient to follow generally the order adopted in the preceding discussion. In some places the word refers to the manifestations and insignia of rank and power, as in the familiar phrase, "Solomon in all his glory" (Matthew 6:29), or the glory of the kingdoms of the world (Matthew 4:8), or the glory of the kings and nations of the earth which shall be brought into the heavenly city (Revelation 21:24, 26). Doxa also defines the praise, honor and dignity of men. This is the meaning in John 5:41, 44, where Christ distinguishes between His accusers and Himself in that He receives not glory from men, while they receive glory one of another (compare also John 7:18). In Ephesians 3:13, Paul declares that his tribulations for those to whom he is writing are a glory or distinction to them, while in 1 Thessalonians 2:20 he declares that the Thessalonian Christians are his glory and joy.
(2) As applied to God.
Closely related to this usage is the employment of the word to ascribe honor and praise to God; see Luke 17:18, where only the stranger returned to give glory to God; or John 9:24, where the man who had been born blind is bidden to give glory to God; or the phrase "to the glory of God" in Romans 15:7, where the meaning is to secure the honor and praise of God among men.
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