In my book "Talking with God: The Radioactive Ark Of The Testimony," I explore several key biblical terms associated with the ark that have either been mistranslated or not clearly understood over time. One such puzzling word found in several verses of the Old Testament is "glory" (Hebrew kawbode).
The word glory is used 148 times in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers, and from Deuteronomy to Malachi. In the Old Testament, glory has two entirely unrelated meanings and, thus, describes two completely different ideas.
Traditionally, glory is understood to mean "praise for the Lord." Some examples are:
Some examples of glory as an adjective include:
While glory can indeed indicate praise, a close study of its use in the Old Testament reveals an altogether different meaning, one that conveys the original understanding of its form and function.
The second meaning of glory is stunningly different from praise for the Lord. As the following examples from Exodus and Leviticus seem to indicate, glory was a substance that was found in the cloud that settled on Mount Sinai and eventually on the tabernacle and the Ark of the Testimony during the Israelites' sojourn in the Wilderness.
Clearly the radical shift of glory's original meaning (a substance) to the way it was defined as praise for the Lord raises several important questions. Why did the meaning shift? What was the purpose of this substance? Why did it seem to be dangerous?
There are clear answers to these questions, and the pieces to this puzzle have been put together in "Talking with God: The Radioactive Ark Of The Testimony." Available at Amazon. Join the ongoing investigation of the Old Testament's puzzling questions at TalkingWithGod.net.
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