CODEX Entry 1032: The Glory
It is necessary to go back to the ancient Hebrew in the original text, as the modern Hebrew meaning has changed over time. In modern Hebrew the word is כָּבוֹד, ka-vod. This still has the undertone of power and weight but is more associated with emotions. Therefore, the word Glory, with its sense of a powerful emotion seems an appropriate translation. However, the original ancient Hebrew is ¹
This had a very specific meaning in earlier times, as translated by the eminent James Strong’s Concordence². The meaning was ‘heavy or powerful armaments’, these were generally associated with the largest military equipment of the time, such as siege machinery, charioteers, or, in some cases, a large shield. Secondly the word פני, pā-nay, which can mean face, or surface, also, when used in the context of weapons and war, means the vanguard. With this in mind, rereading the relevant texts, a veil is lifted.
Exodus 24: 9 – ‘On the seventh day Yahweh called to Moses from inside the cloud. To the people at the foot of the mountain Yahweh’s GLORY (powerful armament) appeared at the summit like a consuming fire. Then Moses disappeared in the cloud as he climbed higher up the mountain. He remained in the mountain forty days and forty nights.
Exodus 33:18 – ‘Moses asked “Then show me your GLORY (powerful armament). ”The Lord replied “I will make my finest pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, as I pass…But you may not look directly at my face (the vanguard) for no one may see it and live.” Yahweh continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock. As my GLORY (powerful armament) passes by, I will hide you in this crevice and cover you with my hand until it has passed by. Then I will remove my hand and let you see my back. But my face (surface or vanguard) will not be seen.
Exodus 19:16 – On the morning of the third day, thunder roared, and lightning flashed, and a dense cloud came down on the mountain. There was a very loud noise, and all the people trembled. Moses led them out from the camp to meet Yahweh, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. All of Mount Sinai was covered with smoke from the descent and ascent of Yahweh in fire. The smoke billowed into the sky like smoke from a brick kiln, and the whole mountain shook violently, as the noise grew louder and louder. Moses spoke, and Yahweh thundered his reply. Yahweh came down on the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So, Moses climbed the mountain.
Exodus 40:34 – When the new tent of meeting (Tabernacle) was completed, then the cloud covered it, and the GLORY (powerful armament) of Yahweh filled the Tent of Meeting. Moses could no longer enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled down over it, and the GLORY of Yahweh filled it. Now whenever the cloud lifted from the Tent of Meeting, the people of Israel would set out on their journey, following it. But if the cloud did not rise, they remained where they were until it lifted. Yahweh’s cloud hovered over the Tent of Meeting during the day, and at night fire glowed inside the cloud so the whole family of Israel could see it. This continued throughout all their journeys.
In the light of the original meaning of the Hebrew, of powerful armament, combined with the presence of huge plumes of smoke, like that from a brick kiln; the noise; the trembling ground; the flames; the glow; and the rising up and descending from the sky; all this overwhelmingly suggests a flying vehicle. The presence of Yahweh’s powerful armament at the battles in Canaan and Egypt, also ensured easy victory, suggesting this vehicle was weaponized. Considering this translation, the church’s explanation of Yahweh’s Glory as an image of divine transcendence, so intense as it makes itself visible to people, appears intentionally opaque.
¹ Jeff A Benner, Ancient Hebrew Dictionary
² James Strong, The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible