CHAPTER TWO CHAPTER FOUR
YAHWEH MANIFESTS HIM-
SELF TO THE HUMAN RACE.
How did YAHWEH manifest HIMSELF to Moses, to HIS prophets, and to HIS people Israel? They certainly did not see YAHWEH in the fullness of HIS entire, supernatural being.
Exo. 33 (20) And HE said, Thou canst not see MY face: for there shall no man see ME, and live.
Since no one can look upon YAHWEH and live, how does HE reveal HIMSELF to the human race? He revealed HIMSELF to Moses as an angel (messenger) in a flame of fire in a burning bush that was not consumed by the fire. Was YAHWEH'S entire being in the burning bush? If not, what portion of HIM was in the bush?
Exo. 3 (2) And the angel of YAHWEH appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed…. (4) And when YAHWEH saw that he turned aside to see, [YAHWEH] Elohim called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I…. (6) Moreover HE said, I am the Elohim of thy father, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon [YAHWEH] Elohim.
What Moses saw was only a portion of YAHWEH'S glorious presence manifested as something that his natural eyes could see and his mind could comprehend. It was still so awesome that he was afraid to continue looking. Many Years later when Moses conversed with YAHWEH he always saw a similitude of HIM. That similitude was also only a portion of the glorious presence of YAHWEH.
Num. 12 (6) And HE said, Hear now MY words: If there be a prophet among you, I YAHWEH will make MYSELF known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. (7) MY servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all MINE house. (8) With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of YAHWEH shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against MY servant Moses?
YAHWEH descended in fire upon mount Sinai before HE gave the ten commandments. Was YAHWEH'S entire being in the fire on the mountain? Surely, it was only a portion of HIS glorious presence.
Exo. 19 (18) And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because YAHWEH descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
YAHWEH told Moses that HE would dwell in the sanctuary and commune with him from above the Mercy Seat (Ark Cover).
Exo. 25 (8) And let them make ME a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
Exo. 25 (22) And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the Ark of the Testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.
Did YAHWEH'S entire being dwell in the tabernacle and commune with him above the mercy seat? Again, this must have been only a portion of HIS glorious presence for YAHWEH dwells in heaven with the earth as HIS footstool. How could HIS whole being dwell in an earthly man-made building?
Isa. 66 (I) Thus saith YAHWEH, The heaven is MY throne, and the earth is MY footstool: where is the house that ye build unto ME? And where is the place of MY rest?
Moses went up into mount Sinai while it was covered by a cloud. The Glory of YAHWEH abode upon mount Sinai for six days and the Glory of YAHWEH appeared as a devouring fire. The children of Israel saw something with their eyes that was called the Glory of YAHWEH. What did they see?
Exo. 24 (15) And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount. (16) And the glory of YAHWEH abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day HE called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. (17) And the sight of the glory of YAHWEH was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.
The word "glory" comes from the Hebrew word "kabowd."
Strong's: 3519. kabowd, kaw-bode'; rarely kabod, kaw-bode'; from H3513; prop. weight; but only fig. in a good sense, splendor or copiousness: also translated in the King James Version as: glorious (-ly), glory, honour (-able).
From The American Heritage Dictionary, the word "splendor" means:
1. great light or luster; brilliance. 2. a. magnificent appearance or display; grandeur. b. Something grand or magnificent. 3. Illustriousness; glory.
They saw the Glory or the magnificent appearance of YAHWEH! They saw the glorious presence of YAHWEH manifested in the form of fire. This was something that they could see with their natural eyes and comprehend with their minds. It was still awesome to see!
Another good example of a magnificent appearance of a portion of YAHWEH'S glorious presence can be seen in this scripture.
Num. 14 (10) But all the Assembly bade stone them with stones. And the glory of YAHWEH appeared in the tabernacle of the Assembly before all the children of Israel.
It should be clear that YAHWEH speaking out of the midst of the burning bush, YAHWEH speaking to the prophets, the similitude, and YAHWEH dwelling in the tabernacle were all magnificent appearances of only a portion of YAHWEH'S glorious presence. Also, the Glory of YAHWEH that was seen as a devouring fire and the Glory of YAHWEH that appeared in the tabernacle were all magnificent appearances of only a portion of YAHWEH'S glorious presence. There is a Hebrew term for this glorious presence of YAHWEH. It is the word "Shekhinah." The following quotations have been taken from the Encyclopedia Judaica's article on "Shekhinah." (Liberty will be taken to highlight certain points of interest and supplementary information will be set off with brackets and in smaller print.)
SHEKHINAH (literally "dwelling," "resting"), or Divine Presence, refers most often in rabbinic literature to the numinous [presiding divinity] immanence [existence] of God in the world. The Shekhinah is God viewed in spatio-temporal [existing in both space and time] terms as a presence, particularly in a this-worldly context: when He sanctifies a place, an object, an individual, or a whole people---a revelation of the holy in the midst of the profane. Sometimes, however, it is used simply as an alternative way of referring to God himself, such as "The Holy One Blessed be He," or "The Merciful One..".. One of the more prominent images associated with the Shekhinah is that of light. Thus, on the verse, .".. the earth did shine with His glory" (Ezek. 43:2), the rabbis remark, "This is the face of the Shekhinah" (ARN 2, 13a; see also Hul. 59b-60a). Both the angels in heaven and the righteous in *olam ha-ba ("the world to come") are sustained by the radiance of the Shekhinah (Ex. R. 32:4; Ber. 17a; cf. Ex. 34:29-35). This association with light has led to the view that the Shekhinah is some kind of luminous material, a being of light created by God.
The same article relates Shekhinah as used in the Talmud and in Midrash.
In origin Shekhinah was used to refer to a divine manifestation, particularly to indicate God's presence at a given place. This did not imply a limitation of God's omnipresence, however, since it is said the Shekhinah is in all places (BB 25a), and that just as the sun radiates throughout the world so does the Shekhinah (Sanh. 39a). Even those special places and objects which God imbues with an extra holiness by His presence---such as the thorn bush in which He revealed Himself to Moses, or Mount Sinai, or the Tabernacle in the wilderness---in connection with which the term Shekhinah is most often used, teach us that no place is devoid of His presence:
The same article relates Shekhinah as used in Jewish Philosophy.
In Jewish Philosophy. Unlike the rabbinic sages, who generally identified Shekhinah with the Presence of God, or even with God Himself, the medieval Jewish philosophers were concerned with avoiding any possible anthropomorphic interpretations of this concept, and therefore went to great lengths to point out that Shekhinah refers not the God Himself, nor to any part of His Essence, but rather to an independent entity, created by God. According to *Saadiah Gaon, the Shekhinah is identical with kevod ha-Shem ("the glory of God"), which served as an intermediary between God and man during the prophetic experience. He suggests that the "glory of God" is the biblical term, and Shekhinah the talmudic term for the created splendor [the magnificent appearance] of light which acts as an intermediary between God and man, and which sometimes takes on human form. Thus, when Moses asked to see the glory of God, he was shown the Shekhinah, and when the prophets in their visions saw God in human likeness, what they actually saw was not God Himself but the Shekhinah...
*Maimonides accepts Saadiah's view that the Shekhinah is a created light, identified with glory. He too associates the Shekhinah with prophecy, explaining that it is the Shekhinah which appears to the prophet in his vision (Guide of the Perplexed, 1:21). Explaining prophecy as an overflow from God through the intermediation of the active intellect (ibid., 2:36), Maimonides writes that man apprehends God by means of that light which He causes to overflow toward him, as it is written, "in thy light do we see light." Some interpreters of Maimonides believe that the Shekhinah corresponds to the active intellect itself, which is the lowest of the ten intellects (see *Intellect), and which communes with the prophets (Yad, Yesodei ha-Torah, 7:1). However there are also passages in which Maimonides identifies the Shekhinah with God Himself rather than with some other being.
The Shekhinah is a portion of YAHWEH created as a being, not entirely separated from HIMSELF, to manifest HIMSELF in different forms (including the form of a man) as an intermediary to communicate with the human race. In other words, the Shekhinah or the Glory of YAHWEH is the only portion of YAHWEH that HE will allow man to see and man still live.
As already shown in Exodus 33:20, the human race, while in this temporary body, cannot see YAHWEH in HIS entire glorious being. Therefore, every thing that the human eye sees of YAHWEH is only the Shekhinah or Glory of YAHWEH. It is the manifestation of a portion of HIS glorious presence. HIS glorious presence would not be there unless some portion of HIM is present.
CHAPTER ONE CHAPTER TWO CHAPTER FOUR