SPECIAL TOPIC: GLORY (doxa)

 The biblical concept of "glory" is difficult to define.  Believers' glory is that they understand the gospel and glory in God, not in themselves (cf. 1 Cor. 1:29-31; Jer. 9:23-24).

In the OT the most common Hebrew word for "glory" (kabod, BDB 468) was originally a commercial term relating to a pair of scales ("to be heavy").  That which was heavy was valuable or had intrinsic worth.  Often the concept of brightness was added to the word to express God's majesty (cf. Exod. 19:16-18; 24:17; Isa. 60:1-2).  He alone is worthy and honorable (cf. Ps. 24:7-10; 66:2; 79:9).  He is too brilliant for fallen mankind to behold (cf. Exod 33:17-23; Isa. 6:5).  YHWH can only be truly known through Christ (cf. John 12:45; 14:8-11; Col.1:15; Heb. 1:3).  The term "glory" is somewhat ambiguous.

1. it may be parallel to "the righteousness of God"

2. it may refer to the "holiness" or "perfection" of God

3. it could refer to the image of God in which mankind was created (cf. Gen. 1:26-27; 5:1; 9:6), but which was later marred through rebellion (cf. Gen. 3:1-21)

4. it is first used of YHWH's presence with His people during the wilderness wandering period in Exod. 16:7,10; Lev. 9:23; and Num. 14:10.

 

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