Glory (hebrew Insight)

What does Glory Mean in Hebrew

To answer this question we need to recall the story of dedication of Solomon’s Temple. In response to Solomon’s prayer, God’s glory filled the newly build and dedicated Temple in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 6). The building was empty before Solomon offered the prayer and after it was filled with God’s glory to such a degree that even priests could not enter it (2 Chronicles 7).

But what does Glory mean in Hebrew?

The word used to signify glory is (כָּבוד – Kavod). This word also means honor and is connected with the general idea of (כָּבֵד – Kaved) “heavy”. The verb is (לְכַבֵּד – Lechabed) to honor, therefore, carries the idea of making something heavy (vs. making something light). The opposite word Kavod (Glory) is קַלון – Qalon (Shame/Dishonor) that is connected with the word קַל – Qal (which translated means light vs. heavy).

In post-biblical Jewish literature another term שְׁכִינָה – Shkhinah (less accurately pronounced as “Shekinah” or “Shekinah Glory” is used for God’s Glory when it comes to the felt presence and visible manifestations of God to men. Shkhenah in Hebrew simply means a neighbor (feminine singular). It is connected via its root the word מִשְׁכָּן  – Mishkan which is one of the words used for tabernacle that Moses constructed. The concept, therefore, communicates the idea of “dwelling” or “dwelling with”.

To see other Biblical Hebrew Insights by Dr. Eli click HERE. To enroll into a course with eTeacherBiblical/Hebrew University of Jerusalem program, click HERE.

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  1. Alma

    I barely found out about this forum and is so amazing and so refreshing to read all the comments. Dr. Eli you are such a great teacher I really enjoyed the way you explained everything

  2. Gloria Toney- Fleets

    Shalom! My name is Gloria. According to the scriptures, I belive that I am the righteousness in Christ Jesus, therefor I am holy. Because Christ revealed this truth. Dr. I.E., this is a good forum.

  3. chromeheartsess.com

    You made a few fine points there. I did a search on the topic and found most folks will go along with with your blog.

  4. ALAO

    Hello Dr Eli
    How are you sir,
    Pls sir for my assignment I need to know the Hebrew word of the ‘Word’ (Glory in Psalm 4 Vs 2)
    and in what other part of the Bible this king of glory can be found.
    Thanks
    Samson

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Dear friend, look on the blog in Biblical Hebrew Inssights. There is a short study on the word glory. Welcome to the forum! Dr. Eli

  5. Brad Thompson

    What I get from the teacher’s explanation is “Greatly honored due to the dwelling of ADONAI.” It’s ADONAI dwelling or residing in or with the Temple or us that greats this honor; And what a blessing it is! The Most Holy Place was Holy because of the dwelling of ADONAI in that place. And so too if ADONAI’s Spirit is in us we too become Holy

    1. Brad Thompson

      should read….”It’s ADONAI dwelling or residing in or with the Temple or us that creates this honor…”

  6. Joris Heise

    Again, I come back to my offering the suggestion that “kabod” and its opposite (qal) refer to something subjective (as well as objective). But I think in our modern world of psychological insight, or awareness of conscious, subconscious & so on, we perhaps need to highlight and emphasize this side of it (Many years ago, I wrote a psychology in the ancient Jewish–involving KABOD, LEB(AB), NEPHESH. DAM,… It reflected more the complex psychology of ancient Egypt than the relatively simple modern psychology,)

    1. Susie Nelson

      Thank you Mr. Heise and Dr. Eli. I am deeply fascinated by the concept of “glory”, and this is helpful. To me, there is a “heaviness” in life as God, both Holy and Neighbor, is “glimpsed” or apprehended in so many ways: a mountain silence at dawn, the glance of a child, a moment of forgiveness, or maybe the “shekinah” as one is praying. I’m trying to wrap my mind around this, without removing the divine mystery of it all, to speak as a poet and writer who really believes in God’s glory everywhere, in the most common of things. But I am no Hebrew and have no knowledge of the language. Is there anything further either of you would recommend that I read? Am I way off base?

  7. Joris Heise

    I offer a variant–a supplmentary or complementary view…that “glory” nearly always can be understood as the subjective side of “gravitas, splendor, weight”–namey “significance or meaning” the Meaning of God filled the temple. We have seen his meaning , meaning/significance, as of the only begotten of the father. “I have glorified the Fahter and he has glorified me” — I have shown you what the Fatherhood of God is about, and He has show what being a Chlld of God means.

    Glory = meaning

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Interesting. Thank you, Joris! Dr. Eli

  8. Janis Moller

    In other words, I understand it like this now that when His presence comes down on true worshipers, then it transforms you into a higher dimension of glory…honor. He honors a true worshiper and visit him/her with His heavy presence. As I was preaching healing to the nations, and we worship in spirit and in truth, there comes a point of contact with Yeshua’s presence in our midst and people got healed right there.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      thank you, Janis.

  9. Sylvia Wackenier

    Looking forward to learn more.
    Kind regards .
    Sylvia ( from Belgium-Antwerp )

  10. gustavo vargas angel

    Dear Dr.:
    Some time ago, I read in a weekly magazine the words “Kal El”, translated from hebrew, according the writer, as “Voice of God”, now, I am reading in your script the same word “Kal”, referred to “Light”, are these words the same, meaning two or more differents things, or are two different words, one of them very bad write? Also, I have read “Or”(hebrew) for light. Please, I wanna go out from these my mistery, be my savior¡ Best for you.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Kol means “voice” and “all”. Kal means “light” (vs. heavy).

    2. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza

      BS”D

      Unless you are using aramaic… ’cause קל Qal in aramaic is voice 🙂 and it’s writen just like hebrew for “Light” (vs. heavy).

  11. vilson vozni

    boa tarde de hebraico nao entando muito pois ainda fiz o basico mas ja que peguei o bonde andando faço meu comentario sobre a gloria entendo que existe duas glorias uma de DEUS outra de homens agloria de DEUS e a que ele pode todas as coisas todo o universo criado por ele sustentador douniverso unico ser existente digno de receber todo louvor qque sai de dentro do meu ser e eterno seu tempo nao condiz com o meu tempo e a dos homens e sua gloria e passageira por pouco tempo chega ate mais ou menos cem anos mas a gloria de DEUS permanece como fez com o povo de abraao

    1. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza

      BS”D

      Boa tarde Vilson!
      Obrigado por seu comentário. Bem, para o que você menciona, da glória de Deus e para a glória dos homens, eu diria como Kavod é “peso”, a glória do homem perante a Deus, é como uma erva que murcha, é seca e cai.
      Bençoes!

  12. Gerridina Kaufman

    Even though G-ds Glory fills the temple with such ‘Shkhenah presence –no one -not even his priests could enter—because of the Heaviness or Honor-Kavod
    the temples role was that G-d would dwell with man- mishkan and I love the fact you made regarding the meaning of’ Glory’ Kavod–is G-ds Glory as ‘heavy’ and ‘honor’ could still dwell in the tabernacle Mishkan -as a neighbor dwelling with us — even though man had to keep the distance G-d was still dwelling in the tabernacle as a neighbor with us—thus the role of the tabernacle–
    I was remembering the time Moses asked to see Gods Glory –and God protected Moses from seeing this -if he had he would have died-so he covered Moses with his hand and let his Glory pass by –Moses only saw G-ds shadow. Dina

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Dina, shalom and welcome to our forum. May the Lord bless you richly. Dr. Eli

  13. Rode Scheel

    Todaraba ,Dr.Eli, God Bless You ! Rode Scheel.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Bevakasha (you’re welcome). Blessings! Dr. Eli

  14. ruth hirt

    Your blogs Dr. Eli are much always appreciated, I value the learning here. Thank you and expecting further success for you and all in eTeacher.

  15. Janis Moller

    Yes Dr Eli, we often use the word “glory” not really knowing the deep meaning…He is the King of glory and when it comes down on you it is heavy….I have experienced it so many times.
    Shalom

  16. Nubia Janeth Cepeda

    Thanks a lot. I learning more and more

  17. gustavo vargas angel

    Hi, Dr.: It is easy, the first ones, “chabod” and “ichabod” referred to the defeat of Israel by enemies, and suggested as name for a newborn( I think its clear and comprehensive); the next words, “ben” and “bar” I knew as meaning “son”(for instance, Jesus bar Ela), however, some days ago, I got an script from e-teacher, where say:”chaim bar” meaning “wildlife”; If according my very little knowledge about hebrew, I perform a translation, it should mean “son of life”, and not “wildlife”, the question is: Am I right or wrong? I hope you may find the thinking line of me. Best regards.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      i will need to see the context because haim bar is also a name of a person 🙂

  18. Janis Moller

    Thank you I really enjoy this. dr Eli

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Thank you and blessings. Dr. Eli

  19. Ester Blomerus

    Thanks Dr Eli! love to know the proper pronunciations in Hebrew! It seems that mere words cannot express the reality of this very important depiction of the presence of God. Thanks for giving insight and understanding in the Hebraic tongue.

  20. gustavo vargas angel

    Hi, Dr.¡
    I just read this words, and came to my mind a reading from Bible: “chabod” and “ichabod”, meaning, in same order,” glory” and” with no glory” , both words referred to a defeat with enemies of Israel, and suggested as name for a newborn; in the other hand, I knew two words meaning the same: “ben” and “bar”=son( i.e.: Jesus bar Ela= Jesus son of God) however, I got a promotional saying “chaim bar”= wildlife; According former words(,Jesus…., )it should mean “son of life”; Could you, please, give me an explanation about? Actually, I am flying on air. Thanks, and best for you.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Gustavo, I thought I knew what you were saying until I started to lose you. Dr. Eli

  21. Kat Hobaugh

    Alfredo, I definitely took things out of context in my first comment. On one hand Dr. Eli was correct that I was not allowing the word heavy to be positive (years of mental conditioning). On the other hand I was correct to refuse to see God in a negative. The newly painted picture of the word heavy in old Hebrew that Dr. Eli provided has solved that problem. Onto Matthew 11:30 … reading the scripture above (in context), Jesus says that nobody knows the Father unless Jesus reveals Him to us. How did Jesus reveal the Father to me? My repentance for “forgetting” my commitment to keep The Ten Commandments caused me to ask God for two things (over time). 1. I needed forgiveness without renouncing the law (Christ paid the penalty for sin). 2. I hungered and thirsted for doing good (fruit of the Spirit). Forgiveness can never satisfy thirsting for righteousness. So works had pointed me to Christ, but I would not rest until I heard the gospel and received the Holy Spirit (born again).

    1. alfredo

      Hi Kat. You are right on the spot when you say “Forgiveness can never satisfy thirsting for righteousness”. Yeshua was always telling His talmidim and talmidot (both male and female disciples) to seek the righteousness that is expected from us when living by the Kingdom of God standards. So as you say, needing forgiveness without renouncing the lay and hungering and thirsting for doing good knowing that it is not us, but the fruits of the Spirit of God living in us, is the right way of thinking, feeling and specially acting every single time, day and night, as long as we live in this era (Olam HaZeh).

  22. Lida Hill

    Dr Eli…what does Kola Kavod mean? I hear it a lot from Sigal during our webinar sessions.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Good for you! (literally all the honor!) Actually it is Kol HaKavod.

      1. Lida Hill

        Thanks Dr Eli.
        Now, I also found out that “kaved” (same root כבד for “kavod”) means liver. Is it because liver is the heaviest organ inside the human body? May you explain the connection bevakasha. Todah!

        1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

          Linda, read everything but especially section on origins http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-B-D

          1. alfredo

            I just found something very interesting.

            In Wikipedia you find that KBD “It can be used literally to denote the organ of the “liver”, or more figuratively to refer to the “interior of the body”, which in Semitic psychology is seen as being “the seat of human will and emotions.”

            Well, in Spanish there is a saying that when someone reacts to other people in a very “heated” sense, without thinking, this person “reacts with the liver”…

            So I guess that I just found the origin of that saying ! LOL

          2. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

            Yes, i mentioned this poin to Linda Hill earlier. And wonderful analogy with Spanish too!

          3. Lida Hill

            Todah Dr Eli. I learned a lot from the link you referred me to.
            ……by the way my name is LIDA not Linda. Lots of people make same mistake but my name sounds like LYDDA…as in Acts 9:38…it’s a place near Joppa. 🙂

          4. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

            So sorry Lida. Is it Lida Russian?

  23. Deborah G.

    Beautiful! I am reminded of two C.S. Lewis’ books: “Weight of Glory” & “The Great Divorce.” Both use the “weight” as “having substance.” Also, I am thinking if the Hebrew words for face, water, and God (Elohim). All have plural endings indicating “fullness” or “substance,” yes?

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Deborah, hi. Thanks for your comment. It is not clear at all what plural in Hebrew words for face (panim), water (maim), life (chaim) and even God (elohim) means :-). One day perhaps we will know (if at all it has a special function as we suspect). Dr. eli

      1. Geri G. Gustin

        Dear Dr. Eyzenberg,

        Your web site looks good and interesting. Happened to kind of stumble upon it. I like that your contributors are based in Israel, and that Hebrew is employed and explained for the readers of your posts.

        I will look forward to more careful perusal when I have a little more time.

        In the meantime, Shabbat Shalom, and as we prepare for Pesah, Chag Pesah Sameach!

        Geri in Pacific NW Washington state
        United States

  24. Kat Hobaugh

    I read through this twice. Not positive I understand, but what I am getting is that honoring God in the Torah was a heavy burden vs honoring Jesus is light . I don’t know how else to apply the word heavy.
    “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      You are misreading this Kat. Some times light is positive some times it is negative, depending on the analogy. Kavod (heavy) carries the idea of stable and worth, while light in Jesus phrase talks about freedom from bandage and heaviness of the yoke (a negative concept).

    2. alfredo

      Hi Kat. I think that Yeshua´s words were about His teachings. In context, this text Mat 11:30 is surrounded by Yohanan the immerser (John the Baptist) asking if Yeshua was the Mashiach (Messiah) who is the one who will teach Torah in the real sense and way that our Father wants us to listen and obey. So the Yoke is about teachings (doctrine if you prefer), and Yeshua’s teachings are easy to understand (if studied in their proper 1st century Jewish context) and to follow if you have a heart for Him.