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. 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.

  2. Nubia Janeth Cepeda

    Thanks a lot. I learning more and more

  3. 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 🙂

  4. Janis Moller

    Thank you I really enjoy this. dr Eli

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Thank you and blessings. Dr. Eli

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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).

  8. 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

          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?

  9. 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

  10. 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.