The Hebrew term (not itself in OT) for the important idea of God's dwelling in the midst of his people, usually located in the Tabernacle or the Temple, and described as his ‘*glory’ (Exod. 40: 35) which Isaiah (6: 1) saw in the Temple. It is supposed that there was a radiance caused by reflected rays of the sun through the open door into the Holy of Holies. There were theological difficulties in reconciling the idea of the localized presence with that of the one God who could be encountered throughout the world; but the concept provides a way of holding that God is both transcendent and immanent, and it became available to Christians who struggled to relate their Jewish monotheism with a doctrine of the incarnation of Christ. The concept underlies the doctrine of the Word (John 1: 14), the narratives of the Transfiguration (Luke 9: 31) and the Ascension (Acts 1: 9), and the promise of the presence of Jesus where ‘two or three are gathered in my name’ (Matt. 18: 20) ‘to the end of the age’ (Matt. 28: 20).
Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies — Biblical Studies.