The Hebrew word transliterated ‘Shekinah’ refers to the glory of God that symbolizes his presence. The word is not found in the Old Testament, but was introduced into the Jewish religious vocabulary by rabbis of a later era. These rabbis spoke of the Shekinah in order to encourage Israelites to have a higher idea of God. They wanted people to think of him as a dazzling light or a shining presence, rather than as a human-like figure with physical features such as hands, arms, eyes, mouth and the like. The Shekinah became particularly associated with God’s symbolic presence in the tabernacle and later the temple (Exod 40:34- 35; 1 Kings 8:11; Ezek 44:4). It also referred to other displays of God’s glory or to the reality of his presence among his people (Num 14:10,22; Isa 60:1-2; see also GLORY).

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