Friday, 9 April 2021
Leviticus 9:23 "Moses and Aaron then went into the Tent of Meeting. When they came back out and blessed the people, the glory of Adonai appeared to all the people."
In our Torah parasha this week, what did the people see? What is "God's glory?" In Hebrew the "glory" is Kavod. In trying to understand any word in Scripture, we must look to other places where that word is used, especially the first use. Words have meaning. We cannot just pluck a meaning out of thin air to fit a particular purpose or use.
Kavod is first used in Scripture by Laban's sons, who are questioning the source of Jacob's riches (trying to say Jacob became rich by stealing from their father). Genesis 31:1 "Now Jacob heard the words Laban's sons were saying, 'Jacob has taken everything that belongs to our father, and from what belongs to our father he has made all these riches.'"
Earthly riches has a spiritual equivalent. Kavod has a connotation of weightiness. In street talk (back when there were beatniks) someone would say something profound and the hearer would reply, "Heavy, man, heavy." The first word of the 5th Commandment is Kabed (translated "honor") which is another form of the same Shoresh (Root). Exodus 20:12 "Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long upon the land which Adonai your God is giving you." Treat your parents with gravity (seriousness), but also give them riches. Take care of them in their old age (and your children will take care of you).
Let me tell you something very profound. God is 3 in 1. God's Kavod is His unity. Isaiah 42:8 "I am Adonai - that is My Name! My glory I will not give to another, Or My praise to graven images." Read the whole chapter (one of my favorite chapters in the entire Bible). To me, this is more prophetic of Yeshua than Isaiah 53. Of course, God cannot share His glory (oneness). If He did, it would not be oneness (glory) but "two-ness."
So, what did the children of Israel see? They saw fire come and devour the offering. It made the people shout and bow down. God is raising up a people who will stand and fight in the day of battle. Let's prepare to welcome His presence. Matthew 23:39 "For I tell you, you will never see Me again until you say, 'Baruch ha-ba b'shem Adonai. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'"
Rabbi Michael Weiner,