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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

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GLORY (in OT). The first use of this word is to express the exalted honour or praise paid either to things, or to man, or to God. From that it passes to denote the dignity or wealth, whether material or spiritual, that calls forth such honour. Thence it has come to mean, in the OT especially, the majesty and splendour that attend the revelation of the power or character of God. The principal Heb. word ( kâbôd ) for ‘glory’ is derived from a root denoting heaviness . The root may be seen in Isaiah 1:4 , ‘a people heavy with the burden of iniquity.’ For its derived use, cf. ‘loaded with honours,’ ‘weight of glory.’ A few illustrations of each of these uses may be given.

1. It is only necessary to mention the constantly recurring phrase ‘ glory to God’ ( Joshua 7:16 , Psalms 29:1 etc.). As applying to man may be quoted, ‘the wise shall inherit glory ’ ( Proverbs 3:35 ).

2. Phrases such as ‘the glory of Lebanon’ ( Isaiah 35:2 ), i.e. the cedars; ‘of his house’ ( Psalms 49:16 ), i.e. his material possessions; ‘the glory and honour of the nations’ ( Revelation 21:26 ), parallel with ‘the wealth of the nations’ in Isaiah 60:11 , may be quoted here. ‘My glory ’ ( Genesis 49:6 , Psalms 16:9; Psalms 30:12; Psalms 57:8 etc.) is used as synonymous with ‘soul,’ and denotes the noblest part of man; cf. also Psalms 8:5 . Jehovah is called ‘the glory’ of Israel as the proudest possession of His people ( Jeremiah 2:11; cf. 1 Samuel 4:21-22 , Luke 2:32 ). With reference to God may be named Psalms 19:1 , His wisdom and strength; and Psalms 63:2 , the worthiness of His moral government.

3. Two uses of the expression ‘the glory of Jehovah’ are to be noted. ( a ) The manifestation of His glory in the self-revelation of His character and being, e.g . Isaiah 6:3 . Here ‘glory’ is the showing forth of God’s holiness. For God’s glory manifested in history and in the control of the nations, see Numbers 14:22 , Ezekiel 39:21; in nature, Psalms 29:3; Psalms 29:6; Psalms 104:31 . ( b ) A physical manifestation of the Divine Presence . This is especially notable in Ezekiel, e.g. Ezekiel 1:28 , where the glory is bright like the rainbow. In the P [Note: Priestly Narrative.] sections of the Pentateuch such representations are frequent (see Exodus 24:16-18 , Leviticus 9:8 etc.). A passage combining these two conceptions is the story of the theophany to Moses ( Exodus 33:17-23; Exodus 34:6-7 ). Here the visible glory, the brightness of Jehovah’s face, may not be seen. The spiritual glory is revealed in the proclamation of the name of Jehovah, full of compassion and gracious.

Wilfrid J. Moulton.

GLORY (in Apocr. [Note: Apocrypha, Apocryphal.] and NT). Except in 1 Peter 2:20 (where it means renown), ‘glory,’ as a noun, is always the translation of Gr. doxa . This word, coming from a root meaning ‘to seem,’ might signify outward appearance only, or, in a secondary sense, opinion. This use is not found in the Biblical writings, but the derived classical use favourable opinion or reputation, and hence exalted honour or, as applied to things, splendour, is very common ( Wis 8:10 , Romans 2:7-10 , Bar 2:17 , John 9:24 , Sir 43:1; Sir 50:7 ). The special LXX [Note: Septuagint.] use of ‘glory’ for the physical or ethical manifestation of the greatness of God is also frequent. In AV [Note: Authorized Version.] of NT doxa is occasionally translated ‘honour’ ( e.g. John 5:41 , 2 Corinthians 6:8 etc.); in Apocrypha sometimes ‘honour’ 1E Esther 8:4 etc.), and a few times ‘pomp’ ( 1Ma 10:86; 1Ma 11:6 etc.), or ‘majesty’ (Ad. Est 15:7); otherwise it is uniformly rendered ‘glory.’ As a verb, ‘glory’ in the sense of boast (Gr. kauchaomai ) is frequently found ( Sir 11:4 , 1 Corinthians 1:29 ).

A few examples of the use of ‘glory’ to denote the brightness of goodness may be given. In Bar 5:4 is the striking phrase ‘the glory of godliness,’ whilst wisdom is called ‘a clear effluence of the glory of the Almighty’ ( Wis 7:26 ). In John 1:14 the ‘glory’ of the Only-begotten consists in grace and truth (cf. John 2:11; John 17:5; John 17:22 ). In Romans 3:23 the ‘glory’ of God, of which men have fallen short, is His manifested excellence, revealed at first in man made in God’s image (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:7 a), lost through sin, but meant to be recovered as he is transfigured ‘from glory to glory’ ( 2 Corinthians 3:18 ). For ‘glory’ as used to express the visible brightness, cf. Tob 12:15 , where Raphael goes in before the glory of the Holy One (cf. 2Ma 3:26 , of angels). In NT, cf. Luke 2:9 ‘The glory of the Lord shone round about them.’ In 2 Corinthians 3:7-11 the double use of ‘glory’ is clearly seen; the fading brightness on the face of Moses is contrasted with the abiding spiritual glory of the new covenant. Passages which combine both the ethical and the physical meanings are those which speak of the glory of the Son of Man ( Matthew 16:27 etc.), and the glory, both of brightness and of purity, which gives light to the heavenly city ( Revelation 21:23 ). ‘Glory,’ as applied to the saints, culminates in a state where both body and spirit are fully changed into the likeness of the glorified Lord ( Philippians 3:21 , Colossians 3:4 ).

In Wis 18:24 a special use appears, where ‘the glories of the fathers’ is a phrase for the names of the twelve tribes, written on the precious stones of the high-priestly breastplate. Doubtless this is suggested by the flashing gems. An interesting parallel is given in Murray, Eng. Dict. s.v .: ‘They presented to his Electoral Highness … the Two Stars or Glories, and Two Pieces of Ribbon of the Order [of the Garter]’; cf. Kalisch on Exodus 28:1-43 ‘The jewels are the emblems of the stars, which they rival in splendour.’

Wilfrid J. Moulton.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Glory'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​hdb/​g/glory.html. 1909.
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