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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Glory

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in the English Version, usually represents the words כָּבוֹד, kabod', and δόξα. The Hebrew, from כָּבִד, "to be heavy," is susceptible of the various analogical meanings which are derived from its root, viz. "to be hard," "honored," "rich," etc. The above Heb. and Gr. terms have the following applications:

(1.) Abundance, wealth, treasures, rendered "honor" in Psalms 48:12, and "glory" in Genesis 31:1; Isaiah 10:3; Matthew 4:8; Luke 4:6; Revelation 21:24; Revelation 21:26.

(2.) Honor, glory, dignity, as in 1 Kings 3:13; 2 Chronicles 1:11-12; Proverbs 8:18; Hebrews 2:7; 1 Peter 1:24; 1 Corinthians 11:7. Spoken of God, as in Psalms 19:1; Psalms 29:1; Isaiah 42:8; of persons in high honor (Isaiah 5:13; 2 Peter 2:10 Judges 1:8). Also the honor, glory, of any one; poet.cally for the mind, the heart, as the noblest part of man (Genesis 49:6; Psalms 7:5; Psalms 16:9; Psalms 30:12; Psalms 47:8; Psalms 108:1; Acts 2:26). Some here assign the signification of "liver," but the liver is never (like the heart and reins) assumed as the seat of the mind and affections.

(3.) Splendor, brightness, glory, majesty" of all my glory," i.e., splendor (Genesis 45:13; Isaiah 4:5; Isaiah 11:10; Isaiah 22:18; 1 Samuel 2:8; Acts 22:11; 1 Peter 5:4); " the glory of Lebanon," its magnificence, beauty (Isaiah 35:2; Isaiah 60:13). So of the sun, stars, etc. (1 Corinthians 15:40-41); of Moses's face (2 Corinthians 3:7); also of the celestial light which surrounds angels (Revelation 18:1), or glorified saints (Luke 9:31-32; 1 Corinthians 15:43; Colossians 3:4). Spoken especially of the glory, majesty, of Jehovah (Isaiah 59:19; Isaiah 60:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; 2 Peter 1:17; Revelation 21:11; Revelation 21:23), that fiery effulgence surrounded with dark clouds in which Jehovah is represented as appearing, or God himself as surrounded by this efful" gence, from which lightnings proceed (Leviticus 9:23-24; Numbers 16:35; Psalms 18:12), such as he manifested when he showed himself at Sinai to Moses and the people (Exodus 16:7; Exodus 16:10; Exodus 24:17; Exodus 33:18; Leviticus 9:6; Leviticus 9:23), or appeared in the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34), or in the Temple (1 Kings 8:11; 2 Chronicles 7:1-2; compare Luke 2:9; Luke 9:32; Acts 7:55; Acts 22:11), or was seen in prophetic visions (Isaiah 6:3; John 12:41; Ezekiel 1:28; Ezekiel 8:4; Ezekiel 10:4; Ezekiel 10:18; Ezekiel 43:2; Ezekiel 43:4; Ezekiel 44:4; Revelation 15:8; Revelation 21:11; Revelation 21:23). To this corresponds the SHEKINAH of the later Jews (Buxtorf's Lexicon Chald. Talmud. et Rabbinicum, col. 2394). God appears, too, in glory to punish transgressors (Leviticus 10:2); and sinners are said to "provoke the eyes of his glory," i.e., of him as thus appearing in his glory for their punishment (Isaiah 3:8). Spoken also of the expected temporal reign of the Messiah (Mark 10:37; comp. Matthew 20:21); and also of the glory of his second coming (Matthew 16:27; Matthew 19:28; Matthew 24:30; Mark 13:26; Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26; Luke 21:27; Titus 2:13).

(4.) Of internal character, i.e. glorious moral attributes. Spoken of God, infinite perfection, divine majesty and holiness (Psalms 19:1; Isaiah 40:5; Acts 7:2; Romans 1:23; Ephesians 1:17); so of the divine perfections as manifested in the power of God (John 11:40; Romans 6:4; Colossians 1:11), or in his benevolence and benefience (Romans 9:23; Ephesians 1:12; Ephesians 1:14; Ephesians 1:18; Ephesians 3:16). So of Jesus, as the effulgence of the divine perfections (Hebrews 1:3; John 1:14; John 2:11); also of the Spirit (1 Peter 4:14).

(5.) Of that exalted state of blissful perfection which is the portion of those who dwell with God in heaven; e.g. spoken of Christ, and including also the idea of his regal majesty as Messiah (Luke 24:26; John 17:5; John 17:22; John 17:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:14; 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 1:11). Spoken of glorified saints, i.e., salvation, eternal life, etc. (Romans 2:7; Romans 2:10; Romans 5:2; Romans 8:18; 1 Corinthians 2:7; 2 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 2 Timothy 2:10; Hebrews 2:10; 1 Peter 5:1; 1 Peter 5:10). So to glorify, when spoken of God and Christ, it render conspicuous and glorious the divine character and attributes of God as glorified by the Son (John 12:28; John 13:31-32; John 14:13; John 15:8; John 17:1; John 17:4); of Christ as glorified by the Father (John 8:54; John 13:32; John 17:1; John 17:5; Acts 3:13), or by the Spirit (John 16:14), or by Christians (John 17:10), or generally (Leviticus 10:3; John 11:4; John 13:31). Bastow, s.v. (See GLORIFY).

Other terms less frequently rendered "glory," "glorious," etc., are: אִדַּיר laets, large; הָדִר, to swell; הוֹד, honor; תַּפְאָרָה, beauty, etc.; κλέος, renown; καυχάω, to boast. On these and the above, consult the Heb. and Gr. Lexicons.

We may be said to give glory to God when we confess our sins, when we love him supremely, when we commit ourselves to him, are zealous in his service, walk humbly, thankfully, and cheerfully before him, and recommend, proclaim, or set forth his excellencies to others (Matthew 5:16; John 15:8; Galatians 2:20). In Exodus 8:9 we read, "And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me." The margin has for "glory" "honor," and for "over me" "against me." Pharaoh had besought Moses to pray that the Lord might take away the frogs, and Moses wished the king to have the honor and glory (in preference to himself) of appointing a time when he should thus pray to the Lord to take them away. This was not only complimentary to Pharaoh, but it would have a strong tendency to convince him that the Lord had heard the prayer of Moses, because he himself had appointed the time.

As man's real glory on earth consists in submitting to the will of God, and in doing it, so will his glory in heaven consist in being eternally pleasing to God, and in finding in him his perfect happiness. There can be no real glory either in this world or in the next, aside from virtue. The glory we seek here consists in the esteem of our fellow-men, and it would never be a false or a dangerous glory if men were wise enough not to esteem anything but what is virtuous. Christ commands us to practice virtue, not in view of gaining the approbation of men, but to please God. At the first glance his instructions as this point may appear somewhat contradictory. He says: "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16); then: Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them; otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore, when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward," etc. (Matthew 6:1 sq.). But these passages are really not contradictory. Christ means that he does not want the desire of being admired and praised by men to be the motive of our good actions; but he wants us to do those good actions in order to edify our neighbors, to lead them by our example to the practice of virtue, so that they may glorify God, and not us. There is a great difference between these two motives: the first is very wrong, the second right and praiseworthy. We are consequently to keep secret our good actions, whenever an opposite course is not necessary for public edification; but when it is, then we are to let them be seen. St. Paul says: "Our rejoicing (or glory) is this, the testimony of our conscience that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we heave had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward" (2 Corinthians 1:12).

The word glory, in St. Paul's writings, has often been misunderstood. In speaking of the destiny of the Jews and Gentiles with regard to faith (Romans 9:22-23), be says: "What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endued with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction; and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he bad afore prepared unto glory," etc. We do not think that the word glory here refers to eternal glory, but rather to God's glory here below and to the glory of his Church; for God has really showed its riches in the virtues of those who have been called to faith. St. Paul uses the expression again in the same sense when he speaks (1 Corinthians 2:7) of "the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world unto our glory," and when he says (Ephesians 1:5-6) that God predestined us for adoption "to the praise of the glory of his grace." So Augustine (Enarr. in Psalms 18:3, and in Psalms 39:4) understands these passages. Bergier, Dict. de Theologie (Paris, 1854), 3:139.


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Glory'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/g/glory.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
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