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English Bible Dictionary

Shechinah

 

(dwelling). This term is not found in the Bible. It was used by the later Jews, and borrowed by Christians from them, to express the visible majesty of the divine Presence especially when resting or dwelling between the cherubim on the mercyseat. In the tabernacle and in the temple of Solomon, but not in the second temple. The use of the term is first found in the Targums, where it forms a frequent periphrasis for God, considered its dwelling among the children of Israel. The idea which the different accounts in Scripture convey is that of a most brilliant and glorious light, enveloped in a cloud, and usually concealed by the cloud, so that the cloud itself was for the most part alone visible but on particular occasions the glory appeared, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. The allusions in the New Testament to the shechinah are not unfrequent. (Luke 2:9; John 1:14; Romans 9:4) and we are distinctly taught to connect it with the incarnation and future coming of the Messiah as type with antitype.

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