SHEKINAH , a
See also:Hebrew word meaning " that which dwells " or " the dwelling." It is one of the expressions used in the Targums in place of "
See also:God." In the Targums.—The word "Shekinah " is of
See also:constant occurrence in the
See also:Tar gums or Aramaic paraphrases of the Biblical lections that were read in the synagogue-service to the
See also:people .
See also:Great care was taken by the
See also:scribes in these renderings to mitigate the anthropomorphic expressions applied to God in the Scriptures, and by
See also:paraphrase, the use of abstract terms and indirect phraseology, to prevent such expressions from giving rise to erroneous views as to God's
See also:personal manifestation in the popular mind . Whenever, e.g. any indication of
See also:limitation or
See also:action was implied or expressed, in the Hebrew text, of God the Targumists were careful to substitute some expression involving the use of " Shekinah." In these connexions " Shekinah " thus becomes the
See also:equivalent of God " or its synonyms . One or two examples will make the
See also:Targum-usage clear . Thus Ex.
See also:xxix . 45 (" and I will dwell among the
See also:children of
See also:Israel and will be their God ") is rendered in the Targum (Onkelos) : " And I will cause my Shekinah to dwell in the midst of the children of Israel, and I will be their God." All expressions implying God's local presence are similarly rendered: thus e.g . Habak. ii . 20 ("
See also:Jehovah is in His
See also:temple ") is rendered " Jehovah was pleased to cause His Shekinah to dwell," &c . "To see " God is similarly paraphrased . Thus Is. xxxiii . 17 (" thine eyes shall see the
See also:King in His beauty ") is rendered (Targum of Jonathan) : " Thine eyes shall see the Shekinah of the king of the worlds in His beauty." So too " hiding the
See also:face " when used of God is regularly paraphrased " remove His Shekinah " (Is. lvii . 17, viii .
17, lix . 2; Jers xxxiii . 5; cf . Is. i . 15, &c.) . Closely connected with theidea of the Shekinah, but distinct from it, is that of " the
See also:glory of the
See also:Lord." " Glory," indeed, in this connexion was conceived of as a
See also:property of the Shekinah (as, in fact, it is of God for whom " Shekinah " is the equivalent) . For the divine " glory " as a property of the Shekinah, cf. e.g . Is. vi . 5 (" mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts "), which is rendered in the Targum: " mine eyes have seen the glory of the Shekinah of the King of the worlds the Lord of hosts." In the New Testament.—In the New Testament both the
See also:term and the idea are referred to in various ways . The close association of the divine " glory " with the visible Shekinah has already been referred to . This Shekinah-glory is several times denoted in the' New Testament by b6 a . The most notable passage is Rom. ix .
4 where StPaul, enumerating the
See also:list of Israel's privileges, says: " whose is the adoption, and the glory " (i.e. the Shekinah-glory, the visible presence of God among His people), &c. cf . Luke ii . 9 . There is also an obvious allusion to the Shekinah in the description of the theophanic
See also:cloud of the transfiguration-narrative (St . Matt. xvii . 5: " a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold a
See also:voice out of the cloud, saying &c.; cf . St Mark ix . 7; St Luke ix . 34), the same verb being used as in the LXX. of Exod. xl . 34, 35, of the cloud which rested on the tabernacle when it was filled with " the glory of the Lord." There can be no doubt, too, that the word rendered " tabernacle" (o-Krlvr)) with the corresponding verb " to tabernacle " (o-Kflvouv) has been chosen for use in St
See also:John i . 14 and Rev. xii . 3, from its likeness both in sound and meaning to the term " Shekinah." The passage in
See also:Revelation runs: " Behold the tabernacle (o,c z'i1) of God is with men, and He will tabernacle (aerpe.e ra) with them." In St John i .
14 there is an allusion to the Word (= memra of the Targums), the Shekinah, and the Shekinah-glory, all of which the writer declares became incarnate in Jesus . Cf. also Heb. i . 3 (" effulgence of the [Shekinah] glory ") . In
See also:Talmud and
See also:Midrash.—It is remarkable that the memra (=
See also:Logos or " Word ") of the Targums almost entirely' disappears in the Midrashic literature and the Talmud, its place being taken by Shekinah . The Rabbis apparently dreaded the possibility of such terms becoming hypostasized into personal entities distinct from God . Against this they emphasized the Shekinah-idea: It is safe to say that wherever Shekinah is mentioned in Rabbinic literature it is God's
See also:direct action or activity that is thought of .
See also:personality is never imputed to it.' It is probable that the use of the term was often in Rabbinic writings polemical (against Jewish Christians or gnostic sects) . See under " Shekinah " in Hastings' Dict. of the Bible, and Dict. of Christ and the Gospels, and in the Jewish Encyclopedia; also Weber, Jiidische Theologie, 2nd ed., especially pp . 185-19o . For the Targums in
See also:English, cf . Etheridge, The Targums on the
See also:Pentateuch (2 vols., 1862 and 1865) ; and
See also:Pauli, The
See also:Chaldee Paraphrase of the
See also:Prophet Isaiah (
See also:London, 1871) . (G .
SHEKEL (from Heb. shakal, to weigh)
ISAAC SHELBY (1750-1826)
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