What is the Glory of Yehovah? What does it mean to give Him 'Kavod' or 'Glory'? Can we even do that? What does His Glory look like? Do the pictographs in the word Kavod reveal hidden insight, and will anything in this word point us to Messiah? Let’s find the answers to these questions.
In Chapter 7 of the book of Joshua in our ancient text, there is recorded for us the account of the one who by disobeying Jehovah brought a curse upon all Israel. Before Achan is stoned to death for stealing from the spoils of the conquest of Jericho, Joshua says this to him in verse 19:
And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me.
The word glory is the word Kavod in Hebrew and is a difficult word to understand. There are at least nine other words in Hebrew that can be translated glory, but Kavod is the only one found in the book of Joshua. It is found in the ancient text more than twice as many times as all the other words for glory combined. It properly means weight, but it implies weight or heaviness in a good sense and it can refer to spender or honor.
Kavod is first found in the Torah in the book of Genesis Chapter 31 verse 1 referring to the success of Jacob in the house of his father-in-law Laban:
And he heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father’s; and of that which was our fathers’a hath he gotten all this glory.
Here, the word glory refers to all the riches Jacob had acquired at the expense of his relatives. There was an abundance or an immensity to his gain, a heaviness.
What mystery might we discover in the ancient pictographic letters that would give us more understanding? Kavod is spelled Kaf Beyt Vav Dalet.
Kaf is the picture of the palm of the hand and means to cover, to open, or allow.
Beyt is the picture of the tent and has the meaning of the house or the family and is the first word in the Torah that identifies the Son of God.
Vav is pictured as an iron nail or a wooden peg and means to secure, to bind together, or to connect two things separated from one another.
Dalet is the picture of the door and indicates a doorway, an entrance to life or death, or a place where change takes place.
There are actually two separate mysteries found in the letters. One involves a covering, the other an uncovering of the hand. The first is that Yehovah will cover those in the family that have chosen to follow Him in order to secure their pathway to life.
We can find a good example of this in the second book of the Torah. In Exodus Chapter 33 Moses inquires of Yehovah in verse 18:
And he said I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
The glory of Yehovah here is Kabod. In verses 20 through 23 Yehovah explains the problem with that and describes what He will do:
And thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. And the LORD said, Behold there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand: And thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
The weight or the immensity of the Kavod or the glory of the face of Yehovah is death to sinful man, so He covers Moses with the Kaf, the hand, to protect him and provide a path to life.
There is a second mystery to be discovered in Kaf Beyt Vav Dalet, the letters of Kavod. Instead of covering, we see Yehovah uncovering or allowing us into the family of the Son of God who was secured by iron nails that resulted in a doorway to death for Him but life for us.
The numbers these letters represent help us even more. Kaf is the number 20 and means redemption. Beyt is the number 2 and stands for God the Son or the Living Word. Vav is the number 6 and describes man’s state of enmity with God. Dalet is the number 4 and refers to God’s creative works or creation. In the Glory or the Kavod of Yahovah, there will be redemption of both fallen man and the creation cursed by man’s sin. It will happen through the work on the cross of the Son of God, Yeshua Ha-Mashiach, Jesus the Christ.
In 2 Chronicles we find one last insight into the Kavod of Yehovah. In Chapter 7 verse 1 we read this account of the dedication of Soloman’s temple:
Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices: and the glory of the LORD filled the house.
Again, the word glory here is Kavod. This is an interesting picture of something that takes place in the lives of the disciples of Yeshua after Yeshua returns to His Father. In the book of Acts Chapter 2 verses 2 through 4 as they are praying this occurs:
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost,
What just happened here and how does this compare with the Kavod that filled Solomon’s temple?
Rabbi Paul explains this to us in his first letter to the Corinthians Chapter 6 verse 19.
What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
By the presence of the Holy Spirit, the Kavod of Jehovah now dwells in the bodies of those who have put their faith and trust in His Son. The Son who uncovered the pathway to life when He was secured to the cross. Achan could not give Yehovah glory because Achan had none to give, he could only recognize the glory in Yehovah. As it says in Psalm 29 verse 2:
Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name.