God, has at all times moral and spiritual glory.. But that is invisible to the eye.  Of that this paper does not treat, but of the intense brightness visible to, the eye, attendant on the manifestation of the Lord.



This glory is not spoken of as exhibited in the work of creation; nor to Adam in Eden.



When is it first named?



After God had redeemed His people out of Egypt.  He destroys their foes at the Red Sea; but the glory, though resident in the cloud which led the children of Israel, was not then manifested.  The Lord went before His people whom He had redeemed, in a pillar of a cloud by day, and with fire by night, to give them light.  But the fire was not the glory of God.  That glory appeared only occasionally, at certain emergencies.






1.  The first instance occurs before the giving of the Law, and when Israel’s supply of food was expended.  Under this trial they murmur against Moses and Aaron.  Why had they led them out of Egypt to perish in the wilderness?’  The Most High answers this difficulty which Moses could not meet, by the promise of bread from heaven.  Moreover, He would give them flesh.  At even ye shall know, that the Lord hath brought you out from the land of Egypt: And, in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the Lord; for that He heareth your murmurings against the Lord:” Ex. 16: 6, 7.



And Moses spake unto Aaron - Say unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, ‘Come near before the Lord; for He hath heard your murmurings.’ And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, THE GLORY OF THE LORD APPEARED IN THE CLOUD.”  Out of the glory the Lord speaks, promising them flesh and bread.  Thus they should recognize Him as Jehovah their God.  The glory then is manifested in grace, and not in the destruction of the murmurers.  The Lord does not show Himself openly; but a living person is present there, to whom their sins were displeasing.*


* In Gospel times, the Jews murmur against the Son of God shrouded in flesh.  At times His divine glory breaks forth.  He proclaims Himself the true manna, the bread sent down from heaven.  They doubt, wonder, and disbelieve, as did their fathers over the manna.  And Jesus meets them in grace, and not in justice.






At Sinai God proposes that they shall be treated according to their deserts.  If obedient, they shall be the first of the nations, kings, and priests.  They accept the proposal, and the nation is gathered to hear His commands.  He comes therefore amid physical terrors, designed to make them fear God, and dread to offend one so good and so great.



The covenant is duly made, and ratified by sacrifice. Half of the blood is given to Jehovah, half is sprinkled on the people. Moses, and certain representatives of the nation go up the mount, and feast before Him.  Moses is called higher up into the mount.  And the cloud covered the mount.  And the glory of the Lord tabernacled (Hebrew) upon Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it [the glory] six days, and the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud:” Ex. 24: 15, 16.



It would seem then from what follows, that the glory, concealed for seven days, burst out when Moses had been called up higher on the mount.  And the sight (appearance) of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount, in the eyes of the children of Israel  The glory of God seems now to have changed its character.  It is a terrible brightness, like devouring fire to the eyes even of His covenant people.  God will manifest His glory against offenders even of His own redeemed Israel.  There was perpetual peril, lest the fire of His glory should burst forth and consume them.  With how little appearance of truth are men now crying out, that God is only love!



Israel offends by the idolatry of the calf, and but for Moses’ intercession, they had been all cut off.  The sword is sent upon them: “And there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.”  Have we not a blessed contrast in God’s Gospel-work?  Our Mediator ascends, and the Spirit descends in wind and fire (the fire not a destroying fire), and tabernacles upon the hundred and twenty disciples.  Peter preaches.  And the same day there were added about three thousand souls!”  The Letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.”  That is, Law brings death, and the Gospel, life!



After the ravages of the sword of man, the Most High sent plagues on them.  But, in grace, upon Moses’ plea, the people is spared, and a new covenant is made with Moses alone, as the representative of Israel. It is a ‘covenant of marvels,’ for God according to it is engaged to send on Israel more terrible miracles than they have ever known.  These are recounted in the Book of the Apocalypse: Ex. 34: 10.








Before the sin of the calf, the Lord promises, to dwell with Israel as their God, moving about with them in a tent as they did.  How then could Jehovah, who hates sin, dwell in the midst of a sinful people?  Through the priesthood and its sacrifices.  Daily, twice a day, were lambs offered, that Israel’s many sins might be atoned for.  They were to be offered through God’s chosen priests of Aaron’s line.



This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee.  AND THERE I WILL MEET WITH THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, AND THE TABERNACLE SHALL BE SANCTIFIED BY MY GLORY.  And I will sanctify the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar: I will sanctify also both Aaron and his sons, to minister to me in the priest’s office.  And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God:” Ex. 29: 42-45.






The royal tent being completely prepared according to God’s written instructions, and the Spirit’s teachings, Moses alone, as the mediator of the new covenant puts its parts together.



The glory of Jehovah had (apparently) descended from the top of Sinai enveloped in the cloud, to speak with Moses at the tent door.*  The pillar of cloud stood there, and thence Jehovah spoke with Moses: Ex. 33.


* What ‘tent’ this was, we know not.  It was not (of course) the tabernacle, which had not then been made.  The LXX read ‘his tent’ – Moses’ own.



When all the parts of the tabernacle had been arranged and anointed, and the burnt offering and the meat offering presented by Moses, the Lord takes possession of His royal pavilion, as the King of Israel.  Then the cloud covered the tent of the congregation, AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD FILLED THE TABERNACLE.  And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD FILLED THE TABERNACLE.”



This is a great advance upon the Lord’s appearing to Moses at first in the bush.  It is an advance too upon the glory of Jehovah being seen on the distant top of Sinai.  The brightness of the Lord’s presence was not shown outside the tabernacle.  But it dwelt within the veiled Holiest of the sanctuary.



Thus the tabernacle was hallowed by the glory of God’s presence.  But Israel might not enter His abode.  Only the Mediator might go in and out.  And after the cutting off of Nadab and Abihu, the High Priest alone may enter, with special ceremony, on one day in the year.



But as Jehovah had glorified the Mediator in setting up this tabernacle, He would also honour Aaron the priest, and the sacrifices of His appointment.  After the death of Moses the mediator, how was this great and terrible God to be approached by sinners?  How could He who hates sin, dwell with a people sinful by nature and practice?





Leviticus 9.



Jehovah would show how this difficulty could be overcome.  He who made known the danger devised also the remedy.  It was through the sacrifices, presented by the priests of His own appointment.  For none but God’s chosen ones, peculiarly sanctified, might draw near to the Most High.  Moses then is directed to say, that God would display His good pleasure in the sacrifices, and in the priesthood after its consecration, by causing the lustre of His presence to be seen by the whole of Israel.  Aaron was to make atonement with a sin offering and a burnt offering for himself; and with a sin offering, and burnt offering, and peace offering for the people.  Then was the promise fulfilled.  God could now, as the Redeemer of His people, show them some of His glory.  And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people; AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD APPEARED UNTO ALL THE PEOPLE.  And there came a fire out from the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat; which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.”



The splendour then which shone as devouring fire on the top of Sinai had now a lodgement within their camp.  Its consuming energies were now stayed by the sacrifices and the altar.  Sin was atoned for, and God was satisfied to dwell with His people.  The glory which Moses alone at first could see, and which prevented His abiding in the tabernacle, is now displayed to all eyes, and Israel at the sight of the glory of God worships the God of glory.






Israel has been led to Kadesh-barnea, on the borders of the land.  The Lord bids them go in and possess it.  They propose to send spies, to report on the character of the land, and its inhabitants.  The spies return with some of the grapes of the land, of the pomegranates, and the figs.  They confess it was a land flowing with milk and honey; and lo, what fruit it bears!  But the people were strong, the cities fortified, and giants dwelt there: Num. 13.



Unbelief bursts out thereupon in sad measure.  They weep in cowardice and despair.  It was only in order to give them up into the hand of their enemies, that the Lord had led them thus far.  They wish that they had died in Egypt, or in the wilderness.  Their poor wives and children! what would become of them?  Let us make a captain and return into Egypt!’  Easily said!  But how were they to get food and water, when they have cast off Jehovah and His word?  How meet the Midianites and the Amalekites?  How escape the fiery serpents and scorpions?  How escape the wrath of Jehovah for His broken covenant?  They had forgotten their solemn promise.  ALL THAT THE LORD HATH SAID WILL WE DO AND BE OBEDIENT.”



Caleb and Joshua, the two faithful spies, seek to undo the pernicious effects of the unbelief propagated by the ten unfaithful spies.  They are full of courage, and attempt to stem the tide by presenting to the people the power of Jehovah their God.  They had left Him out of the account, and had measured their weak selves alone against the difficulties.  Fear not the people of the land!  They have no power against our God!  But do fear to rebel against Jehovah.’  But all the congregation bade stone them with stones.”  Great was the peril of the faithful two.  How could they resist two millions of infuriated men?



Here was the crisis.  Can their God defend them?






The Lord speaks in displeasure.  Their words and ways are known to Him.  He is ready to cut them off with the pestilence.  Moses pleads, and begs God to pardon, as He had done; lest foes should misrepresent His character and ways towards Israel.



The Most High pardons the nation so far, as to spare them from immediate death.  But the murmurers shall die in the wilderness, and not see the land.  The ten unbelieving spies fall dead by the plague before the Lord.  The Most High thus shows His glory in smiting unbelievers of His people, and in defending His faithful servants.  The men of unbelief shall not see the earth “filled with the glory of the Lord,” in the, day of His power: Num. 14.






A new rebellion arises, striking at both the rulers of God’s appointment.  Korah the Levite would set aside the priesthood of Aaron.  For were not the whole congregation holy?  How was it then, that Moses and Aaron were exalting themselves at the expense of those who were as worthy as they were?’



Moses then bids them put their reasonings to the test. – ‘If they thought that they were as acceptable to God as Aaron, let them offer incense to Jehovah.  Was it not enough that they were Levites; would they not be content, unless they usurped the priesthood?’



But there was another party, to whose ambition Moses’ pre-eminence as leader of the people was peculiarly offensive.  Moses sent to call the ringleaders of these offenders before him.  They would not come.  They were not going to own his usurpation by coming at his beck.  We will not come up!  Is it a small thing, that thou hast brought us up out of a land that floweth with milk and honey, to kill us in this wilderness, except thou make thyself altogether a prince over us?  Moreover, thou hast not brought us into a land that floweth with milk and honey, or given us inheritance of fields and vineyards.  Wilt thou put out the eyes of these men?  We will not come up!” Num. 16.



This message was peculiarly full of unbelief toward God, and insolence toward His Mediator and Leader.  It assumed that Egypt was the true land of milk and honey.  Moses had been deceiving them all along.  The wilderness was all they had got.  Was that a land of milk and honey?  A single glance of the eye at the burning sands around was enough to prove he was a liar.



God is left out.  Their own sin, which was the cause of their sojourn, by God’s sentence, in the howling wilderness, is forgot.  The fault is that of Moses only!



This double rebellion is typical of the last days.  There will be at last a refusal of Jesus, both in His character of King and in that of High Priest.  That will be the signal for the descent of the vengeance of God, of a like sort to that which is here described.



How was the controversy settled?



Korah and his two hundred and fifty princes stood at the door of the tabernacle with Moses and Aaron, censers in hand, and incense on them.  And Korah gathered all the congregation against them unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD APPEARED UNTO all the congregation.”



Out of the effulgence of His Presence the Lord speaks to Moses and Aaron: “Separate yourselves from this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.”  The whole nation had been cut off, but for the plea of the two whom they had offended and slandered.



Out of the glory commission is given to Moses to call out all who would hearken, from the tents of the rebels of Dathan’s party.  At Moses’ word, the earth opened, and swallowed them up alive.  All around fled at their scream, as they went down into the deep abyss of earth: for they said – “Lest the earth swallow us up also.”  Thus these antagonists of Moses, though members of the Lord’s covenanted people, are dealt with, as were pursuing Pharaoh and his host.  Thou stretchedst out Thy hand, the earth swalloweth them:” Ex. 15: 12.



What of the Levites who rose against Aaron?



There came out a fire from the Lord, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense:” ver. 35.



As refusing Aaron’s priesthood and sacrifices, they are cut off, though they were God’s chosen Levites, as victims of God’s wrath.  When the Lord’s glory appeared before, the fire from the Lord fell upon the sacrifices, and thus spared the Levites and Israel; for the Lord accepted the priesthood of Aaron.  But now these refusing Levites are slain.  They sinned against their own souls.  But their censers were holy, as being offered to the Lord.  Hence they are made “vessels of dishonour.”  They are beaten into broad plates for covering the altar to testify that “no stranger which is not of the seed of Aaron, come near to offer incense before the Lord, that he be not as Korah and his company.”  But (wonderful to tell!) the next day all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron; saying, Ye have killed the people of the Lord.”



At this new and outrageous offence, “behold the cloud covered the tabernacle of the congregation; AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD APPEARED.”



Again, but for the intercession of Moses and Aaron the whole nation had been destroyed.  But Moses directs Aaron to offer incense with fire from off the altar, and to go quickly unto the congregation and make an atonement for them; for there is wrath gone out from the Lord; the plague is begun.



Aaron did so.  He stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stayed.  But fourteen thousand seven hundred were cut off, beside those that died in the judgment on Korah.  This is the last appearance of the glory in the wilderness.  After Israel’s entry on the land, priests and people sin, till the ark itself is carried captive.  Dreary days of trouble, with occasional deliverances, fill up the times of the people, until the days of Samuel.  Then comes the kingdom of Israel in the happier period of David and Solomon.  Solomon was directed to build Jehovah a temple.  He does so according to the pattern given him, erecting the most wonderful edifice the world has seen.





1 Kings 8; 2 Chron. 5, 7.



All is at length ready for the Lord’ occupation of His house.  Up till that time He had suited Himself to Israel’s wanderings by dwelling in a tent, till rest was given to the land from war.  The elders and the king assemble, and make a procession before the ark as the Lord entered on His new abode.  Wiser than David, they offer sacrifices in order that no offence should be given and no death seize on them.  The priest bear in the ark into the Holiest even under the wings of the cherubim.  The staves of the ark, whereby it was carried, were drawn out, as no more needing to be used.  The ark had entered into its resting-place!  When the priests had left the sacred oracle, then the cloud filled the house of the Lord, “So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud ; FOR THE GLORY OF THE LORD FILLED THE HOUSE OF THE LORD.”



The king of God’s proclaiming and naming then offers praise and gives thanks.  It was a great time of feasting, lasting fourteen days.  It was typical of the greater day to come, when David’s Son and Lord shall enter in glory into the rebuilt house, and God’s accepted ones shall “sit down with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God.  And many shall come from the east and from the west and from the north and the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.”  The Most High accepts Solomon’s prayer, on condition of Israel’s not falling into idolatry.  If they so sinned, the house should be destroyed, and Israel cast out of the land: 1 Kings 9: 3-8.  How sad that the very king that built this costly structure, and offered this prayer, was the first so to offend!






Ezekiel traces for us the departure of God and His glory from the house He had entered.  He leaves it not, till He has pointed out to His prophet the reasons of His so doing.  The floods of idolatry in Israel at length had penetrated the house of the Lord Himself.  Other gods were daringly worshipped within His courts.  The mournful steps of His reluctant departure are given.  At the north of the temple was the image of jealousy.  And BEHOLD THE GLORY OF THE GOD OF ISRAEL WAS THERE, according to the vision that I saw in the plain:” Ezek. 8.  Men were saying, ‘The Lord had forsaken the earth, and saw them not.’  He would then send destroyers into Jerusalem.  AND THE GLORY OF THE GOD OF ISRAEL WAS GONE UP FROM THE CHERUB WHEREON HE WAS, TO THE THRESHOLD OF THE GATE:” 9: 3.  His messengers slay in the city.  But there is no repentance.  Coals of fire are now scattered over the city.  But for a little remnant, it had been dealt with as Sodom and Gomorrah.



The cloud next filled the inner court.  THEN THE GLORY OF THE LORD WENT UP FROM THE CHERUB, AND STOOD OVER THE THRESHOLD OF THE HOUSE, AND THE HOUSE WAS FILLED WITH THE CLOUD, AND THE COURT WAS FULL OF THE BRIGHTNESS OF THE LORD’S GLORY:” 10: 3, 4.  There was something that resembles this in Solomon’s day.  But there it was Jehovah entering the house; now He is leaving it, because of sin.



Then the glory of the Lord departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim.  And the cherubim lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out the wheels also were beside them, and they stood at the door of the east gate of the Lord’s house, AND THE GLORY OF THE GOD OF ISRAEL WAS OVER THEM ABOVE:” Ezek. 10: 18, 19.



The Lord there pronounces His judgments, and an Israelite falls dead.  Ezekiel laments.  God promises a remnant.



Then did the cherubim lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD OF ISRAEL WAS OVER THEM ABOVE.  AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD WENT UP FROM THE MIDST OF THE CITY, AND STOOD UPON THE MOUNTAIN WHICH IS ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE CITY” – ‘the Mount of Olives:’ 11: 22, 23.  So the vision that I had seen went up from me:” 24.



Thus also the Lord Jesus in the days of His tabernacling on earth in the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, takes leave of the temple.  He departs by the eastern gate, a moment pausing on His way.  And Jesus going out was moving away from the temple, and His disciples came to Him to point out to Him the buildings of the temple.”  He bids them look at them all, and foretells their entire demolition.  He then departs to “the mountain on the east of the city,” and thence delivers His prophecy of the judgments on the temple and city, and of the desolation till His return.  Ezekiel did not see the glory ascend to the heaven.  So neither did Jesus manifest His ascension to Israel.  But to favoured disciples it was given to see the Risen One ascend into heaven, and to hear the promise of His return.



Where is the glory of the God of Israel now?






It is now in heaven.  Stephen’s testimony to Israel that God was no longer dwelling in their temple, but tabernacling on high is met by their rage.  But he being full of the Holy Ghost looked up steadfastly into heaven, and SAW THE GLORY OF GOD, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.”  His testimony to what he saw was answered by his stoning to death: Acts 7.








1. Haggai testifies, that the heavens and earth, and the kingdoms of earth shall be shaken, and the Lord Jesus, as the desire of the nations shall come, “and I will fill the house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts.”  The latter glory of the house shall be greater than its former glory, and then shall there be peace on earth: Hag. 2: 6-9.  Observe, as the strong contrast to this, that Jesus assures us He did not come at His first advent to give peace on earth, but to send fire and a sword: Matt. 10; Luke 12: 49-53.



2.  Zechariah testifies that Jehovah shall again choose Jerusalem, and be the glory in the midst of her: Zech. 2: 4, 5.



3. But Ezekiel, the witness of the glory’s departure, is made a witness also of its return to a renewed temple.  The temple is to be rebuilt according to a pattern given by God.  As Jehovah left the temple by the east gate, by the eastern side He returns to it.  Behold, THE GLORY OF THE GOD OF ISRAEL came, from the way of the east, and His voice was like a noise of many waters; and the earth shined with His gory.”  So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court, and behold THE GLORY OF THE LORD filled the house:” Ezek. 43.



The temple once again entered, the Lord and His glory are to go no more out.  Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name shall the house of Israel no more defile.”



This is of course the millennial day of glory.






Jesus, rejected by Israel, is coming again in His kingdom, possessed of the glory of His Father, and of His own glory.  To that kingdom and its glory we are invited: 1 Thess. 2; 12.



THE SON OF MAN SHALL COME IN THE GLORY OF THE FATHER with His angels; and then shall He reward each according to his work” (Greek) Matt. 16: 27.



That this was no vain boast was proved, seven days after,* by the scene on the Mount of Transfiguration.


* Here the reference is to Ex. 24: 15.  Moses was then on the Mount of God.  On the seventh day after his going up the glory appears.  Moses goes up alone, save with Joshua.  The glory which dwelt on Mount Sinai, is partially and by reflection put on Moses as the mediator, after his tarrying forty days in the glory.  It is put fully on Jesus after His forty days of resurrection have ended in His ascension.



There “He was transfigured before them; AND HIS FACE DID SHINE AS THE SUN, and His raiment was white as the light.”  The Father’s voice out of the excellent glory owns Him as His ‘Beloved Son.’  In that glory Jesus is coming to reign.  They shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory:” Matt. 24: 31.  Clothed in it He shall judge the living nations: 25: 31.  When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall he sit upon the throne of His glory.  And before Him shall be gathered all the nations.”






God’s eternal dwelling place is in the heavenly city, the Jerusalem above.  The angel,” says John, “showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, HAVING THE GLORY OF GOD:” Rev. 21: 10, 11.  After a description of its ‘lights and perfections’- for the High Priest’s breastplate with its Urim and Thummim was a memorial of the City of God, John goes on to say:-



The city had no need of the suit, neither of the moon to shine for it, for THE GLORY OF GOD DID LIGHTEN IT, and the Lamb is the lamp thereof:” (Greek) ver. 23.



Thus we have traced the glory of God from its first appearance to the ransomed people of earth amidst their tents, to its final abode midst the ransomed from the dead, in the city of Christ’s eternal mansions.



The hope of our calling is to have part in the kingdom and glory of Christ.  We exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, that ye should walk worthy of the God who is inviting you to His own kingdom and glory.”  The apostle gives thanks because of God’s choice of them as His elect to salvation, into which salvation he called the Thessalonians by his good news, “with a view to your obtaining the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ:” 2 Thess. 2: 13, 14.



The kingdom of glory is already won by Christ, and we are called through sanctification of the Spirit and

belief in the truth to seek to have part in that glory.  God calls us to seek after it by “patient continuance

in well doing:” Rom. 2: 7, 10; 2 Tim. 2: 10.



The Lord grant us to aim at this; if by any means we may attain to the resurrection of the righteous from among the dead, and to having a part in the [millennial] kingdom of glory!