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Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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SHECHINAH or SHEKINAH. Not found in the Bible, but in the targums. From shakan "to dwell," from whence comes mishkan "the tabernacle." God's visible manifestation in a cloudy pillar and fire; the glorious light, enveloped in a cloud and thence bursting forth at times (Exodus 16:7-10), especially over the mercy-seat or capporeth . (See CLOUD, PILLAR OF.) Exodus 13:21-22; Exodus 14:19-20). Its absence from Zerubbabel's temple is one of the five particulars reckoned by the Jews as wanting in the second temple. In the targums, Shekinah is used as a periphrasis for God whenever He is said to "dwell" in Zion, between the cherubims, etc., to avoid the semblance of materialism. They anticipated the Shekinah's return under Messiah; Haggai 1:8 they paraphrase, "I will cause My Shekinah to dwell in it in glory"; Zechariah 2:10, "I will cause My Shekinah to dwell in the midst of thee," etc.

The continued presence of the Shekinah down to Nebuchadnezzar's destruction of the temple seems implied in Joshua 3; 4; 6; Psalms 68:1, compare Numbers 10:35; Psalms 132:8; Psalms 80:1; Psalms 99:1; Psalms 99:7; Leviticus 16:2. In the New Testament we find, corresponding to the Shekinah, "the glory of the Lord": Luke 2:9; compare Deuteronomy 33:2; Acts 7:2; Acts 7:53; Acts 7:55; Hebrews 2:2; Hebrews 9:5; Romans 9:4 "the glory"; John 1:14, "the Word tabernacled (eskeenosen ) among us, and we beheld His glory"; 2 Corinthians 4:6; 2 Corinthians 12:9, "that the power of Christ may tabernacle (episkeenosee ) upon me"; Revelation 21:3. His coming again with clouds and fire is the antitype of this Shekinah (Matthew 26:64; Luke 21:27; Acts 1:9; Acts 1:11; Acts 2Th_1:7-8; Revelation 1:7). Angels or cherubim generally accompany the Shekinah (Revelation 4:7-8; Psalms 68:17; Zechariah 14:5). In Genesis 3:24 is the earliest notice of the Shekinah as a swordlike flame between the cherubim , being the "Presence of Jehovah" from which Cain went out, and before which Adam and succeeding patriarchs worshipped.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Shechinah'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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