Deuteronomy 12:5, Only at the place that YHVH will choose … to place his name there … shall you seek out his Presence [habitation] and come there. The word Presence (as translated in The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash) is the Hebrew word sheken (shin-kaf-nun soffit; Strong’s H7933/TWOT 2387) and as a verb means “to dwell or tabernacle,” and as a noun it means “dwelling, or tabernacle.” According to TWOT, the verb is used 129 times in the Tanakh (OT) of which 43 times YHVH is the subject; that is, it describes where he dwells (e.g., on Mount Zion [Ps 74:2], among his people [Exod 25:8], or in Jerusalem [Zech 8:3]). On several occasions, it refers to his divine and glorious Presence dwelling among his people (e.g., Exod 24:16; Ps 85:9). The word mishkan, which was the portable tabernacle, sanctuary or earthly dwelling place of the glorious Presence of YHVH among his people, is derived from this word. What is YHVH saying in this verse? Namely, he is telling his people NOT to go just anywhere to worship him, but to go only where he has placed his name. How do we know where that is? It will be where his manifest glory and Presence is to be found! Where you fellowship and worship him collectively with other believers is the manifest glory and Presence of YHVH there to confirm that YHVH has placed his name there? If not, why not? Now let’s read Psalm 63:1–4,
O Elohim, you re my El; early will I seek you: my soul thirsts for you, my flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see your power and thy glory, so as I have seen you in the sanctuary. Because your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise you. Thus will I bless you while I live. I will lift up my hands in your name. (emphasis added)
Let us briefly analyze the bolded portion of this psalm of David in light of the above discussion. To see is the generic Hebrew verb ra’ah meaning literally “to see.” The word power (Heb. oz) means “might, power and strength.” This too is a generic term.
The next word is glory, which is the Hebrew word kavod (Strong’s H3519/TWOT 943 d,e) literally meaning “heavy or weighty.” In this instance, in reference to YHVH, it refers to “the visible manifestation of God” and his glory and is often associated with his visible manifest Presence within the tabernacle (TWOT, vol. 2, p. 943).
The next word in verse two to analyze is have seen, which is an entirely different word in Continue reading