Deuteronomy 33:2

Hebrew Bible

1 This is the blessing Moses the man of God pronounced upon the Israelites before his death. 2 He said: “The Lord came from Sinai and revealed himself to Israel from Seir. He appeared in splendor from Mount Paran, and came forth with ten thousand holy ones. With his right hand he gave a fiery law to them. 3 Surely he loves the people; all your holy ones are in your power. And they sit at your feet, each receiving your words. 4 Moses delivered to us a law, an inheritance for the assembly of Jacob.

Isaiah 60:2

Hebrew Bible

1 “Arise! Shine! For your light arrives! The splendor of the Lord shines on you! 2 For, look, darkness covers the earth and deep darkness covers the nations, but the Lord shines on you; his splendor appears over you. 3 Nations come to your light, kings to your bright light. 4 Look all around you! They all gather and come to you—your sons come from far away, and your daughters are escorted by guardians.

 Notes and References

"... Humans cannot see God because he is in heaven and they are on earth (Psalm 115:2-3). Under normal circumstances, humans cannot see God and remain alive (Exodus 33:20). Even Moses, in one tradition, has his eyes covered by God's hand when God passes by: he catches a glimpse only of God's back (Exodus 33:21-23). God's invisibility might be interpreted as a radicalization of his glory. The Mesopotamian concept of melammu has a counterpoint in the Hebrew Bible in the notion of kavod, 'glory'. This glory is a luminosity which both frightens and fascinates: it is, in terms of Rudolph Otto, truly numinous. Since radiance and splendour are part of the notion of God's glory, the association between God and light ('or) does not come as a surprise. God can be said to 'shine forth' (Deuteronomy 33:2), to 'flash up' (Isaiah 60:2), and to 'shine' (2 Samuel 22:29; Isaiah 4:5), verbs usually connected with the sun. Like the sun, God is all-seeing and all-knowing: his eyes bring 'hidden sins' to the light (Psalm 19:13). This solar imagery may have favoured the development of the concept of God's invisibility: just as no-one can look at the midday sun for a sustained period of time, so no-one can see God and not lose his sight. The light ('or) with which God is covered like a garment (Psalm 104:2) is increasingly conceived of as 'an unapproachable light' (1 Timothy 6:16) ..."

Toorn, K. van der Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible (p. 363) Eerdmans, 1999

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