The concepts in the first half of this chapter are fundamental to understanding what God is like, as they concern basic attributes of his being. These include attributes which show God to be very different to us, but also attributes which indicate that he is like us in that he is a personal being.
- God is one
- God is spirit
- God cannot be seen by people . . .
- . . . In some sense, God is said to have been “seen”
- God is everywhere, not just in temples
- Visions of God
- God’s presence has been manifested in a cloud
- God’s presence has been manifested with fire
- Note: God primarily dwells in heaven . . .
- . . . God’s temple is in heaven
In teaching that God is one, the Bible indicates that God is a single entity or being.
a Or The Lord our God is one Lord; or The Lord is our God, the Lord is one; or The Lord is our God, the Lord alone
Mark 12:29, 32 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. ▤ … 32And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. ▤
Rom 3:29-30 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. ▤
God’s nature is spirit; he is a spiritual being. So God is not a physical being, in contrast to people and particularly to idols.
The parallel phrases “man, and not God” and “flesh, and not spirit” imply that, in contrast to men, God is spirit.
The direct implication here is that God does not have eyes of flesh. This points to the fact that God as a whole is not flesh – he is spirit.
The correlation of “your presence” with “your Spirit” (cf. Ps 51:11) – or “your spirit” (NLT, NRSV) – arguably points to God being spirit.
- God is not a metal or stone image made by man:
Deut 4:12, 15 Then the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of words, but saw no form; there was only a voice. ▤ … 15“Therefore watch yourselves very carefully. Since you saw no form on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, … ▤
God has no physical, observable form.
One implication of God being “in secret” is that he is “unseen” (GNT, NIV).
b Or the only One, who is God; some manuscripts the only Son
c Greek in the bosom of the Father
1 John 4:12a also states: “No one has ever seen God…”
In saying that they had never seen God’s form, Jesus may well have been meaning that like all people they had not “seen him face to face” (CEV, NLT; cf. GNT). As such it is pertinent to this subsection. But given the context, the second part of this verse may be referring more to the Jews’ lack of spiritual perception (cf. AMP), in particular in the face of God’s revelation through Jesus.
1Tim 6:15-16a … which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. ▤
- Visions of God
- God’s glory manifests his presence . . .
- . . . God’s glory is spoken of as manifesting his presence in his temples
d Or You are a God who sees me
e Hebrew Have I really seen him here who sees me? or Would I have looked here for the one who sees me?
Verse 11 indicates that it was “the angel of the Lord” who spoke here to Hagar, rather than necessarily God himself. (Regarding the relationship to God of “the angel of the Lord”, see the comment below on Judg 6:22-23.) The rendering in the text note provides a further possible meaning.
f Peniel means the face of God
Verses 24-30 appear to speak of Jacob encountering a manifestation of God, possibly in the form of an angel.
Ex 24:9-11 Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, 10and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. 11And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank. ▤
The fact that the description of what they saw of God is restricted merely to what was under his feet, arguably suggests that they did not see the whole of God.
Ex 33:11, 20 Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent. ▤ … 20But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” ▤
The phrase “face to face” (v. 11) may be a figure of speech emphasizing the directness and clarity of God’s communication with Moses. This is supported by v. 20, with God saying to Moses “you cannot see my face” (and v. 23 – “my face shall not be seen”). Note that like v. 20 there are other verses that refer to seeing God resulting in death (cf. Gen 32:30 ↑; Ex 24:9-11 ↑; Judg 6:22-23 ↓; Judg 13:21-22 ↓; Ex 19:21; 1Sam 6:19-20; Isa 6:5-7). Sinful, unworthy people cannot look upon the holy, almighty God and live.
Num 12:7-8 Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house. 8With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? ▤
The phrase “mouth to mouth” (v. 8) is often translated “face to face”. Note that Moses is said to behold – or see (cf. GNT, NCV, NIRV, NIV, NKJV, NLT) – God’s “form”, which quite likely implies that he did not: see God in all his fullness; or necessarily see God’s face (cf. Ex 3:20 ↑).
Judg 6:22-23 Then Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the Lord. And Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.” 23But the Lord said to him, “Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.” ▤
Here and in 13:21-22 immediately below, it is the angel of the Lord who is seen. Although he is correlated with God (v. 23), possibly this is only in the sense that he is speaking on behalf of God (cf. Note: “The angel of the Lord” is identified with God).
Judg 13:21-22 The angel of the Lord appeared no more to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of the Lord. 22And Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, for we have seen God.” ▤
This may allude back to the expression earlier in Hebrews 11 of being “the conviction of things not seen” (v. 1), possibly meaning that Moses persevered “as if he could see” God (NCV; cf. GNT). Alternatively it may refer to Moses’ encounter with God at the burning bush and his ongoing close communication with God (cf. Ex 3:11, 20 ↑; Num 12:7-8 ↑).
- The Lord’s visible appearance to Abraham, conversing with him:
Gen 18:1-2, 13-14, 25-26 And the Lord appeared to him by the oaksg of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. 2He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth ▤ … 13The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14Is anything too hardh for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” ▤ … 25[Abraham:] Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” ▤
g Or terebinths
h Or wonderful
As well as the use of the title “the Lord”, the content of the conversation suggests that this was an appearance of the Lord. Many commentators consider that this was quite likely the angel of the Lord.
Ps 139:5-10 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. 7Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. ▤
Jer 23:23-24 Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? 24Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord. ▤
God’s glory is often linked with his presence, and as such the sense of the latter part of the verse may be: “…my presence fills the earth” (GNT). With the future tense of the verse as it here (cf. AMP, NASB, NKJV, NRSV), the meaning may be that God’s glory and presence will become clearly manifested throughout the earth.
Acts 7:48-50 Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says, 49“‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? 50Did not my hand make all these things?’ ▤
The first statement in v. 49 speaks of God being present in and even throughout heaven and earth – as opposed to merely within temples (vv. 48, 49b). Note that the fact that God has made all things (v. 50) points to the absurdity of any notion of him being confined to a building (cf. Acts 17:24 ↓).
i Greek made by hands
Acts 17:27-28 … that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’;k as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’l ▤
k Probably from Epimenides of Crete
l From Aratus’s poem “Phainomena”
Following his assertion that God “he is actually not far from each one of us” (v. 27b), in v. 28a Paul appears to be quoting the Cretan poet Epimenides to illustrate that our existence and its continuation are dependent on God enveloping us.
Here “all” may well be speaking of all things (cf. NCV) – making the verse particularly pertinent to this subsection. However it may instead primarily be speaking of all believers.
Isa 6:1-4 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the trains of his robe filled the temple. 2Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”t 4And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. ▤
s Or hem
t Or may his glory fill the whole earth
The “seraphim” (v. 2) are apparently a high order or class of angelic beings. Their presence and activity (vv. 2-4) accentuates God’s glory.
Ezek 1:26-28 And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire;u and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. 27And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him.v 28Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking. ▤
u Or lapis lazuli
v Or it
God is described in like-terms in 8:2 as part of another vision of God – “Then I looked, and behold, a form that had the appearance of a man. Below what appeared to be his waist was fire, and above his waist was something like the appearance of brightness, like gleaming metal.”
Ezek 43:1-3 Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing east. 2And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. 3And the vision I saw was just like the vision that I had seen when hew came to destroy the city, and just like the vision that I had seen by the Chebar canal. And I fell on my face. ▤
w Some Hebrew manuscripts and Vulgate; most Hebrew manuscripts when I
The other visions referred to are in chs. 8-11 and chs. 1-3 (cf. Ezek 1:26-28 ↑) respectively.
Dan 7:9-10 As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. 10A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. ▤
Rev 4:2-5 At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. 3And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. 4Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. 5From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblingsx and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, … ▤
x Or voices, or sounds
The “twenty-four elders” (v. 4) are quite possibly a high order or class of angelic beings. The “seven spirits of God” (v. 5) is usually interpreted as referring to the Holy Spirit.
- Ex 13:21 ⇓; Deut 4:11 ⇓; Deut 5:22 ⇓
- God’s glory manifests his presence . . .
- . . . God’s glory is spoken of as manifesting his presence in his temples
Ex 16:10-11 And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11And the Lord said to Moses, … ▤
Ex 19:9a, 16-17 And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever.” ▤ … 16On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. ▤
Ex 33:9-10 When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lordy would speak with Moses. 10And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door. ▤
y Hebrew he
Ex 40:34-38 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 36Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. 37But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. 38For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys. ▤
The cloud of God’s glory and presence, which had filled the tabernacle (vv. 34-35), guided the Israelites during all their travels (vv. 36-38).
Lev 16:2 … and the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat that is on the ark, so that he may not die. For I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat. ▤
1Ki 8:10-12 And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord, 11so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord. 12Then Solomon said, “The Lordz has said that he would dwell in thick darkness. ▤
z Septuagint The Lord has set the sun in the heavens, but
Just as the cloud of God’s glory and presence had filled the movable tabernacle (cf. Ex 40:34-35 ↑) to accompany the Israelites in their travels, it likewise later filled the completed temple in Jerusalem. Note that “thick darkness” can be rendered “dark cloud” (CEV, NCV, NIRV, NIV, NKJV; cf. NASB).
a Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved
Here God speaks from a bright cloud on the occasion of Jesus Christ’s transfiguration.
A number of commentators consider this cloud to be, as in the above references, a manifestation of God’s presence.
The description here appears to be figurative, although the writer is possibly alluding to earlier manifestations of God’s presence in a cloud (as per the above references).
Ex 3:2-6 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. 3And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” 4When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. ▤
The “angel of the Lord” (v. 2) is identified with God (v. 4). God’s presence is here manifested in fire from within a bush.
Deut 4:11-12 And you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, while the mountain burned with fire to the heart of heaven, wrapped in darkness, cloud, and gloom. 12Then the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of words, but saw no form; there was only a voice. ▤
Deut 5:22 These words the Lord spoke to all your assembly at the mountain out of the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and he added no more. And he wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me. ▤
This is not necessarily saying that the fire was a manifestation of God’s presence, but it does at least associate the fire with God’s presence (cf. NIV, NLT).
- God’s Holy Spirit was manifested in what looked like “tongues of fire”:
Acts 2:3-4 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and restedb on each one of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. ▤
b Or And tongues as of fire appeared to them, distributed among them, and rested
Verses which speak of God being in heaven are not understood to indicate that he is in any way confined to one location. But they do suggest that his form is such that his primary presence is in heaven. Note that some verses suggest that God is present throughout the earth through his Holy Spirit (cf. The Holy Spirit is correlated with God’s presence).
m Ch 5:1 in Hebrew
n Or holy and glorious
o Or Let your name be kept holy, or Let your name be treated with reverence
Jacob was speaking after having a dream of a stairway reaching up to heaven, with God being above the stairway (cf. vv. 12-13).
There have been earthly temples of God. But as heaven is where God primarily dwells, that which is spoken of as ultimately being God’s temple is in heaven.
Heb 8:5 They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” ▤
The priests served at a sanctuary – initially in the tabernacle and then later the temple – which was set up to reflect God’s heavenly sanctuary or temple.
Rev 11:19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings,p peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. ▤
p Or voices, or sounds
The ark of the covenant signifies God’s presence (cf. The Ark of the Covenant and God’s Presence). The background to this reference is the ark of the covenant that was made according to God’s directions to Moses. It was kept in the Most Holy Place in the tabernacle and later in the temple. It contained the stone tablets on which were written the Ten Commandments. Together these tablets were also referred to as the “witness” (cf. Rev 15:5 ↓) – or “testimony” (NIV®) – as they “witnessed” to God’s covenant to Israel, which was based on the Ten Commandments.
Rev 15:5, 8 After this I looked, and the sanctuary of the tentq of witness in heaven was opened, ▤ … 8and the sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished. ▤
q Or tabernacle
This sanctuary appears to denote a/the temple of God (cf. CEV, GNT, NASB, NCV, NIRV, NIV, NKJV, NLT, NRSV).
Jonah 2:4, 7 Then I said, ‘I am driven away from your sight; yet I shall again look upon your holy temple.’ ▤ … 7When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple. ▤
In v. 4, “temple” appears to refer to the temple in Jerusalem, with Jonah speaking of looking towards it. Contrastingly, in v. 7 “temple” may refer to God’s heavenly temple, with Jonah speaking of his prayer rising to God and to his “temple”. The Israelites closely correlated these two temples. Note that although the following references do not actually mention heaven, like v. 7 here they appear to be speaking of heaven as God’s temple.
r Hebrew all of them
- God dwells in heaven but is also present on earth:
Isa 57:15 For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. ▤
That God dwells in heaven but is present on earth too is also implied in 66:1a – ‘Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool’.
- Glory is a prominent and key attribute of God
- God’s glory is an integral aspect of God’s presence
- God’s glory manifests his presence . . .
- . . . God’s glory is spoken of as manifesting his presence in his temples
- God is resplendent with light
- God has great splendor and majesty
- God’s glory is reflected in his powerful deeds
- God’s glory is evidenced throughout the earth and the heavens
- God’s glory will be explicitly revealed throughout the earth, to all nations
- [Reasons for which to exalt God:] God’s glory
Scripture often speaks of God’s glory in reference to his wondrous being. In doing so, it has in view God’s essence and/or his attributes. Regarding his essence, God’s glory pertains to his essential being itself, such that his presence is on occasions perceived as his glory and spoken of in terms of it. Regarding his attributes, God’s glory emanates in part from his attributes – such as his power – which in a sense reflect the glory of God’s essence and presence.
Ps 24:7-8, 10 Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 8Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle! ▤ … 10Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah ▤
This points to the fact that God’s glory will indeed endure forever.
The phrase “their glory” refers to God – “their Glory [God]” (AMP). Referring to God as such reflects that glory is a prominent and key part of his being.
“The God of glory” – as with the similar titles “the King of glory” (Ps 24:7-8, 10 ↑) and “the Father of glory” (Eph 1:17 ↓) – appears to indicate one or more of the following: glory is a central attribute of God, permeating or encompassing his entire being; God is the ultimate source of all glory; and God is the one to whom all glory belongs (cf. Rev 19:1 ↓).
In their sinful state, people are not compatible with God’s wondrous glory. The fact that it is God’s glory that people are measured by or compared to, underlines that glory is a key attribute of God.
This is speaking of God enabling believers to know his glory through his revelation of himself in Jesus Christ, largely as seen in Jesus Christ’s mission. Jesus Christ emulated and revealed God in his person, words and deeds; in a sense Jesus Christ personified God.
In speaking of Jesus Christ being like God, the only attribute of God that is specifically mentioned is his glory (cf. 2Cor 4:6 ↑). This highlights that glory is a prominent and key attribute of God.
In ascribing glory to God (cf. Rev 19:1 ↓; [Reasons for which to exalt God:] God’s glory) the writer appears to both acknowledge God’s glory and bestow glory on God, the latter being akin to a blessing.
- Glory belongs to God:
Ultimately glory only truly belongs to God. No other glory is comparable or lasting.
In speaking of where God’s “glory dwells” – and also in view of the earlier reference to “your house” – this correlates God’s glory with his presence.
The reference to “glory” is likely to God’s glory – “his glory” (NCV™, NIV®, NLT, NRSV). The verse may mean that on accomplishing their salvation, God’s glorious presence – God himself – would remain with his people in the land (cf. AMP, GNT). Alternatively, or additionally, it could be speaking of God’s glory being manifested in effecting his people’s salvation.
This appears to allude to the cloud of God’s presence, which guided and protected Israel during all their desert travels. The expression “the glory of the Lord” speaks of God himself, his very presence.
Ezek 3:12-13 Then the Spiritc lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voiced of a great earthquake: “Blessed be the glory of the Lord from its place!” 13It was the sound of the wings of the living creatures as they touched one another, and the sound of the wheels beside them, and the sound of a great earthquake. ▤
c Or the wind; also verse 14
d Or sound
e Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved
Peter is speaking of Jesus Christ’s transfiguration where God, “the Majestic Glory”, spoke from a bright cloud that enveloped Jesus and the disciples with him (cf. Matt 17:5). The reference to God as “the Majestic Glory” speaks of and emphasizes the glory of his presence (cf. ESB).
As noted earlier, this may be linking God’s glory with his presence – which may also be the case in Isaiah 6:3 below.
f Or may his glory fill the whole earth
Rev 21:2-3, 10-11 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling placeg of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people,h and God himself will be with them as their God. ▤ … 10And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, 11having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. ▤
g Or tabernacle
h Some manuscripts peoples
i Some manuscripts omit as their God
God will dwell with his people in the new Jerusalem (v. 3). As such God’s glory will be there (v. 11).
Ex 16:10-11 And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11And the Lord said to Moses, … ▤
Verse 1 indicates that God spoke from the cloud, affirming his presence in it – thus showing his glory to be a manifestation of his presence. Exodus 24:15-17, Numbers 14:10-11, Numbers 20:6-7, Ezekiel 1:26-28 and Ezekiel 8:4-5b below similarly speak of the appearance of God’s glory along with God speaking, showing his glory to be indicative of his presence.
Ex 24:15-17 Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16The glory of the Lord dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. ▤
Ex 33:18-22 Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” 19And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” 21And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, 22and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. ▤
Verses 19-20, 22b indicate that God’s presence is in view. As such God’s glory (vv. 18, 22) is here closely associated with God’s presence, seemingly manifesting it.
Lev 9:4-6, 23-24 … and an ox and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the Lord, and a grain offering mixed with oil, for today the Lord will appear to you.’” 5And they brought what Moses commanded in front of the tent of meeting, and all the congregation drew near and stood before the Lord. 6And Moses said, “This is the thing that the Lord commanded you to do, that the glory of the Lord may appear to you.” ▤ … 23And Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting, and when they came out they blessed the people, and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. 24And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar, and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces. ▤
Verses 4, 6 correlate God’s appearance with his glory by speaking of the “Lord” appearing and “the glory of the Lord” appearing as being the same thing. Verses 23, 24 similarly correlate “the glory of the Lord” (v. 23) with his presence (v. 24b; cf. NIV).
Num 14:10-11 Then all the congregation said to stone them with stones. But the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the people of Israel. 11And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them? ▤
Num 20:6-7 Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting and fell on their faces. And the glory of the Lord appeared to them, 7and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, … ▤
Ezek 1:26-28 And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire;j and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. 27And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him.k 28Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking. ▤
j Or lapis lazuli
k Or it
Ezek 3:22-23 And the hand of the Lord was upon me there. And he said to me, “Arise, go out into the valley,l and there I will speak with you.” 23So I arose and went out into the valley, and behold, the glory of the Lord stood there, like the glory that I had seen by the Chebar canal, and I fell on my face. ▤
l Or plain; also verse 23
Here “the glory of God” is correlated with “God” himself – and so God’s presence.
1Ki 8:10-12 And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord, 11so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord. 12Then Solomon said, “The Lordm has said that he would dwell in thick darkness. ▤
m Septuagint The Lord has set the sun in the heavens, but
As noted earlier, the “thick darkness” (v. 12) refers to the cloud (vv. 10-11).
Ezek 43:1-5 Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing east. 2And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. 3And the vision I saw was just like the vision that I had seen when hen came to destroy the city, and just like the vision that I had seen by the Chebar canal. And I fell on my face. 4As the glory of the Lord entered the temple by the gate facing east, 5the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple. ▤
n Some Hebrew manuscripts and Vulgate; most Hebrew manuscripts when I
This is from Ezekiel’s vision of a future temple in Jerusalem.
God’s heavenly temple appears to be in view.
Ex 40:34-35 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. ▤
Prior to Solomon building the first temple of God, the tabernacle was the place of God’s sanctuary. (It was a movable structure, which accompanied the Israelites in their travels.) It likewise signified God’s presence and here God’s glory is spoken of as manifesting his presence in it.
One can infer from the following verses that one aspect or effect of God’s glory is that God is resplendent with light.
1Tim 6:15-16 … which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. ▤
The use of “light” here may be figurative (cf. Ps 18:12 ↓), portraying God’s interaction with his creation. But even if this is the case, it probably alludes to the actual light of God’s glory and presence.
Isa 60:19-20 The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light;o but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.p 20Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended. ▤
o Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint, Targum add by night
p Or your beauty
This speaks of the renewed Jerusalem, and is reflected in Revelation 21:11, 23 below, which speaks of the new Jerusalem of the afterlife.
Ezek 1:27-28a And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him.q 28Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. ▤
q Or it
Ezek 43:1-2 Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing east. 2And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. ▤
The earth shone “with the dazzling light” (GNT) of God’s glory.
The meaning of the final clause is debatable, but it may well be speaking of the light that emanates from God’s glory (cf. GNT, NCV, NLT).
The angel who appeared to the shepherds to announce Jesus Christ’s birth was accompanied by a manifestation of God’s glory (cf. Rev 21:23 ↓), indicative of God’s presence, which shone around them. Such was the light that, along with the angel, it evoked fear.
r Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew them
s The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
The appearance of God’s glory at Sinai is in view (cf. Ex 24:15-17). God “dawned” as in “rose like the sun” (GNT, NCV; cf. Hab 3:4 ↓). Psalms 50:2 also speaks of God shining forth – “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.”
As in Habakkuk 3:4 below, the description here appears to be figurative, although quite possibly alluding to the writer’s understanding of God’s actual presence.
- God is light:
Here “light” appears to be used as a metaphor for God’s holiness and truth, but it may also allude to the light of God’s presence (cf. ZBC) which would make the verse particularly pertinent here.
Verses speaking of God’s splendor and/or majesty are reflective of God’s glory. Similar to and in conjunction with God’s glory, God’s splendor and majesty are spoken of as being descriptive of his presence and also on occasions as emanating from his pre-eminent attributes, partly in his exercising of them.
Isa 2:10, 19 Enter into the rock and hide in the dust from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty. ▤ … 19And people shall enter the caves of the rocks and the holes of the ground,t from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth. ▤
t Hebrew dust
Possibly the appearance of God’s glory at Mount Sinai is in view here (cf. Ex 19:16-19). God’s splendor is depicted as covering the heavens and bringing him praise and renown throughout the earth.
This poetically depicts the dynamic power and majesty of God.
1Chr 29:11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. ▤
As well as indicating that God has great majesty, the title “Majesty” alludes to God’s supremacy (cf. GNT) and probably also his glory (cf. 2Pet 1:17 ↓).
Ex 15:7, 11 In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries; you send out your fury; it consumes them like stubble. ▤ … 11“Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? ▤
Akin to the theme of the following subsection, God’s majesty is manifested in his great power (v. 7; cf. Isa 2:10, 19 ↑; Ps 8:1 ↓). It is also in part due to his holiness (v. 11). Note that this and the following references speak of God as being “majestic”, indicative of his great majesty.
u Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved
- Ps 145:5 ⇑; Ex 15:7 ⇑; Ps 8:1 ⇑
- God’s judgment evidences his glory – and also brings him glory
- God’s saving of his people reveals God’s glory
- Israel’s renewal will bring God glory
Note that the following two subsections in part also speak of God’s glory being reflected in his powerful deeds. God’s creation is largely in view in the following subsection and in the subsequent one God’s emphatic intervention at the end of the age is prominent.
God’s power seen in his deeds against enemies, exhibits his glory – pointing to him being the “King of glory”.
This speaks both of God’s glory being evidenced in his power and deeds and of him being glorified in people praising him because of his power and deeds.
The “ways” of the Lord are inclusive of what he has done (cf. CEV, GNT, NCV, NIrV) and reflect his great glory.
v Hebrew his; also next line
These verses associate the glory and glorious splendor of God’s kingdom with God’s mighty acts, arguably suggesting that the latter evidences the former.
Ezek 39:6, 13, 21 I will send fire on Magog and on those who dwell securely in the coastlands, and they shall know that I am the Lord. ▤ … 13All the people of the land will bury them, and it will bring them renown on the day that I show my glory, declares the Lord God. ▤ … 21“And I will set my glory among the nations, and all the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid on them. ▤
John 11:40-44 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” ▤
God’s glory was seen or reflected in the raising of Lazarus from the dead, with Jesus effectively calling on his Father in raising Lazarus.
This indicates that God’s glory – encompassing his “glorious power” (GNT, NLT; cf. AMP, NCV) – was evident in his raising of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Just as God’s glory is reflected in his powerful deeds, God’s power expressed in his deeds shows him to be glorious.
w Greek he
Akin to his glory, God’s majesty was reflected in Jesus Christ’s powerful deeds, which were done with God’s power.
- God’s dealings with humankind make known “the riches of his glory”:
Rom 9:22-23 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— ▤
Paul may be saying that God makes “the riches of his glory” (v. 23a) known to those who are “vessels of mercy” by bearing with great patience those who are “vessels of wrath”. Alternatively, Paul may mean that God makes “the riches of his glory” known by bestowing these riches on the “vessels of mercy” in contrast to the destruction that he will inflict on the “vessels of wrath”.
God’s glory is evidenced throughout the earth and the heavens – for God so wonderfully created them, reflecting his glory.
Ps 19:1-4a The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky abovex proclaims his handiwork. 2Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. 3There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. 4Their voicey goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. ▤
x Hebrew the expanse; compare Genesis 1:6-8
y Or Their measuring line
Ps 97:4-6 His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles. 5The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth. 6The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory. ▤
This may well be simply speaking of dramatic physical occurrences in nature pointing to God’s reign, illustrating that with the expression of his power in nature, God’s glory is apparent to “all the peoples” (v. 6).
z Or may his glory fill the whole earth
The following references either refer to or have an application to the end of the age when God will impose his authority over all the earth, unequivocally revealing his glory in his deeds and displaying to all nations the glory of his presence.
The prayer here and the similar one in 72:19 below are in a sense anticipatory of what would or will happen in the future, expressing the desire that God’s glory be revealed throughout all the earth.
A future time appears to be in view (cf. Isa 24:23 ↓), as reflected in other translations.
Isa 35:1-2 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; 2it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. ▤
In v. 2b, “they” quite possibly refers to the nations. In the future renewal of Israel, “they” would and/or will see the glory of Israel’s God.
This initially refers to God’s deliverance of the Jews from captivity in Babylon. It is also understood to apply to his redemption that would come through Jesus Christ, in his first advent. It likewise is readily applicable to the consummation of this redemption at the end of the age.
a Septuagint, Syriac; Hebrew lacks know
b Hebrew and it is coming
The revelation of God’s glory in the destruction of Babylon (cf. vv. 12-13) may initially be in view, but the verse probably also has a final fulfillment at the end of the age. As such, some commentators assert that this is speaking primarily of the glory of God’s presence being manifested throughout the earth.
- God’s glory will be evident when he reigns in Jerusalem:
God is not a “thing” but a personal being that one can interrelate with. God thinks, has a will, has feelings and has character. Furthermore, God is active, communicates and interacts with people.
God knows and examines things (cf. Jer 20:12 ↓).
The suggestion is that God alone knows the way to wisdom (cf. AMP, CEV, GNT, NCV, NIRV, NIV).
Here God is speaking to Job. The implication is that, unlike Job, God does know and comprehend the extent of the earth.
Ps 139:1-3 O Lord, you have searched me and known me! 2You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. ▤
c Hebrew kidneys
Jer 29:23 … because they have done an outrageous thing in Israel, they have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives, and they have spoken in my name lying words that I did not command them. I am the one who knows, and I am witness, declares the Lord. ▤
Eph 1:9, 11 … making knownd to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ ▤ … 11In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, … ▤
d Or he lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight, making known . . .
Isa 14:26-27a This is the purpose that is purposed concerning the whole earth, and this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations. 27For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? ▤
Eph 3:10-11 … so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, … ▤
Here the disciples ask God to reveal his choice, and thus his will.
Ex 20:5-6 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6but showing steadfast love to thousandse of those who love me and keep my commandments. ▤
e Or to the thousandth generation
Regarding God’s jealousy, see the introductory comment on Jealousy.
Judg 2:18 Whenever the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge, and he saved them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge. For the Lord was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who afflicted and oppressed them. ▤
Isa 5:25 Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people, and he stretched out his hand against them and struck them, and the mountains quaked; and their corpses were as refuse in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still. ▤
Isa 62:4-5 You shall no more be termed Forsaken,f and your land shall no more be termed Desolate,g but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,h and your land Married;i for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married. 5For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. ▤
f Hebrew Azubah
g Hebrew Shemamah
h Hebrew Hephzibah
i Hebrew Beulah
Jer 31:3b, 20 I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. ▤ … 20Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he my darling child? For as often as I speak against him, I do remember him still. Therefore my heartj yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, declares the Lord. ▤
j Hebrew bowels
This appears to suggest that God was “troubled over Israel’s distress” (GNT).
2Sam 24:16a And when the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord relented from the calamity and said to the angel who was working destruction among the people, “It is enough; now stay your hand.” ▤
This may suggest that God “was grieved” (Jer 42:10 NIV®) because of the calamity.
k Or he did not afflict
Hos 11:8 How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender. ▤
Here God aches over Israel’s looming punishment.
Gen 35:11, 14a And God said to him, “I am God Almighty:l be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body. ▤ … 14And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he had spoken with him, a pillar of stone. ▤
l Hebrew El Shaddai
m Hebrew from your loins
Isa 46:9b-10 I am God, and there is none like me, 10declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ … ▤
Obad 1:1 The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom: We have heard a report from the Lord, and a messenger has been sent among the nations: “Rise up! Let us rise against her for battle!” ▤
Zec 7:12 They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the Lord of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the Lord of hosts. ▤
n Or he lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight, making known . . .
Heb 1:1-2 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. ▤
Note that this points out that people do not necessarily perceive that God has spoken.
Num 7:89 And when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim; and it spoke to him. ▤
o Or I direct my prayer to you
Dan 6:10-11 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. 11Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God. ▤
p Greek he
Ex 3:7-8 Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, 8and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. ▤
1Chr 5:20 And when they prevailed over them, the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hands, for they cried out to God in the battle, and he granted their urgent plea because they trusted in him. ▤
Here God speaks of his care for one who loves him (cf. v. 14) and calls to him for help.
Rom 10:12-13 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” ▤
2Cor 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. ▤
James 4:8, 10 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. ▤ … 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. ▤
God has “always existed” (NIrV®).
Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. They are used here to emphasize that God is the beginning and end of everything – nothing exists or occurs outside or apart from him (cf. Isa 41:4 ↓).
The speaker here is Wisdom, set up by God before the world began. Thus the verse implies or indicates that God existed before the world began.
John 17:5, 24 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. ▤ … 24Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. ▤
God chose believers “in” Jesus Christ before the world began.
That Jesus Christ was foreknown by God before the foundation of the world, indicates that God existed and was active before the world began.
Rev 4:9-10a And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. ▤
q Or a dwelling place
r Revocalization of verse 27 yields He subdues the ancient gods, and shatters the forces of old
Here “arms” is used figuratively to portray God’s support – as similarly is “rock” in Isaiah 26:4 immediately below. The term “everlasting arms” reflects the fact that God and his traits are everlasting.
Ps 102:24-27 “O my God,” I say, “take me not away in the midst of my days— you whose years endure throughout all generations!” 25Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. 26They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, 27but you are the same, and your years have no end. ▤
Dan 4:34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; … ▤
Dan 6:26 I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end. ▤
s Greek to the ages of ages
God is “the last” in that no one will outlast God. Nothing will exist beyond him, for he exists forever.
This emphasizes God’s eternity. He is the beginning and end (cf. Rev 21:6a ↓); the one who perpetually exists, who always has been and who always will be – existing as the all-powerful God.
God was active before time began. As well as operating in the world, in the realm of time, God operates outside of time.
God dwells outside of the limitations of time, not bound by its finite perspective. From his eternal perspective, diverse periods such as a day and a thousand years are both small, even insignificant (cf. Ps 90:4 ↓). To God the distinction between them is merely relative. Note that with the use of “Lord”, Peter may be referring primarily to Jesus Christ.
t Or I am what I am, or I will be what I will be
God’s name – “I am who I am” and its shortened form “I am” – implies that God is self-existent and self-sufficient. This is perhaps more clearly implied by the alternative rendering in the text note.
God is never in need. He is not dependent on anyone for anything, for after all he is the one who gives everything to all people.
- God’s righteousness and justice are great – and everlasting
- God’s faithfulness lasts forever
- God does not lie nor change his mind – he keeps his promises
- God’s love is steadfast
- God’s love lasts forever
- God does not change his purposes and plans . . .
God stays the same.
u Some manuscripts variation due to a shadow of turning
God does not change his ways. They are the same now as they were throughout the past and will be throughout eternity.
God does not ever get tired out; his strength and alertness do not vary.