Does it mean Might, majesty, light, happiness or power? Or all those things ( in which case, how to tell what context it's being used in?

  • 1
    Can you provide examples (two, at least) where the word is used and its meaning is ambiguous?
    – mojo
    Jan 14, 2014 at 18:08
  • Really, the answer is "many things". It's a word with particular importance to Ezekiel and John, but in means very different things in their respective. Jan 15, 2014 at 6:59

5 Answers 5


The ISBE () International Standard Bible Encyclopedia has a good article on the several words translated as "glory" in English Bibles. It is available online at: http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/G/GLORY/

To have glory is to be of great value and importance. Words implying glory are often figures of speech, with "emphasis ... [on] some external physical characteristic which attracts the attention, and makes the object described by the word significant or prominent".

Glorious things generally have "beauty, majesty and splendor". Glorious men have great power or possessions, and command respect. But glory is preeminently an attribute of God, or of people or things associated with God because of the association.

According to Vine's Expository Dictionary, the Greek word "doxa", most commonly translated as glory, can mean GLORY, DIGNITY, HONOR, PRAISE, or WORSHIP.

All the things you mentioned, with the possible exception of happiness, seem to be part of or representative of glory. Reference books like Vine's and Strong's should be helpful in determining the emphasis of a specific usage.


Have you ever used Strong's Concordance with Hebrew and Greek? I often come here with questions on the meanings of words.

Paul said that man is the image and glory of God, and that woman is the glory of the man; also that the man is not without the woman, neither the woman without the man in the Lord. -- Man as we know was created first. Jehovah was asked if it was good for man to be alone, "No" he replied. So He and God created woman. Man was created after God's image, Woman was created after Man's image.

Here is what glory means in 1 Cor 11:7 according to this site. Out of the definitions I am not sure which one fits the best.

Take a look, use Strong's Concordance, it is a wonderful tool. It is for both Greek and Hebrew.

  • This is the best answer here I think, but as a general rule, I always copy the text I'm citing from other sources and block-quote it in my actual answer, so that the reader doesn't have to look elsewhere. Most of the really successful participants do this also. I find it makes answers far more likely to be up-voted and chosen by the asker, even though for the most part they contain the same material.
    – Andrew
    May 16, 2015 at 0:23

In its Semitic background, glory developed from the more concrete notion to the more abstract in the course of use in the Old Testament. Bernard Ramm, in one of the few systematic studies of glory in the Bible, outlines the development. He begins with the material and radical meaning of the Hebrew word kabod:

Whatever possessed weight in the sense of dignity was called kabod. Kabod refers to that which is fundamentally perceptible or ostentatious. Thus it means splendor, show, honor, conspicuousness, and even beauty. A man’s wealth, the insignia of his wealth, and the pomp of his surroundings were called his kabod.

In other words, the overall impression of a rich man with his garments, jewels, attendants, etc., is the rich man’s kabod.

Ramm then cites Psalm 49:16-17 to illustrate: "Do not fear when a man becomes rich, / When the glory of his house increases. / For when he dies, he will take nothing; / His glory will not descend after him."

Glory in these verses refers to the material possessions which are attached to a man and which "make" the man. These possessions, external as they may seem, give weight to the man, and in this sense, render him value and importance. The link between weight and value and between weight and importance is crucial here. Not surprisingly, the same link exists in our own modern English, in that weight can refer to importance, value, and influence.

For the ancient Hebrews, Jehovah would necessarily be the ultimate Being of weight and importance, and hence, as Ramm points out, they would easily see Him as the King of kabod (24:7-10). But in reference to God, the weight of glory could not be crudely material as it would be with an oriental potentate; rather, the kabod of God is first His honor and dignity—His gravity, so to speak—and then His splendor, that which attends Him as a manifestation of His great worth. This transferred and abstracted meaning of glory is what lies at the base of the notion of God’s glory in the Bible.

In the Old Testament glory is applied variously to the description of God, and here again Ramm helps to identify the distinctions.

Kabod is both a modality of the self revelation of God, and an attribute of God.

This first distinction is extremely important in that it makes clear that glory, while certainly being something that we can ascribe to God, is also, more importantly, a mode of His existence.

The first references to the glory of God in the Old Testament are references to His mode of self-revelation to His chosen people Israel: "You will see the glory of Jehovah....And as Aaron spoke to the whole assembly of the children of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and there the glory of Jehovah appeared in the cloud" (Exo. 16:7, 10).

Here the kabod YHWH is not a mere attribute of God but God Himself as He manifests Himself visibly in the cloud. It is a synonym for God but one that more discretely refers to Him in the mode of revelation and manifestation.

Later in Exodus the glory of Jehovah is described explicitly as being "like consuming fire on the top of the mountain to the eyes of the children of Israel" (24:17), and light and fire will reoccur throughout the Bible as the visible appearance of God's glory, indicating that God is both splendorous and unapproachable even in this mode of self-revelation (cf. 1 Tim. 6:16).

The writer of Hebrews, recounting the glory of God that Israel was privileged to encounter, describes the scene as terrifying: "...to a mountain which could be touched and which was set on fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, and to the sound of a trumpet and to the voice of words, because of which those who heard entreated that no further word be spoken to them" (12:18-19). Fortunately, a more hospitable glory fills the tabernacle once it is erected: "Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of Jehovah filled the tabernacle" (Exo. 40:34). Yet even then "Moses was not able to enter the Tent of Meeting, because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of Jehovah filled the tabernacle" (v. 35).

Ramm points out that the glory here was referred to in Jewish theology as the Shekinah. The word shekinah derives from the Hebrew verb root meaning "to dwell," which is also at the base of the Hebrew word for tabernacle. Thus, this Shekinah glory refers to the manifest presence of God, particularly as it appears in the tabernacle and temple (1 Kings 8:11). More precisely, the Shekinah is related to the Ark of the Covenant (1 Sam. 4:21-22) because it hovered over the Ark between the cherubim mounted upon the Ark. This is the glory referred to by Paul in Romans 9:4 ("whose are the...glory") and in Hebrews 9:5 ("cherubim of glory").

Near the end of the Old Testament age, the glory of God, as the manifest presence of God in the temple, departs from the temple and the city of Jerusalem in one of the visions of Ezekiel. From off the Ark the glory moves to the threshold of the temple (10:4), the cherubim at wing with it and the brightness flooding the outer court. At the east gate of the temple "the glory of the God of Israel" pauses (v. 19) before finally proceeding from the midst of the city of Jerusalem to stand on the mountain to the east, the Mount of Olives (11:22-23). That no further sighting of the Shekinah on the mount occurs should imply that the glory ascended to the heavens. Ramm observes that according to Zechariah 14:4 it is on this mount that Israel's Savior-Messiah will return, an event which Isaiah refers to as the kabod YHWH rising upon Israel (60:1-2).

Ultimately, the glory—God in His mode of self revelation and manifestation—will return and remain. "The earth will be filled / With the knowledge of the glory of Jehovah / As water covers the sea" (Hab. 2:14).


A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory[1] of God; but woman is the glory of man (1 Corinthians 11:7). If the man where to conceal his prayer requests to the Spirit, in front of the assembly, by having his wife ask for him. God would be answering the wife who is not in his image. Therefore taking from God his Glory.

καὶ δόξα Θεοῦ
And | Glory | God

By man doing for his wife he brings Glory(praise, honor, or distinction and thanksgiving) to his wife. And when God does for man it brings God glory. And it takes glory away from God when he gives to the woman through a man that is not the husband.

Does not nature even show you that if another man gives your wife flowers out of Love, the generosity of the gift from that man, is scorn by the husband. Is it not better that it be the husband to be the one expressing the great Love that God has for us to his wife. For we are to Love our wives like God loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25).

Also see that the power of choice has been give to the women, because of the angels (1 Corinthians 11:10).

A man praying or prophesying against truth revealed within the assembly causes dishonor, and not glory, because there is to be unity.

Therefore Man receives Glory from Giving Glory to God, by receiving his blessings. And the Wife Receives Glory from her Husband, by receiving God's blessings through her Husband, and also by the covering of glory that she receives from her hair.

That is why it is like shaving the man of his Glory, when the woman reveals the need to the Spirit while in the presence of the Husband. For the needs are not separate from each other (1 Corinthians 11:11). "In this I feel the translations are wrong because of lack of understanding." It is like she has shaved off her own hair, because God's glory being on the woman, was not as good as it being on the man, therefore undoing the glory she receives from having nice hair.

[a] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/glory


"Glory" has no particular Biblical meaning, because the writers of the original texts did not speak English. The original scrolls that became the Bible were written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek--not English. The Bible wasn't even translated into English until 1500 years after Christ. There are 530 different versions of the Bible today, and each one makes very different decisions about how to convert the original written ancient language. On top of that, some words have multiple meanings, so you can't be sure what meaning a particular translator intended. They certainly don't all agree.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .