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And when my kevòd

And when my kevòd passes by I will put you in the cleft of the rock and I will cover you with my palm until I have passed by. We now wonder: What might this “glory” be that could only be seen from the back but not directly? What was, then, passing by Moses so dangerous as to require a special protection? How could the Elohìm protect Moses with the palm of his hand while it was passing by? Several versions of the Bible contain this meaning that the Catholic tradition has now accepted, but this passive acceptance brings the difficulty that the questions themselves highlight. Indeed, it is difficult to find an explanation if one keeps thinking that the “Glory of God” was something transcendent! The solution is in fact possible when presented in the light of what we are trying to demonstrate: the concreteness of the described event. It should be recalled that shortly before the Elohìm uses the expression “a place nearby me” and shows Moses a cleft that evidently was placed “nearby him” and that would provide him with protection. The word kaf ( )- hence the expression (“capì”) (“kap-ì“) of the aforementioned verse - also indicates a “cavity” as the palm of the hollow hand; this is not all, another meaning of the root kaf ( ) is “rock.” Its meaning in Hebrew is borrowed from Aramaic. Therefore we can suppose to 98

overcome the traditional interpretative difficulties thinking that the Elohìm advises Moses to remain in the “cleft” of the rock and that he will “repair, cover” the cavity while passing. Summarizing, Yahweh agrees to show the kevód in action and, to do so without producing irreversible consequences for Moses, he orders him to take cover in the cleft of the rocks. Moreover, after this experience, followed by the delivery of the Tablets of the Law, Moses has his face flushed, as burned, requiring to be constantly covered by a veil, which is only removed when he enters the tent before the Elohìm (Exodus 34:29 et seq.). What has happened?! Was he exposed to a powerful source of energy? Was he hit by a radiation, such as a solar one, that produces burns? These effects, however, do not seem so strange if one considers that Exodus 24:15-17 says that when Moses climbs the mountain, the Elohìm's “kevód” stays on the top, producing a cloud covering it: and the cloud covered the mountain Verse 16 contains an important clarification: and the kevód of Yahweh installed on the mountain 99

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