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Shekinah

SHEKINAH shə kī’ nə (שְׁכִינָה, that which dwells). A non-Biblical term that appeared in the Targums and was used in the Talmud to describe the presence of God in the world and His relationship to Israel. Origin of the term. “Shekinah” arose among the Palestinian and Babylonian Jews, being based upon the OT doctrine of the divine presence in the world, which emphasized the immanent presence and activity of God in the world order, and in contradiction to the Alexandrian teaching that God was supramundane and extramundane in His being. “Shekinah” was a useful term to the rabbis in that it afforded a reverent means of bringing the God who was “completely other” into contrast with the material universe, and esp. into a visible or tangible relationship to His people Israel. No doubt the particular emphasis of the word upon “dwelling” grew out of the OT teaching that God chose to dwell among His people and put His name in a special place in the earth (Deut 12:5ff). It was an interpretiv