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Guide for the Perplexed, by Moses Maimonides, Friedländer tr. [1904], at


THE term male is a homonym which denotes that one substance enters another, and fills it, as "And she filled (va-temalle) her pitcher" (Gen. xxiv. 16); "An omer-full (melo) for each" (Exod. xvi. 32), and many other instances. Next, it signifies the expiration or completion of a fixed period

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of time, as "And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled (va-yimleü)" (Gen. xxv. 24); "And forty days were completed (va-yimleü) for him" (Gen. 1. 3). It further denotes attainment of the highest degree of excellency, as "Full (male) with the blessing of the Lord" (Deut. xxxiii. 23); "Them hath he filled (mille) with wisdom of heart" (Exod. xxxv. 35) He was filled (va-yimmale) with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning" (1 Kings vii. 14). In this sense it is said "The whole earth is full (melo) of his glory" (Isa. vi. 4), "All the earth gives evidence of his perfection," i.e. leads to a knowledge of it. Thus also" The glory of the Lord filled (male) the tabernacle" (Exod. xl. 34); and, in fact, every application of the word to God must be interpreted in this manner; and not that He has a body occupying space. If, on the other hand, you prefer to think that in this passage by "the glory of the Lord," a certain light created for the purpose is to be understood, that such light is always termed "glory," and that such light "filled the tabernacle," we have no objection.

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