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


IN Hebrew, the verb bo signifies "to come" as applied to a living being, i.e., its arrival at a certain place, or approach to a certain person, as "Thy brother came (ba) with subtilty" (Gen. xxvii. 35). It next denotes (with regard to a living being) "to enter" a certain place, e.g., "And when Joseph came (va-yabo) into the house" (Gen. xliii. 26); "When ye come (ta-boü) into the land" (Exod. Xii. 25). The term was also employed metaphorically in the sense of "to come" applied to a certain event, that is, to something incorporeal, as "When thy sayings come to pass (yabo)" (Judg. xiii. 17); "Of that which will come (yaboü) over thee" (Isa. xlvii. 13). Nay, it is even applied to privatives, e.g., "Yet evil came (va-yabo)" (Job iii. 26); "And darkness came (va-yabo)" Now, since the word has been applied to incorporeal things, it has also been used in reference to God-to the fulfilment of His word, or to the manifestation of His Presence (the Shechinah). In this figurative sense it is said, "Lo, I come (ba) unto thee in a thick cloud" (Exod. xix. 9); "For the Lord the God of Israel cometh (ba) through it" (Ezek. xliv. 2). In these and all similar passages, the coming of the Shechinah is meant, but the words, "And the Lord my God shall come (u-ba)" (Zech. xiv. 5) are identical with "His word will come," that is to say, the promises which He made through the Prophets will be fulfilled; therefore Scripture adds "all the holy ones that are with thee," that is to say, "The word of the Lord my God will be performed, which has been spoken by all the holy ones who are with thee, who address the Israelites."

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