עֲרָפֶל Strong’s #6205 araphel

And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

Exodus 20:21


There are two words in the Hebrew translated as darkness. The most common is the word hhoshekh (Strongs #2822) and means “darkness.” The other word is araphel and means something more than just darkness. In Exodus 20:21, we read and Moses approached the araphel where God was. This darkness is a different darkness and may be alluded to in Exodus 10:21 which is the plague of darkness (hhoshekh) that could be felt. We often associate darkness with evil and light with good; but, interestingly, most times God appears in this araphel, such as we saw in Exodus 20:21 but also in 2 Samuel 22:10, 1 Kings 8:12, Job 22:13, Psalm 97:2 and other places.