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Name of Israel's Operation Against Hamas Has Biblical Reference


The name refers to both spiritual and physical protection for the Israelis.

The CNN Blog told the story this morning of the name of Israel’s operation against Hamas and its biblical roots. Called “Operation Pillar of Defense” in English, in Hebrew it is more closely translated “Operation Pillar of Cloud.” The reference is biblical: The head of the North American media desk for the Israeli Defense Forces Eytan Buchman explained that it is “based on the pillar of cloud that accompanied the the nation of Israel during the Exodus as they left Egypt and traveling toward Israel.”

“We are coming up on a decade of rockets being fired indiscriminately at civilians,” Buchman said, referring to Hamas’ actions in southern Israel. The Jewish state’s current military operation, he said, “is a proverbial cloud that is coming to protect you.”

The cloud refers to both spiritual and physical protection, as explained in Exodus 14, where the reference is first used in the Bible.

“The spiritual message here is about praying to God for protection,” said Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, who heads an Orthodox congregation in Washington. “In Exodus, the pillar of cloud is spiritual protection of the Israelis.”

Photo Credit: GERSHBERG Yuri /

Daniel So

Daniel So

Daniel is the General Editor of and Resource Editor of Daniel and his wife, along with an incredible team, helped plant Anchor City Church in San Diego—a third culture, multi-generational church who seeks to join the redemptive mission of God for our city and for the world. Daniel also serves on the advisory board of Justice Ventures International, a non-profit organization working to fight human trafficking and modern-day slavery around the world.

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