What does the 'glory' of God mean? Could it just mean the glow of him? The visual and physical sensations of being in his magmatic presence?
When Moses came down from the mountain with the tablets of stone that the commandments were written on...
“Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him. So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone , and they were afraid to come near him.(
V.35 “And whenever the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face shone , then Moses would put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with Him”.
In 2 Corinthians 3:7 Paul writes “the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away.” As awesome as this was, it was only temporary.God's glory was certainly having a physical impression on Moses!
Revelation 15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.
....smoke from the glory of God. It really doesn't take a genius to work it out. It takes looking at it in its most simplistic terms.
...and we know 'the Lord was like a devouring fire upon Mount Sinai'.
God's glory = the physical or visual impression felt upon seeing the fire or lava produced by Mount Sinai, or his miriad of angels or 'little ones' (flaming gas leaks) or subsequent abodes.
God's glory is often associated with visible displays of light, e.g. thunderbolts, fire, brightness.
27 And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.
28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.
S. B. Segall in Understanding the Exodus: And Other Mysteries of Jewish History:
When Moses went up the mountain he expected to see God. When he came down from the mountain he told the Israelites that no one could see God's face and live, but that by shielding himself behind a rock and looking through a crack in the rock he cold see the dazzling light of the Lord's presence (Exodus, Chapter 33). Moses wanted to stand at the rim of the volcano to see God, but the heat from the red-hot rock and swirling ash would have killed him. The closest he could get to seeing inside the volcano was to see the light from the volcano while he was shielded by a boulder.
What Moses saw on the mountain matched what he thought God would be--a spirit without form; a pure source of energy radiating heat and light; a being so powerful that no one could face him directly and remain alive. When Moses saw the light radiating from the volcano, he truly believed that he had seen God.
It's important to bare in mind that whatever is said in latter parts of the Bilbe are pretty irrelevant as that is just window dressing. To understand the origins of the Biblical story, you need to get back to basics and close to source.