"olam"


#1

Found this website yesterday and wanted to share this link with you as it really helped with my understanding of the Hebrew “olam” often translated “forever” or “eternity” in our English Bibles. Please chime in if you have any information confirming or contradicting this understanding of the Hebrew. Thanks so much!

ancient-hebrew.org/27_eternity.html


#2

Thanks for posting this! I don’t know enough to critique his def of “olam”, except to say that it accords well with what I’ve read elsewhere.

I looked around this website several years ago, and got his emails for awhile, but then became busy with other things and forgot about it. I’m glad for the reminder; the site has developed a lot since then, and looks even more interesting!

On his Hebrew Word Meanings page he writes:

This is really important to keep in mind in translating meanings between words and cultures–something many are not even aware of if they have never learned another language or been much exposed to other languages and cultures.

I grew up in a mixed culture/language family, and even so, I forget at times that communicating meanings is not always a straightforward affair.

Hebrew is a fascinating language. An orthodox Israeli Jew once told be that if I wanted to understand the OT properly, I really needed to read it in Hebrew. :wink: Something I’d really like to be able to do … someday…

Sonia


#3

Very well done. Seems to retrieve the Hebrew organic sense of reality very well.


#4

That was an excellent brief link to the term, HSM. Thanks!

(Note that it doesn’t necessarily rule out the concept of a never-ending “forever and ever” either.)


#5

I came across this interesting website on OWLAM OLAM OLAWM

Sherman would be interested in this bit in particular, as “unseen”/“out of sight” very similar to “concealed”:


#6

I appreciate the OP link. It’s a good review of olam. It’s also helpful to note that the concept of “seeing” or “sight” is metaphorical of understanding and persception. That which is in the distance is difficult to perceive, to understand, and that which is beyond the horizon is impossible to understand. The coming age is beyond our sight and understanding. If we do by the Spirit see into it, it’s hard for us to understand. I mean, exactly how does one explain green to a blind man! I often feel like we are blind men arguing over the difference between red and blue, or even arguing over the difference between Forest Green and Emarald Green. And it grieves me that the church is so divided over differing understandings or misunderstandings of scripture. I suppose our common love for God and faith in Christ is not enough to love one another. Well, I’ll get off my soap box and get back on my knees now. Thanks again for the links.

And Alex you are right, I do appreciate the reality that “aionios” was used in the LXX to translate “olam”. Thus to me “aionios” has the concept of being beyond site, beyond undestanding.