[b-hebrew] one-to-one rendering of olam

Hedrick Gary GaryH at cjfm.org
Thu Dec 9 17:51:32 EST 2010

I changed the subject line because we're straying from the original topic.

Please check the archives for previous discussions regarding the range of meaning of עולם

It can indeed mean forever in some contexts, like when it describes God himself (we can be relatively certain that El Olam doesn't mean "Temporary God"). In other contexts, though, it means a relatively long time (as in the case of a slave who commits to remain with his owner "forever"). In still other contexts, it connotes, very simply, indefinite duration.

Here's a link to one archived discussion thread:


Again, translation is a game of contexts—and also, to some extent, preconceptions.

Gary Hedrick
San Antonio, Texas USA

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