[b-hebrew] one-to-one rendering of olam (was: Song of Songs 1:12)

Paul Zellmer pzellmer at sc.rr.com
Thu Dec 9 19:02:51 EST 2010

English has the concept of an endless “forever.”  Hebrew does not.  As Gary reminded us, the actual concept of  עולם is a very long time.  But the normal English translation of  עד עולם is “forever,” unless context prevents such an open-ended statement.


When I was involved in translation work, I happened to work in a language that, like Hebrew, did not have the “forever” concept.  But their equivalent preposition phrase, “adde noka,” was well understood by people to normally refer to an endless time unless otherwise prevented.


Just out of curiosity, what would you suggest as a more “correct” meaning?


Paul Zellmer


From: fred burlingame [mailto:tensorpath at gmail.com] 
Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2010 4:43 PM
To: Paul Zellmer
Cc: B-Hebrew
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Song of Songs 1:12


Hello Paul:


Thanks for your nice and explanatory comments.


The question remains however. The niv committee, in its wisdom, instructs that the little phrase עד עולם means "forever."






Is that meaning of the hebrew phrase correct?...


I await your advices.




fred burlingame


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