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

fred burlingame tensorpath at gmail.com
Sun Dec 12 19:22:13 EST 2010

Hello Isaac:

Thanks for your comments. I offer the following response, correlated to your
numbered paragraphs.

1. The "forever" hissing in jeremiah 18:16 appears to result from the
precedent שמה , not because some people do it arbitrarily and in a vacuum.

2. If the עולם covenant in genesis 9:16 equals "forever;" why not also the
עולם hissing due to שמה in jeremiah 18:16? Once again, there appears to be
no factual distinction between these two occurrences of עולם . Whatever עולם
means, the meaning should hold the same for both occurrences.

3. ecclesiastes 3:11

את הכל עשה יפה בעתו גם את העלם נתן בלבם מבלי אשר לא ימצא האדם את המעשה אשר
עשה האלהים מראש ועד סוף

This verse represents an excellent example of the meaning of עולם .
Obviously, it cannot mean "eternal." For if אדם possessed the eternal in his
heart, ימצא האדם את המעשה אשר עשה האלהים מראש ועד סוף .
Rather, עולם properly means "hidden" or "obscurity," so man cannot find out
the works of the elohim.


fred burlingame

On Sun, Dec 12, 2010 at 4:51 PM, Isaac Fried <if at math.bu.edu> wrote:

>  1. Whatever it means, SHRIYQOT OLAM is negligible. Some people will hiss
> or whistle "forever". So what. (BTW I think that the root SHRK is a variant
> of ZRQ, with SHRIQAH meaning ZRIYQAH, 'hurling out air'.)
> 2. The BRIT OLAM of Gen. 9:16 is indeed (in the words of King James)
> 'everlasting covenant', where everlasting means 'unlimited in time', or
> 'irrevocable, not cancelable, to last AD OLAM'.
> 3. What do you think of HA-OLAM of Eccl. 3:11?
> Isaac Fried, Boston University

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