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

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Sun Dec 12 19:48:29 EST 2010

2. OLAM essentially means 'tall and fat'.

3. As for the translation of Eccl. 3:11
    King James: He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also  
he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the  
work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

    The New American Standard Bible: He has made everything  
appropriate in its time He has also set eternity in their heart, yet  
so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the  
beginning even to the end.

    Luther: Er aber tut alles fein zu seiner Zeit und läßt ihr Herz  
sich ängsten, wie es gehen solle in der Welt; denn der Mensch kann  
doch nicht treffen das Werk, das Gott tut, weder Anfang noch Ende.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Dec 12, 2010, at 7:22 PM, fred burlingame wrote:

> 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.
> regards,
> 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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