[b-hebrew] b-hebrew Digest, Vol 96, Issue 14

fred burlingame tensorpath at gmail.com
Mon Dec 13 17:42:15 EST 2010

Hello Karl:

Thanks for your comments.

Can you point to a specific example in the masoretic text of עולם meaning
infinite action, eternal action ... versus finite and/or temporal action?

Any user, of any word, in any language, can assign any meaning(s) to the
word that she chooses. Actual usage determines meaning.

Where in the leningrad codex does עולם appear with a specific, dedicated
and expressed meaning of "eternal," "infinite," etc., action?


fred burlingame

On Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 4:16 PM, K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com> wrote:

> Fred:
> You are focussing on the object, the time span, whereas the ancient Hebrew
> writers focussed on the action, as indicated even by their choice of words
> to express their ideas. The action here concerns knowing, or more accurately
> the lack thereof. The act of not knowing is attached to a young man or woman
> who is not yet sexually active (contrast Genesis 4:1) hence elem and almah,
> and in time refers to a span of time whose beginning, end or both are
> unknown at the time the reference is made, and also refers to the infinite
> because our finite minds cannot comprehend the infinite, i.e. eternity. By
> focussing on the action rather than the object, there is no dichotomy in
> word use in referring to a finite span of time whose end is not yet known,
> and eternity which cannot be known.
> As for how best to translate the terms, that is translation, not meaning,
> and beyond what I care to discuss.
> For a further discussion of how the ancient Hebrews thought, look at
> http://www.wikinfo.org/index.php/Hebrew_thought
> Karl W. Randolph.

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