The Old Testament part of the 1769 KJ version contains the phrase
"for ever" in 330 passages, and "everlasting" in 66 passages. People
who read some of those passages, might think that the things
mentioned there are "for all time to come" ("time without end"). It
is important to know and always keep in mind that that is not the
case. This is a vital key to better understanding of the Scriptures.
This treatise contains a concise study regarding the misleading
translations "for ever" and "everlasting" in the Old Testament. It
concentrates on the actual meaning of the ancient Hebrew word
olam (owlam). It will be shown that it did not mean "for
ever", the way that English expression is understood.
This is something very important, and not mere semantics. If one is
not aware of the fact that most bible-versions have translated the
word olam in misleading ways, then one is easily misled
regarding even basic and fundamental matters in the Bible, such as
the matter of the covenants.
Read the full article here:
Rabbi Jack Moline Website
Good things often come in small
packages. The word "va'ed" has three letters in Hebrew, and
the first is a prefix meaning "and." Our concern is, then, what the
short word spelled ayin-daled means.
"Ad" (for grammatical reasons, pronounced "ed" after "va")
is the equivalent of the mathematical sign that means "less than."
That symbol looks like a letter V that has fallen to the right.
Whatever is on left side of the symbol (the pointy part) is smaller
than whatever is on the right side of the symbol (the open part).
In a slightly different usage, "od" means "more" (as in "od
pa'am," "one more time") or "still/yet" (as in "od avinu chai,"
"our father still/yet lives"). In another form, "ad" means "until"
(as in "ad matai," "until when," that is "how long"). In our
usage, "ad" might best be translated as "beyond." Va'ed
means "and beyond."
"Ad" never appears by itself. Perhaps it is technically a
preposition. But by common usage it has been paired with the word
that precedes it in the idiom we have discussed, "olam." "L'olam
va'ed" can be reduced to the single word "forever," but the
poetry of the construct is better captured by the slogan of cartoon
character Buzz Lightyear: to infinity and beyond!
Reflecting on the two meanings of "olam" gives this little
word that much more power. In the earlier sense, "l'olam va'ed"
holds open the notion that there is a dimension beyond time. That
statement may give rise to certain kinds of scientific conversation,
but existentially it reassures us each and all that time itself goes
on even after any one or any collection of us no longer perceives
it. There is an indefinite future – really, an eternity – on which
we have a brief but lasting influence.
In the later sense, "l'olam va'ed" holds open the possibility
of worlds beyond our world. Once again, string theorists and science
fiction writers may elaborate on the implications, but we ordinary
human beings are inspired to consider the limitless experiences
awaiting us that depend upon, but are not limited by, the physical
world in which we find ourselves on this particular day.
I would love to replace a translation of "va'ed" with the
aforementioned math symbol. Not only do I like the less-verbal
concept, it always reminds me of open arms, ready to embrace
whatever comes next.
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