4 Comments on What Does “Eternity” in the Bible Mean?

  1. Good article, Gerry. I mentioned the following to you in an email and thought I would cut and paste from the website: Ancient Hebrew Research Center (http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/27_eternity.html) to be a comment to this article. It is a word study concerning the word eternity. It is amazing how just one word mis-translated can change the whole understanding of the Holy Word of God.

    Be Blessed, Suzanne

    Ancient Hebrew Word Meanings
    Eternity ~ olam

    In the ancient Hebrew words that are used to described distance and direction are also used to describe time. The Hebrew word for east is qedem and literally means “the direction of the rising sun”. We use north as our major orientation such as in maps which are always oriented to the north. While we use the north as our major direction the Hebrews used the east and all directions are oriented to this direction. For example one of the words for south is teyman from the root yaman meaning “to the right”. The word qedem is also the word for the past. In the ancient Hebrew mind the past is in front of you while the future is behind you, the opposite way we think of the past and future. The Hebrew word olam means in the far distance. When looking off in the far distance it is difficult to make out any details and what is beyond that horizon cannot be seen. This concept is the olam. The word olam is also used for time for the distant past or the distant future as a time that is difficult to know or perceive. This word is frequently translated as eternity or forever but in the English language it is misunderstood to mean a continual span of time that never ends. In the Hebrew mind it is simply what is at or beyond the horizon, a very distant time. A common phrase in the Hebrew is “l’olam va’ed” and is usually translated as “forever and ever” but in the Hebrew it means “to the distant horizon and again” meaning “a very distant time and even further” and is used to express the idea of a very ancient or future time.

  2. Dear Gerry,

    Me again. Didn’t quite notice I was on your site when I posted the above.

    Your book has been a great blessing to me. Still haven’t looked at the shorter version, but that is a great idea too.
    I’m always looking for a good, short and simple intro to UR.



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