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owlam 7

This inquiry has been nothing short of inspirational. It all began with questions, concerns, mis-communications, mis-judments and a number of walls and veils. I believe the Holy One Blessed is He has breached all the negative aspects of this journey and taken what had become twisted and bent transforming it through valid research and reliable resources..namely and foremost His lasting and Eternal Word…into a straight and clearly defined path. It is never a bad thing to find an avenue for more study and investigation and it can even be an opportunity to establish relationships, stimulate renewed conviction, motivation and devotion.

There will be three parts to this inquiry (God willing), this first part will have to do with the foundation and clarification of these terms in the Tanakh (Torah, Prophets, Psalms and Writings). The Second will have to do with the Greek Terminology as found in the Apostolic Writings and the Third will be an overview in connection with Covenants.

Here was the question I had: How could it be possible that Eternal couldn’t mean Eternal? That Forever…was only for a period of time? Why ask what seems to be a ‘silly’ question, of course Eternal and Everlasting mean that very thing, especially since it was God Who used those terms in Scripture, right? Unfortunately there is a deception at work which is not overt. It is entangled and positioned within Christian, Messianic and other groups and this deception targets believers. This deception is not attracted to the agnostic who is neither concerned nor aware of the Lord and His sovereignty, the deception has no appetite for the luke-warm believer who is neither searching the scriptures nor devoting their time and energy into a relationship with God. What has craftily crept in is a force which for one reason or another uses attractive labels and even fascinating contrivances to lure the seeker into believing…the question. “Did God really say?”

Here is an unfortunate example of premeditated, devised…agenda driven misinformation I came across and the writer is using the supposed meaning of the Hebrew language with alleged Hebraic Thought ‘in mind’ while he attempts to dismantle some of the most powerful and far reaching terms there could ever be in God’s everlasting Word. The following is a quote from a site I will not even link to unless you contact safeguardingtheeternal@aol.com and request that information personally. Although I would like to state the reason for this inquiry is not to tear any one down, with the heart of sincere concern and a heart of love I seek only to reprove with a willing heart to accept valid reproof in turn. I am thankful for the challenge to explore and expose the truth and transparency in motives from our resources we should all be searching for.

Psalm 139; 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting (Owlam) way.

The Quote: First, the Hebrew word is olam. The word itself simply means “long duration,” “antiquity,” “futurity,” “until the end of a period of time.” That period of time is determined by the context. Sometimes it is the length of a man’s life, sometimes it is an age, and sometimes it is a dispensation…
the word for ever in Hebrew does not mean “eternal” as it does in English; it means up to the end of a period of time, either a man’s life, or an age, or a dispensation.
(end excerpt)

The writer goes on to attempt to give references from scripture and he only sites the minuscule examples where the word owlam means the period of a man’s life (there are examples of this usage in certain contexts but the vast array of much more far reaching definition for owlam is not even mentioned by him.)He continues to site the word ‘Talmud’ while failing to reference specifically where he got his information nor did he make an actual point in connection to Talmudic ‘thought’. I believe he was attempting to solidify his Jewish-ness and expertise as a Hebrew scholar simply by using this term, Talmud (the documentation of the ‘Oral’ Torah and Rabbinical Laws). The writer is an ethnically Jewish Christian who runs a ‘ministry’ which he has labeled as Messianic Jewish and expresses in detail his belief that the so called Mosaic Law (i.e. Torah) has served its purpose for a past generation and is no longer applicable today for the believer. Thus we can peek a little behind the curtain and witness a motive for undermining the critical and paramount meaning behind Eternal.

Balaam 2

I did a good amount of enlisting Hebrew scholars and Theologian’s (personally by means of messaging, email, phone calls and actual physical conversation, not just via browsing blog’s I found through a Google search) for help with this very important topic. Jews and Gentiles were eager and thankful to be of help in this inquiry and I will say it has been a huge blessing and I think very timely. This is what it is all about, fellowship for a common goal…the Sanctification of God’s Great Name and the Eternal Integrity of His Word. I was turned on to several different Hebrew words which will help us understand the concept of Eternity and the Eternal God we serve.

First let us look at the words ‘in question’.
Owlam (used 438 times in Tanakh)
Ad (used 51 times in Tanakh)
Netzach (used 44 times in Tanakh)
Dowr (used 168 times in Tanakh)

The following texts will clearly identify the definitions for these words and their usages. It is the seeker’s job to search out the matter and note the context of the verse to find its usage and intended meaning in the appropriate Scripture passage(s).

עלם Owlam- Properly, concealed, i.e. the vanishing point; generally, time out of mind (past or future), i.e. (practically) eternity; frequentatively, adverbial (especially with prepositionally prefix) always. Strongs H5669

Owlam

עד Ad (ad)-properly, a (peremptory) terminus, i.e. (by implication) duration, in the sense of advance or perpetuity (substantially as a noun, either with or without a prepostion.) Strongs H5703
Ad

נצח Netzach (neh-tsakh)- properly, a goal, i.e. a bright object at a distance traveled towards; hence (figuratively), splendor, or (subjectively) truthfulness, or (objectively) confidence; but usually (adverbially), continually (i.e. to the most distant point of view). Strongs 5331
Netzach

דר Dowr (dore)-properly, a revolution of time, i.e. an age or generation; also a dwelling. Strongs H1755
Dor

Genesis 3;22 And HASHEM God said, “Behold Man has become like the Unique One among us, knowing good and bad; and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the Tree of Life, and eat and live forever (Owlam)!”

– It was the deception of the Father of Lies which promoted the disobedience to God’s word which led to the separation of man from the intimate, close, eternal proximity with God in Gan Edan, the Garden of Eden. If Owlam “simply” means that man, having eaten the fruit of the Tree of knowledge of good and evil and desiring to eat of the fruit of the Tree of life, would live for a “period of time” or for a “long duration”…what was God’s concern? Why the urgency to evict Adam and Chavah from the Garden?
God was not going to allow man to eat of the Tree of life at this point because He said “lest He…live forever”. Forever, eternally. Not for a period of time.
The eternal life in the Garden was forfeited by the first Adam through the sin of disobedience, once again note that the serpent twisted the Word of God even “using” the word itself in his deception.

So why would anyone want to diminish the essence of the term Eternal?
There are several reasons that have emerged before me but before we attempt to answer that question, let us take in some scripture and ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten us according to the will of our Maker.
Read Psalm 55 and keep in mind that through our Faith we are counted as righteous before God (also actively doing what the Word of God says with our hearts, we can walk in the ways of the Righteous God we serve Romans 2; 13. http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Rom&c=2&t=NASB#s=t_conc_1048013″>.
The Psalmist proclaims that God will not forever (owlam) allow the Righteous to be shaken. While we may experience tribulation and trial, while he might shake us in order that the “dead” foliage can be shed from our lives…that we might become strengthened and resilient, this shaking will NOT last OWLAM forever. This is trustworthy because the God in whom there is the absolute Lo- No change made that promise. We read of the snake with the silver tongue and buttery words which hide his own agenda which was always death and is ever toward the destruction and torment for every single created being. Especially those who have embraced the potential with which the Lord enables them to yield His light which is always likened to His Brilliant Word.

Psalm 55;16 As for me, I shall call upon God,
And the Lord will save me.
17 Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur,
And He will hear my voice.
18 He will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me,
For they are many who strive with me.
19 God will hear and answer them—
Even the one who sits enthroned from of old— Selah.
With whom there is no change,
And who do not fear God.
20 He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him;
He has violated his covenant.
21 His speech was smoother than butter,
But his heart was war;
His words were softer than oil,
Yet they were drawn swords.
22 Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you;
He will never allow (Owlam) the righteous to be shaken.
23 But You, O God, will bring them down to the pit of destruction;
Men of bloodshed and deceit will not live out half their days.
But I will trust in You.

owlam1

We serve the God who does not change. The God with Whom there is no variation or shifting shadow ,the God who will never amend nor exchange His Word for any other for ALL TIME.
http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Jas&c=1&t=KJV#s=t_conc_1147017″></a

Let us take a look at this form of the (Aramaic) word which corresponds to Owlam….
לעלמין Alam (aw-lam) remote time, i.e. the future or past indefinitely; often adverb, forever.
This word is found in Daniel 2;4 2;20 2;44 3;9 4;3 4;34 5;10 6;6 6;21. It is also found in Ezra 4;15 and 19.
(In certain contexts, it is used addressing Nebudchadnezzer, "May the king live forever" it is akin to the more modern "long live the king". )
Can it be possible to translate the same word Alam in the same way as having addressed an earthly king in an earthly kingdom when referring to the Eternal God of Jacob and His EVERLASTING Kingdom (Dan. 4;3)? Or what about the Messiah, the Ancient of Days (Dan.7;14), can it be said His dominion is "simply" for a duration, or is is Kingdom for a period of time, that it can at some point be destroyed (God forbid!)? May it never be!
Do you see how important it is that we not diminish these words? If we do choose to undermine Alam as forever, than we undercut the Kingdom which we look forward to which is not for a time, it is without end. If we choose to threaten Alam and call it "simply" an age in reference to His dominion this is extremely dangerous ground.

Daniel 4;1 Nebuchadnezzar the king to all the peoples, nations, and men of every language that live in all the earth: “May your peace abound! 2 It has seemed good to me to declare the signs and wonders which the Most High God has done for me. 3 “How great are His signs And how mighty are His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting (Alam) kingdom And His dominion is from generation to generation.

Daniel 7;13 “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. 14 “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting (Alam) dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.

owlam

Now let us talk about Netzach.

H5329 natsach naw-tsakh’
properly, to glitter from afar, i.e. to be eminent (as a superintendent, especially of the Temple services and its music); also (as denominative from H5331), to be permanent.

Netzach is victory, majesty, splendor…it is often used when referring to the Eternal One, continually. When this term is used to describe our King, His Kingdom, His Will, his Word…it is used for the very purpose it is intended: to define the perpetual, lasting, infinite, enduring…PERMANENCE of the Creator.

I Samuel 15;29 Moreover the Eternal One (Netzach) of Israel does not lie and does not relent, for He is not a human that He should relent.

I Chronicles 29;11 Yours, HASHEM, is the greatness, the strength, the splendor, the triumph (Netzach) and the glory,even everything in heaven and earth.

When God expresses there is eternal punishment for those who shake their fist at Him even after seeing the wonders of the End of the Age, He can not “simply” mean this punishment is for a period of time. What would be the cause of warning, or sounding the alarm, that there is a consequence for sin…if that consequence has a cap or conclusion?
http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Heb&c=6&t=NASB#s=t_conc_1139005″></a

Job 4;20 They are ground down from morning to evening; without contemplation, they are lost forever (Netzach).

Amos 8;7 HASHEM has sworn by the Glory of Jacob, 'I will never (Netzach)forget all their deeds.'

I found Netzach translated in several different places as “never” the complete opposite of forever. This was mostly in the King James version. One has to wonder the purposes behind some of the modern translations. We have to look at these verses in context and seek out the message the LORD, not the translator, was intending to bestow upon us.

Habakkuk 1;4 That is why the Torah is weakened and justice never (Netzach) emerges. Since the wicked surround the righteous, therefore justice emerges distorted.

Look at this example from the New American Standard:
Psalm 31;1 In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge;
Let me never be ashamed;
In Your righteousness deliver me.

Look at the same verse from the Hebrew:
31;1 Netzach ­­­­
for the one making permanent
*not even translated into most of the texts I looked at *
Mizmowr (instrumental music, a poem set to notes)
psalm to David
Yhovah yeh-ho-vaw’ (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
in you Yahweh
chacah khaw-saw’- to flee for protection; figuratively, to confide in.
I refuge must not
buwsh boosh-properly, to pale, i.e. by implication to be ashamed; also (by implication) to be disappointed or delayed.
I am ashamed
owlam o-lawm’ or lolam {o-lawm’}- properly, concealed, i.e. the vanishing point; generally, time out of mind (past or future), i.e. (practically) eternity; frequentatively, adverbial (especially with prepositional prefix) always.
for eon
tsdaqah tsed-aw-kaw’- rightness (abstractly), subjectively (rectitude), objectively (justice), morally (virtue) or figuratively (prosperity).
in righteousness
palat paw-lat’- a primitive root; to slip out, i.e. escape; causatively, to deliver.
of you deliver you me.

What deeper meaning do these words have when they begin by addressing “The One Making Permanent”…that our shame not be for eternity! I have only begun to learn but I will testify that reading from English alone, one will miss so much God has woven into the Text.

owlam 4

There is something I personally have hoped for ever since I realized that I was dead in sin. There is hope for a time to come when my King will wipe away death and cast it into the pit of fire. Forever. There is hope that all the tears will be removed, all sorrow and shame. If we are going to start contending with the promise of an eternal existence with our King, without death and sorrow…this is truly a relevant cause for concern. If He does not completely destroy forever…death, what hope beloved do we have? There is none. Therefore, death….be swallowed up in the Victory of my King forevermore!!
http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Rev&c=20&t=NASB#s=t_conc_1187014″&gt;</a

owlam 2

Psalm 16; 11 You will make known to me the path of life, the fullness of the joys in Your Presence, the delights that are in Your right hand for eternity (Netzach).

We find rest in what we have been taught. There is no way any animal offering, no human sacrifice, no ransom…could be valuable enough to redeem mankind from our sin, no power on earth is strong enough to rescue us from death. We know that death is inevitable but also that HaShem promised our reclamation from the hand of the grave and a place with Him eternally. The path to this place will be revealed by Him alone to ALL those Whom He has in advance prepared ….
http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Eph&c=1&t=NASB#s=t_conc_1098004″&gt;</a.
This path is known by the Word, by the Spirit, by the blood of the Lamb of God.

Psalm 49;7 Those who rely on their possessions, and they are boastful of their great wealth- 8 yet a man cannot redeem a brother, he cannot give his ransom to God. 9 Too costly is their soul's redemption and unattainable forever (Owlam). 10 Can one live eternally(Netzach), never to see the pit? 11 Though he sees that wise men die, that the foolish and boorish perish together and leave their possessions to others, 12 in their imaginations their houses are forever(Owlam), their dwellings generation after generation (Dowr, Dowr); they have proclaimed their names throughout the lands. 13 But as for man: In glory he shall not repose, he is likened to the silenced animals. 14 This is their way, folly is theirs, yet of their destiny their mouths speak soothingly, selah! 15 Like sheep, they are destined for the Lower World, death shall consume them; and the upright shall dominate them at daybreak, their form is doomed to rot in the grave, each from his dwelling. 16 But God will redeem my soul from the hand of the Lower World, for He will take me, Selah! 17 Fear not when a man grows rich, when he increases the glory of his house, 18 for upon his death he will not take anything, his glory will not descend after him. 19 Though he may bless himself in his lifetime, others will praise you if you improve yourself. 20 It shall come to the generation (Dowr) of its father; unto eternity (Netzach) they shall see no (Lo) light. 21 Man is glorious but understands not, he is likened to the silenced animals.

owlam 6

So perhaps in these cases we can submit some thoughts. Yes death is eternal, but so is the promise of Everlasting life in the Lord. Yes death is final but spiritual death even more so. Our physical tents might pass into the dirt forever, but life and shelter in the Messiah is forever.
http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Deu&c=33&t=NASB#s=t_conc_186027″&gt;</a

owlam 3

Daniel 12; 1 At that time Michael will stand, the great prince who stands in support of the members of your people, and there will be a time of trouble such as there had never been since there was a nation until that time. But at that time your people will escape; everything that is found written in this book. 2 Many of those who sleep in the dusty earth will awaken: these for everlasting (owlam) life and these for shame, for everlasting (owlam) abhorrence. 3 The wise will shine like the radiance of the firmament, and those who teach righteousness to the multitudes like the stars, forever (Owlam) and ever (Ad).

Here the texts clearly identify the connection between God, the Jewish People, Israel and Eternity. This is, I believe one of the main reasons why anyone would deign to diminish Owlam or any other word which means forever….replacement theology. If you do not know what replacement theology is please contact me personally at safeguardingtheeternal@aol.com and I will attempt to express my beliefs about its definition. If you think you know what replacement theology is I want you to consider that the replacement of the meaning of a word like owlam IS perhaps one of the most primitive forms of replacement theology existent. God is God forever, God chose Israel forever, God made eternal covenants, God will keep His side of the terms of these covenants eternally. God’s word is eternal, His commandments are eternal therefore His reign and His Name are everlasting. We can not pick and choose, we can not stand on the fence, we can not dance between two opinions, we can not attempt to make grey what is black and white. There is not a more serious duty than proclaiming the word of God and His righteousness, there is not a more hazardous badge to have pinned on oneself, if one believes he is appointed to be God’s editor.

Exodus 15;17 You will bring them and implant them on the mount of Your heritage, the foundation of Your dwelling-place that You, HASHEM, have made- the Sanctuary, my Lord, that Your hands established. 18 HASHEM shall reign for all (Owlam) eternity (Ad)!

Micah 4;1 It will be in the end of days that the mountain of the Temple of HASHEM will be firmly established as the most prominent of the mountains, and it will be exalted up above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. 2 Many nations will go and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the Mountain of HASHEM and to the Temple of the God of Jacob, and He will teach us of His ways and we will walk in His paths.’ For from Zion shall go forth the Torah, and the word of HASHEM from Jerusalem. 3 He will judge between many peoples, and will settle arguments of mighty nations from far away. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning knives; a nation will not lift sword against nation, nor will they learn war anymore. 4 They will sit, each man under his vine and under his fig tree, and none will make them afraid, for the mouth of HASHEM Master of Legions, has spoken. 5 For all the peoples will go forth, each man in the name of his god, but we go forth with the Name of HASHEM, our God, forever (Owlam) and ever (Ad).

owlam 8

Isaiah 9;2 The people who walk in darkness
Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land,
The light will shine on them.
3 You shall multiply the nation, You shall increase their gladness;
They will be glad in Your presence
As with the gladness of harvest, As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
4 For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders,
The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.
5 For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult,
And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.
6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal (AD) Father, Prince of Peace.
7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore (OWLAM).
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

mishpatim 3

Psalm 119; 153 Look upon my affliction and rescue me, for I do not forget Your law.
154 Plead my cause and redeem me; revive me according to Your word.
155 Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek Your statutes.
156 Great are Your mercies, O Lord; revive me according to Your ordinances.
157 Many are my persecutors and my adversaries, yet I do not turn aside from Your testimonies.
158 I behold the treacherous and loathe them, because they do not keep Your word.
159 Consider how I love Your precepts; revive me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness.
160 The sum of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting (Owlam).

Here is why this topic is so crucial, this is why I want to take the time with these inquiries and help us all to understand what it means when we use certain mindsets and don’t “simply” get to the very basics of understanding. I am using the following exercise to paint for us a very crystal clear picture of what I perceive one is doing when one interprets the Word of God with an agenda and without allowing the Holy Spirit and the actual physical WORD to speak for themselves.
IF someone makes the statement that Forever, Eternal, Everlasting, for All time, etc. in Scripture
“simply” mean for a period of time, for an age, for a duration, etc. in the overwhelming contexts which we have only scratched the surface in uncovering….
the following is what that person is in effect proclaiming:

The Lord is sovereign only for a duration. (God forbid.)
The Kingdom to Come is not Forever. (God forbid.)
The consequence for practicing rebellious sin has a conclusion.(God forbid.)
Tears, shame and death itself will not be eliminated perpetually. (God forbid.)
The Word of God is subject to uncertainty. (God forbid.)
The Delights of Yeshua at the Right Hand are not Everlasting. (God forbid.)
The Lord only keeps His promises for a period of time. (God forbid.)
God’s assignment of Israel as His Chosen People is only for generations. (God forbid.)
God’s word is not everlasting. (God forbid.)

mishpatim

I care about nothing more than testifying to the Eternal nature of my King and His everlasting word. Why?
Because not only is He is source of all life, all light, all hope…
but His Name and His integrity are worthy of honor and fear. Awe.
Where is the awe when forever means a point in time and nothing more?
Where is the healthy, life breeding fear when everlasting no longer means for all time?
Where is the hope if this steadfast term…if Owlam is replaced with the notion of uncertainty?
Here is the hope beloved of HaShem,
He IS ETERNAL, His Word IS EVERLASTING and His Faithfulness IS FOREVER!

Isaiah 40;27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”?
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting (Owlam) God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
29 He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
30 Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
31 Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

Psalm 107;1 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting (Owlam).
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary
3 And gathered from the lands,
From the east and from the west,
From the north and from the south.

blessing-before-torah-reading

I pray this will bless you and inspire you to search for and know all truth. Teach others with a heart of love. He is drawing his people to Him and in these last days there will be an increase in deception. There is no need to become deceived because He is trustworthy. Be cautious, but delight…place your hope in Him and there your heart and treasure will remain Eternally!
Lift up prayers for me if you are willing for the continued work the Lord will prepare for me in this series.
Be Blessed!

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One thought on “Did Perhaps God Really Mean Eternal? An Inquiry. Part I

  1. Pingback: Tetsaveh and Psalm 45 : The Mishkan and The King | Safeguarding The Eternal

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