the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
Old Testament Hebrew Lexical Dictionary Hebrew Lexicon
Strong's #5867 - עוֹלָם
Elam = “eternity”
1) a Korhite Levite in the time of David (noun proper masculine)
2) a chief man of the tribe of Benjamin (noun proper masculine)
3) ancestor of a family of exiles who returned with Zerubbabel (noun proper masculine)
4) a chief of the people who signed the covenant with Nehemiah (noun proper masculine)
5) another ancestor of another family of exiles who returned with Zerubbabel (noun proper masculine)
6) a priest who assisted at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem in the time of Nehemiah (noun proper masculine)
7) another head of a family of returning exiles (noun proper masculine)
8) a province east of Babylon and northeast of the lower Tigris (noun proper locative)
II. עֵילָם proper name, masculine Ηλαμ, Αιλαμ:
1 heads of families of returned exiles:
a. Ezra 2:7 = Nehemiah 7:12.
b. Ezra 2:31 = Nehemiah 7:34.
c. Ezra 8:7; Ezra 10:2 (Qr; Kt עולם), Ezra 10:26.
2. a chief of people Nehemiah 10:15.
3 name in Benjamin 1 Chronicles 8:24.
4 Levite name 1 Chronicles 26:3.
5 a priest Nehemiah 12:42.
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עוֹלָם sometimes עֹלָם m.
(A) pr. what is hidden; specially hidden time, long; the beginning or end of which is either uncertain or else not defined; eternity, perpetuity. It is used
(1) of time long past, antiquity, in the following phrases and examples, יְמֵי עוֹלָם Amos 9:11; Micah 7:14; Isaiah 63:9 and יְמוֹת עוֹלָם Deuteronomy 32:7, ancient times. מֵעוֹלָם of old, from the most ancient times, Genesis 6:4; 1 Samuel 27:8; Isaiah 63:16; Jeremiah 2:20, 5:15 Psalms 25:6 and even of time before the creation of the world [i.e. eternity], Proverbs 8:23 with a negation, not from any time, never, Isaiah 63:19, 64:3 elsewhere from a long time ago, long, Isaiah 42:14 (where it is referred to the time of the captivity [?]); Isaiah 46:9, 57:11. גְּבוּל עוֹלָם the boundary set by the forefathers, Proverbs 22:28, 23:10 פִּתְחֵי עוֹלָם the ancient gates, Psalms 24:7 מֵתֵי עוֹלָם those who died of old, Psalms 143:3; Lamentations 3:6 עַם עוֹלָם men of old, those who have been long dead, Ezekiel 26:20. Since true piety and uncorrupted morals are ascribed to men of old, דֶּרֶךְ עוֹלָם Psalms 139:24 אֹרַח עוֹלָם Job 22:15 נְתִיבוֹת עוֹלָם Jeremiah 6:16 שְׁבִילֵי עוֹלָם Jerem. 18:15, is the (true) piety of the fathers; compare צֶדֶק עוֹלָמִים ancient justice or innocence, Daniel 9:24. [It need hardly be pointed out to any Christian, that this passage in Daniel can have no such meaning as this; it speaks of the everlasting righteousness to be brought in through the atonement of Christ.] It does not always denote the most remote antiquity, as is shewn by חָרְבוֹת עוֹלָם; which, in Isaiah 58:12, 61:4, is used at the end of the Babylonish captivity [written prophetically long before], of the ruins of Jerusalem. (Jeremiah 25:9, 49:13, does not belong here; ע׳ being applied there to time future).
(2) It more often refers to future time, in such a manner, that what is called the terminus ad quem, is always defined from the nature of the thing itself. When it is applied to human affairs, and specially
(a) to individual men, it commonly signifies all the days of life, as עֶבֶד עוֹלָם a perpetual slave (not to be discharged as long as he lives), Deuteronomy 15:17; Exodus 21:6; 1 Samuel 27:12 (poetically used of a beast, Job 40:28 ); עַד עוֹלָם for ever, i.e. all the days of life, 1 Samuel 1:22, 20:15 2 Samuel 3:28. שַׁלְוֵי עוֹלָם perpetually (whilst they live) secure. Psalms 73:12, 30:13, “Jehovah my God לְעוֹלָם אוֹדֶךָּ “I will praise thee for ever” (while I live); [there is no need so to limit this passage]. Psalms 5:12, 31:2 37:27, 28 Psalms 37:28, 49:9 52:11 71:1 86:12 sometimes also a very long life. Psalms 21:5, “(the king) asked life of thee, thou (O God) gavest it him אֹרֶךְ יָמִים עוֹלָם וָעֶד even long, very long;” [lit. length of days for ever and ever: eternal life is spoken of, not merely temporal as Gesenius would make it]. The word עוֹלָם has a mach narrower limit [?] in this passage, Isaiah 35:10, שִׂמְחַת עוֹלָם עַל ראֹשָׁם “perpetual gladness (shall be) upon their heads;” i.e. joy shall always be conspicuous in their countenances, they shall always be cheerful and joyful (compare Psalms 126:2); Isaiah 51:11, 61:7 and 32:15 the term itself of the time is marked; “hill and watchtower shall become caverns עַד עוֹלָם for a long time.… 15 Isaiah 32:15. עַד יֵעָרֶה until the Spirit be poured out,” etc. Elsewhere
(b) it belongs to a whole race (dynasty), or people, and it comprehends all the time until their destruction; 1 Samuel 2:30, “thy family shall serve me עַד עוֹלָם while it shall continue;” 1 Samuel 13:13; 2 Samuel 7:16; 1 Chronicles 17:12, 22:10 Psa. 18:51, “he will shew mercy to David and to his seed עַד עוֹלָם.” So the covenant of God with the Israelites is called בְּרִית עוֹלָם Genesis 17:7; Leviticus 24:8, the laws given to them; חֻקַּת עוֹלָם, חֹק עוֹלָם Exodus 12:14, 17 Exodus 12:17, 27:21 28:43 30:21 Leviticus 3:17, 6:11 the possession of the holy land אֲחֻזַּת עוֹלָם Genesis 17:8, 48:4.
(c) the metaphysical idea of eternity, at least that which has no end, is more nearly approached by the examples in which עוֹלָם is applied to the earth and the whole nature of things. Ecclesiastes 1:4, “but the earth stands, or remains לְעוֹלָם for ever;” Psalms 104:5, “it (the earth) is not moved forever;” Psalms 78:69 גִּבְעוֹת ע׳ the eternal hills, created many ages ago, and which shall last for ever. Genesis 49:26; Deuteronomy 33:15, בָּמוֹת ע׳ the eternal high places, Ezekiel 36:2 and also when used of the future state of man after death, e.g. שְׁנַת עוֹלָם an eternal sleep, used of death, Jeremiah 51:39, 57 Jeremiah 51:57בֵּית עוֹלָמוֹ his eternal house, i.e. the grave, Ecclesiastes 12:5 חַיֵּי עוֹלָם eternal life after resurrection, Daniel 12:1.
(d) The true notion of eternity is found in this word in those passages which speak of the immortal nature of God himself who is called אֵל עוֹלָם the eternal God, Genesis 21:33; Isaiah 40:28 חֵי הָעוֹלָם who liveth for ever, Daniel 12:7 (compare חָיָה הָעוֹלָם to live for ever, to be immortal, like gods [rather like God himself], Genesis 3:22; Job 7:16), to whom are ascribed זְרֹעוֹת עוֹלָם everlasting arms, Deuteronomy 33:27 and of whom it is said. Psalms 90:2, מֵעוֹלָם וְעַד עוֹלָם אַתָּה אֵל “from ever-lasting to everlasting thou art God;” 103:17 compare Psalms 9:8, 10:16 29:10 93:2. Also a peculiar class is formed of those places
(e) in which the Hebrews use the metaphysical notion of eternity by hyperbole, in speaking of human things, especially in the expression of good wishes. Here belongs the customary form of salutation addressed to kings, יְחִי אֲדֹנֽי הַמֶּלֶךְ לְעוֹלָם “let my Lord the king live for ever;” 1 Kings 1:31; Nehemiah 2:3 (compare Daniel 2:4, 3:9 Jdt_12:4 Ælian. Var. Hist., i. 32); also the wishes of poets for kings and royal families [these passages are really prophecies, not wishes; and the eternity spoken of, instead of being at all hyperbole, is the literal truth which God has vouchsafed to reveal], as Psalms 61:8, “let (the king) sit on his throne before God for ever” (compare verse Psalms 61:7, “(let) his years be כְּמוֹ דֹר וָדֹר like many generations”). Psalms 45:7, “thy throne established by God [really “thy throne, O God”] לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד (shall stand) for ever.” Psalms 89:37, “his (David’s) seed shall endure for ever.” How much these expressions imply, may be understood from the words which immediately follow, “his throne (shall stand) as the sun before me.” Verse 38 Psalms 89:38, “like the moon it shall be established for ever;” and, Psalms 72:5, “they shall fear thee (O King) so long as the sun and moon endure throughout all generations;” ibid., 17, “his name shall be לְעוֹלָם for ever; so long as the sun shall his name flourish.” That is, by the figure of hyperbole there is invoked for the king, and particularly for David and his royal posterity, an empire not less enduring than the universe itself. [These are prophecies, not hyperbolical wishes.] Also, Psalms 48:9, “God shall establish her (Jerusalem) for ever.” Jerem. 7:7, “the land which I gave unto your fathers לְמִן עוֹלָם וְעַד עוֹלָם;” 25:5.
(B) the world, from the Chaldee and Rabbinic usage, like the Gr. αἰών, hence the desire or pursuit of worldly things (Weltfinn), more fully called ἀγαπὴ τοῦ κόσμου, 1 John 2:15 αἰω·ν τοῦ κόσμου τούτου, Ephesians 2:2 and Arab. دُنْيَا the world, worldly things, and the love of them as destructive to the knowledge of divine things, Ecclesiastes 3:11, “(God) has made every thing beautiful in its time, גַּם אֶת־הָעֹלָם נָתַן בְּלִבָּם מִבְּלִי אֲשֶׁר לֹא יִמְצָא הָאָדָם וְגו׳ although he hath set the love of worldly things in their hearts, so that man does not understand the works of God,” etc. גַּם for גַּם כִּי, see גַּם No. 4. As to the sense, compare Ecclesiastes 8:17. Another form is עֵילוֹם.
Old Testament Hebrew Lexical Dictionary developed by Jeff Garrison for StudyLight.org.
Copyright 1999-2023. All Rights Reserved, Jeff Garrison, Gdansk, Poland.