Hebraic Studies - Looking at Tehillim - Psalm 105 verse 8

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Please Note: On this page I may show the four letter blessed *“Memorial Name” of the Almighty in Ivrit - - Y-H-V-H, which we usually pronounce as “Adonai or “HaShem”. At all times treat the most blessed Name with sanctity and when we even see the Name, we should say “blessed be His Sanctified Name.”

 

*This is My Name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.” Shemot - Exodus 3:15.

 

 

On this site I will mostly use a version based on the “Jewish Publication Society (JPS) of the Torah/Tanakh

Although some minor alterations have been made only relating to names and attributes having been corrected

With Rabbi Reuven Ben-Avraham.

“He is (Y-H-V-H) our Elohim; His judgments are in all the earth. He hath remembered His covenant forever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations” Tehillim – Psalms 105:7-8 (JPS).

ZaChar LeOlam BeRito DaVar TziVah LeElef Dor”

A Hebrew- transliteration of Tehillim - Psalms 105 verse 8 as seen above

You will note that the word “forever” is used, obviously, even in our understanding that should mean what it says, but not according to theologians and the church, for they believe that YaHVaH’s Covenant has now been abolished. Thus Elohim’s “forever” does not seem to hold much ground with the church hierarchy!

However in Hebrew the word “forever” is olam”, which also translates as “eternity,” “eternal,” “Universe,” “without end.” And there is much more, however for now I would say that you are getting the picture.

Yet over the years, there have been many who have asked me; “But why does it state in the second part of this verse that it is only ‘for a thousand generations.’ Does this not mean there is a time limit?”

If you have asked this question, be assured it is a very good and a valid question, however I would like to provide you with three very important points that I will list below;

These three powerful points are vital for us to understand what was written thousands of years ago, in this day and age, for as we should well know, languages and understanding have dramatically changed, as have times and traditions, and this is logical. Thus when we read our wonderful Tanakh, we usually will read very much with a modern or a current understanding. But I have to tell you that there is a much better way, and that is why I am providing you with these three points of understanding!

These are the three levels of understanding which our Elohim, blessed be He, has given to us in His Tanakh:

When we read and study the blessed Torah and the rest of the Tanakh, with us being Jewish we should keep following three steps constantly in our mind for they are a valuable guide and it will certainly provide us with guidance and it will illuminate the sheer beauty and the fullness of Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name, is telling us through His chosen Prophets.

1. Who was Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name, speaking to?

2. When was it said?

3. How was His Word understood at the time it was spoken/given?

I do believe that these three points are very relevant to our understanding of 1. What the Creator was saying at the time - 2. And if we look back and realise the conditions we may gain the understanding of those times, thus it should give us a much better idea of what it means to us today - and 3. Especially to you and me in these modern days!

Remember, Elohim, blessed be He, was not speaking to those that had received a high education, or had the kind of knowledge that we have today, for obviously things and the world has dramatically changed in so many ways.

In regard to the Tehillim - Psalm we are covering, we need to remember that Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name, was speaking to Yisroel through the Psalmist and they at the time of hearing it they had a certain far more simple understanding, and that as I said was obviously very different to our understanding today. I mean, if you could transport yourself back to London in the 600’s I can assure you that you would not understand a single word of the English they were speaking then, not even another 600 years later in the year 1200, for the language would have changed again over time as we, I am sure, will know. And for many, this has even occurred in our very own generation, for I know in my rather advanced age that many words have changed their meanings, for example in the roaring twenties through to the sixties, the words “having a gay time” simply meant having a happy and a wonderful time, but today it has a completely different implication altogether! And so it is with countless other words! Therefore, language and general understanding has dramatically changed over time. I am not sure if you are aware, but the Ivrit we read today is not in the original Ivrit script. The original was an ancient script known as “Ktav Ivri” also known as the “Paleo-Hebrew” alphabet. The current Ivrit script is known as “Ktav Ashurit” or literally, the “Assyrian script”. It closely resembles the ancient Aramaic alphabet and became adopted by us Hebrews shortly after we were exiled to Babylonia after the destruction of the First “Hechal” - Temple.

Paleo-Ivrit seen on the Scroll of Vayikra - Leviticus

It is located at the “Israel Antiquities Authority” at Yerushalayim

Thus we will understand that time and understanding has changed a great deal and we must be prayerful and seek Elohim’s understanding, blessed be He.

In the Tehillim we are covering we need to understand that the (ha)... B'Nei Yisroel - - the Children of Israel would have been overwhelmed by the statement “Olam” being “Forever”, for Elohim, blessed be He, was saying then that “His covenant” with Yisroel - Israel would be “Eternal ”. And let us be honest, even with all the knowledge available to us, combined with the advanced technology and the exploration of outer space and the depths of the oceans, etc, no one can still measure or comprehend “Eternity”!

Therefore Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name, gave Yisroel an understandable insight to what eternity could possibly be, but He did so according to their comprehension at their time, by using what they clearly understood then, and that is why this phrase was added; “the Word He commanded, for a THOUSAND GENERATIONS.”

As we know, the Hebrew alphabet is numerical and at the time when this was given, we need to understand that the highest numerical denominator was a maximum of 1,000, (as was confirmed to me by a senior teacher at the Yerushalayim Hebrew University (where my book is in their library) therefore what Elohim was saying to Yisroel in this verse, and I am rephrasing it sort of to their understanding some thousands of years ago, “My Covenant is eternal, OK, you cannot comprehend that, well it is as far as you can possibly count 1,000!”

Having said that, you can imagine it was like saying a million trillion years, for that number would have been something huge for one thousand was the ultimate number. But then Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name, added something even more powerful when He added the word “GENERATIONS.”

However, there is something else that we need to understand regarding the word “thousand.” The truth is that using “thousand” just by itself would have been sufficient to communicate “forever” or “eternity,” and Israel would have comprehended that at that time, for let’s face it they could not have counted any further! It ended at the number one thousand being the end, but one thousand could still be reached, and thus why was the word “Generations” added and what was that really all about?

OK, if a “thousand” was already sufficient to communicate “forever” why then did our Elohim; blessed be He, need to add the word “Generations?”

We clearly know from the Torah that one generation is regarded as 40 Years, as we all know that - the Children of Israel spent 40 years in the wilderness, for the generation that departed Mitzraim - Egypt due to their sin at Mt. Horeb etc, were not permitted to enter the “Land of Milk and Honey”, for it was the next generation, Yahushua – Joshua and the new generation entered and they surrounded Yericho - Jericho and having marched around the city seven times blowing their Shofar’s the city wall fell down!

Thus I am sure that you can now begin to imagine what the Almighty was saying to Yisroel when he added the word “Generations”, and believe me, it would have astounded them, for He had not only given them the highest number that they could possibly count to, but Elohim had now added “Generations” on top of that, and not one generation, but “A THOUSAND GENERATIONS.” Can you imagine what 1,000 times 40 years would have meant to them at that time, that would have really given them a kind of picture of what eternity really could be, in fact even now 40,000 years sounds like an eternity, does it not, for we are living in 2022? Although we may have a clearer understanding of time as we are living in the space age, but still our lives are so short, it is still incomprehensible! Can you imagine if Elohim gave them details of outer space, etc, that would have been completely beyond their comprehension!

Thus you can see what has occurred here, it has become a number that is far beyond ancient Yisroel’s comprehension that is how Elohim gave Yisroel a human idea of what eternity could possibly be to their then meagre understanding? It would have been like saying to us today a multi trillion, mega, gigabytes, which frankly is far beyond my personal comprehension, and I know that today there may well be even more than that! Thus Elohim was giving Yisroel an insight, or a picture of what eternity could possibly be like humanly speaking!

Therefore, this Tehillim - Psalm 105:8 clearly proves that His Commandments are indeed FOREVER, no matter that there have been rabbis who

Have played with words and then make them mean something they are not, just to justify the 1000’ds of man-made laws they have created, and sadly these so called ‘Oral Laws’ which are NOT from our Elohim, are 100% man made and sadly they tend to hide the very heart of what was given to us in the sacred Torah by Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name!

Remember what we were told in Devarim - Deuteronomy 4: verse 2, and chapter 5: verses 28-29.

Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish from itthat ye may keep the commandments of   your Elohim which I command you” Devarim - Deuteronomy 4:2 (JPS).

Ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the leftYe shall walk in all the ways which   your Elohim hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you” Devarim - Deuteronomy 5:28-29 (JPS).

Tragically Elohim knew that man would interfere with what He had given and thus on various occasions clearly stated “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish from it” yet they still altered what Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name, had so clearly stated.

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Rabbi Reuven Ben-Avraham.

 

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