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It’s All So Tense


When talking tense, we mean present tense, past tense, future tense. There’s no such thing in Hebrew.


It’s not that things are not going to happen in time. It’s that the mindset is different. There’s two tenses in Hebrew.


Think to-do list mindsets: done or not done. Crossed out and not yet crossed out. You could be doing an item on the to do list now or tomorrow, it doesn’t matter: the item on the to do list is not crossed out so it’s the same tense.


We call that tense "imperfect." The other tense, the one of crossed out items on the to do list is called "perfect."


Does it make things tricky in translation? You bet.


If a prophecy is in progress of being accomplished, do we translate it as past, present, or future?


How about G-d’s name in Exodus 3:14? It’s not "I Am." It’s not "who was and is and is yet to come." It’s more like "who is beyond time." Remember that we live in 4 dimensions: time and 3-D dimensions. Mathematicians tell us there are at least 10 dimensions to the Universe. We just don’t see them all.

G-d is bigger than that. He can change the past the present the future because He is not bound by them.

Tense? G-d is beyond time. He transcends it. He invented it. He’s not stuck in it.


Relax. He’s on our side of time too. Not tense anymore, eh?

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