75 words for 75 years of Israel – Netzach/Eternity

In honor of Israel’s 75th birthday, Israel365 is excited to launch a new series of essays that will unlock the secrets of the Hebrew Bible!

Excerpted from Rabbi Akiva Gersh’s forthcoming book, 75 Hebrew Words You Need to Understand the Bible (available soon!) these essays illuminate the connection between related Hebrew words, revealing Biblical secrets only accessible through Hebrew.Enjoy the series – and happy 75th birthday to the State of Israel!

נֵצַח

NETZACH

NETZ-ACH

ETERNITY

“Yours, Hashem, are greatness, might, splendor, eternity, and majesty—yes, all that is in heaven and on earth; to You, Hashem, belong kingship and preeminence above all.” (I Chronicles 29:11)

לך יהוה הגדלה והגבורה והתפארת והנצח וההוד כי כל בשמים ובארץ לך יהוה הממלכה והמתנשא לכל לראש.

“Moreover, the Eternal of Israel does not deceive or change His mind, for He is not human that He should change His mind.” (I Samuel 15:29)

וגם נצח ישראל לא ישקר ולא ינחם כי לא אדם הוא להנחם.

Through two millennia of exile and degradation, netzach, the Hebrew word for “eternity,” gave great strength and comfort to the people of Israel. The prophet Samuel refers to God as Netzach Yisrael, “The Eternal of Israel,” when he tells King Saul that God’s decision to take away his kingship for his failure to follow God’s commands is final and will not be changed. More significantly, the combination of these two words, Netzach and Yisrael, reflects two essential truths: that God Himself is eternal, with no beginning and no end, and that God’s covenant with and love for Israel is eternal, lasting and forever. Though God may punish the nation of Israel, He will never sever His relationship with His chosen people!

Netzach is also found at the beginning of many of the psalms in the form of Lamnatzeach, meaning “Conductor,” as in the opening verse of Psalm 51: “For the Conductor, A psalm of David.” As a conductor unifies a musical orchestra made up of different instruments, God unifies and brings order and purpose to the various contrasting and conflicting parts of His creation.

Netzach is also related to the word nitzachon, meaning “victory.” The ultimate victory that we yearn for is the victory of good over evil. When that day comes, God’s eternal greatness will be recognized by all of humanity, who will understand that God is the great Composer Who brings unity and purpose to all of creation.

The Israel Bible Team

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