This question

Did God know the holy place right away during the exodus?

ask around the idea that G-d would choose His holy places during exodus time.

However, if he knows the future, he couldn't possibly undecided during exodus.

So what's the explanation.

Say I said, "I will choose which cake I will eat." That means I do not know which cake I will eat yet right?

In fact, one of the answer on that previous question says that it's actually David, rather than God that latter chose Jerusalem as a holy place.

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    You might be confusing the truth of what God knows with what is communicated to man, and how it is communicated. – rosends Sep 15 '13 at 12:20
  • He is an actor in a play that is everything. This world, and the next world with the heavenly court, the garden of Eden, and the plane of gehinnom are all a infinitesimal spec, a story created already told. A figment of His imagination, so to speak. When He deals with us, He speaks within time and within the story, where different outcomes are still possible. So yes, He could have not yet designated His holy places yet, which in human terms translates as His indecision. But from His perspective, He already knew what would lead to the designation, so He already 'chose'. – user3114 Sep 15 '13 at 14:56
  • The Rambam writes that this is something the human mind will never understand. – Hacham Gabriel Sep 18 '13 at 2:37
  • This may be implied by verses indicating HaShem's omniscience, including Iyov 37:16 ("Perfect in knowledge"), Sh'muel I 2:3 ("For HaShem is a Lord of knowledge"), and Yirm'yahu 32:17 and 32:27 ("Nothing is hidden from You", "Is anything hidden from Me?" - especially as understood by classical commentators, such as Rashi who explicitly remarks that this refers to HaShem's complete knowledge of the future). – Fred May 19 '14 at 7:31
  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/64025/… – SAH Dec 24 '15 at 5:17

Within traditional Jewish sources, the overwhelmingly dominant opinion is that God has absolute knowledge of everything, including the future. As the Talmud (Avos 3:15, as understood by Maimonides) states, "הכל צפוי" - "All is foreseen."

There are, of course, many questions and difficulties that can be raised on this topic, which is, admittedly, one that is difficult (if not impossible) for the human mind to truly grasp. One such category is the existence of Scriptural verses in which God appears not to have such foreknowledge. (Although, as I wrote in response to your other question, I don't believe this verse is such a case.) In general, the basic answer to such questions is that Scripture speaks to us in human terms (דברה תורה בלשון בני אדם), i.e. God interacts with human beings in a way that is comprehensible to human beings.


Marpe Lenefesh commentary on ch.5 of shaar bechina of chovos halevavos

Marpe Lenefesh: "unbound to time and space": "to time" - God is not bound to time, all of the past and the future are before Him simultaneously as something in the present. For time is His creation. He was, is, and always will be. And even though we are not capable of understanding this, the verse already says: "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts" (Yeshaya 55:9), and as the Rambam wrote on the mishna in Rosh Hashana "all are examined in one sweeping look"

"and space" - as the Midrash (Bereishis Raba 68:9) expounded the verse "place is by Me" Shemos 33:21)

  • how is this different from LazerA's answer? – Baby Seal Apr 27 '14 at 19:15
  • @BabySeal it brings a source and explains the "reason" why He knows the future – ray Apr 27 '14 at 19:18

Gersonides, (7th paragraph), was of the opinion that God knows Things in broad strokes. He knows generally what will happen in the world, but he does not know the specifics that connect the dots. More specifically, he knows all possible choices that one can make, but not which one will be made.

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    Downvoters, can I improve the answer in some way? – Baby Seal Apr 27 '14 at 21:44
  • Seems like a fine answer to me. – Double AA Apr 27 '14 at 23:46
  • Someone might have downvoted because they thought that the Ralbag is not representative of mainstream Jewish thought (it does seem inapproproate to downvote a rishon, but I guess that's what goes on around here) – הנער הזה Apr 28 '14 at 0:14
  • @Matt I kinda knew it was going to get downvoted. He certainly is a singular opinion, but I think his opinion makes sense and holds together. He was a brilliant analyst and logician, and I edited in his actual work because if people actually took the time to go through it, (I have not as of yet), I am sure that they would be more accepting. He spends 3 chapters on it, I believe. ch.4, to which I linked, arriving at it, ch.5 defending it, and ch.6 finding support from the Torah. It is definitely thick though. Most people won't bother, I bet. – Baby Seal Apr 28 '14 at 1:20
  • very interesting, so find a reishon that doesn't believe that God knows everything. – Shlomy Apr 28 '14 at 2:55

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