There are numerous places where Tana"ch uses the phrase "עד היום" or "עד היום הזה" ("until\to this day"). Usually, this phrase is used regarding the names of cities, towns, etc. - occasionally, such as the law of not eating גִּיד הַנָּשֶׁה (meat from the hind of the leg) the Torah also uses the phrase "ad hayom".

What does this phrase mean? Does it mean "forever" or until the date that the person wrote that phrase?

It seems in most cases, regarding names of places, it seems to mean "forever". So was the author predicting the future?

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    Why does it seem to mean forever? Can you give examples that imply that?
    – Double AA
    Jun 12, 2014 at 18:03
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    Putting in sources would likely help to find the answer, especially if the answer is found in the meforshim on those psukim....
    – MTL
    Jun 12, 2014 at 18:09
  • II Kings 17:22-23: וַיֵּלְכוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּכָל-חַטֹּאות יָרָבְעָם אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה לֹא-סָרוּ מִמֶּנָּה. עַד אֲשֶׁר-הֵסִיר יְהוָה אֶת-יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵעַל פָּנָיו כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר בְּיַד כָּל-עֲבָדָיו הַנְּבִיאִים וַיִּגֶל יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵעַל אַדְמָתוֹ אַשּׁוּרָה עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה
    – jake
    Jun 12, 2014 at 21:44
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    @DoubleAA If D'varim 34:6 was written by Moshe or shortly after Moshe's death, it would be odd to read it as meaning "and no man knew his burial place until the day this verse was written": וַיִּקְבֹּר אֹתוֹ בַגַּי בְּאֶרֶץ מוֹאָב מוּל בֵּית פְּעוֹר וְלֹא-יָדַע אִישׁ אֶת-קְבֻרָתוֹ עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה.
    – Fred
    Jun 13, 2014 at 0:18
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    @Shmuel In those instances, where the expression is used in a dialogue, it is obvious that it means "up until the time of this dialogue". I understood the OP as referring to those instances where the expression is used by an omniscient narrator.
    – Fred
    Jun 13, 2014 at 2:53

4 Answers 4


M'tzudas David, commenting the first time the phrase appears in Nach, writes:

It means to imply "forever", as anyone reading this verse, in his own time, will say "until this day". This is a general rule in the words of the prophets.

(Presumably, as Fred mentioned in a comment on the question, this refers only to "where the expression is used by an omniscient narrator" and not where it's used in quotation.)


You can look at the book of Rav Amnon Bazak "Until This Day, Fundamental Questions in Bible Teaching" (Hebrew):

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    could you summarize the contents of that book?
    – mevaqesh
    Mar 6, 2016 at 6:16

I believe that this phrase can be interpreted in three ways:

1) Quotations of the speech of a particular character in his time (see, for example Bereishis 48:15 in which Yaakov spoke to Yosef: “…God who hath been my shepherd all my life long unto this day”.

2) When the text meant to imply "forever" (as @msh210 quoted M'tzudas David above). I think that in this category also fits the cases in which the text intends to include times when other generations of readers will read the text.

3) or editorial comments after the text was written. See for example Ibn Ezra on Devarim 34:5 in which he says that this pasuk was written by Joshua.

I think that probably the answer to your question may be between the last two, however it remains to find the sources that indicate which is the case for each one of them.


I want to add a Talmudic source regarding this expression and its link with "forever'.

See Gemara Yoma 54.1, the Gemara try to say that it is necessarily forever, at list when it is written שם עד היום הזה, but the Gemara gives a counterexample and rejects definitively that it is necessarily forever, using the expression "tyuvta".

What do you say now? - He answered: l say that the Ark was hidden in its place, as it is said: 'And the staves were so long, etc.' Rabbah said to 'Ulla: How does it follow from this?(3) - Because it is written: 'Unto this day'. But does the term 'Unto this day' mean everywhere 'forever'?... - Would you say that wherever the word 'there' is used, it implies 'forever', but the following objection can be raised: And some of them, even of the sons of Simeon, five hundred men, went to Mount Seir, having for their captains Pelatiah, and Neariah, and Rephaiah, and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi. And they smote the remnants of the Amalekites that escaped, and dwelt there unto this day. But Sennacherib, King of Assyria, had come up already and confused all the lands as it is said: I have removed the bounds of the peoples, and have robbed their treasures? This is a refutation.

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