In Parshas Beshalach (and Emet Ve-Yatziv/Ve-Emunah) it says ה' ימלך לעלם ועד, but in Sefer Tehilim (and Kedushah) it says ימלוך ה' לעולם. Why the change in language?


The Kedushas Levi answers that we should really say like Dovid as we have a rule from Nedarim that we do not say "for Hashem a Korbon" as you might die Mid-sentence and you have said Gods name for no purpose but here we know that after Kriyas Yam Suf Death was taken away until they sinned at the Egel there was no such concern and Hence the Change of language.

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  • Now I understand the Chesed l'Alafim who says that though some Sephardim have a minhag to say ה׳ עמכם before Barechu for an aliyah (he says you shouldn't say the shem hashem first, therefore you should say "hashem" and not "adonai"). Yet in Megillat Rut, Boaz greeted his workers, ה׳ עמכם and actually said "adonai". What's up with that? – Chanoch Jan 11 '11 at 4:59
  • I am almost sure one of the Meforshim on the Spot address that very question look into it – SimchasTorah Jan 11 '11 at 5:30
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    Could you please provide a citation for where Kedushas Levi says this? Thanks. – Adam Mosheh May 23 '12 at 0:19
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    @Chanoch, it's suggested that Boaz somehow knew he would live to bear an heir in the Judean dynasty. As he hadn't yet had children, he knew he wouldn't die yet. An alternative answer is the Gemara says a reward for greeting people is long life, so it's implausible that G-d would let someone drop dead of a heart attack while in the middle of greeting people. – Shalom May 23 '12 at 12:54

Again, context here gives the simplest answer.

At the Red Sea, it's just about G-d's mastery of the world. "G-d shall reign for ever and ever." Done.

Psalms adds the element of Jerusalem. (In fact, that's why this verse makes it into Kedusha -- the editors of the siddur felt kedusha would be remiss without some mention of Jerusalem.) So right after "G-d" is the explanatory phrase "your L-rd, Zion." Thus:

"May G-d -- [who is] your L-rd, Jerusalem -- reign forever and ever."

Reversing the order there would make for a more convoluted sentence structure. "Hashem shall reign -- your L-rd, Jerusalem ..."

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  • I suspect the reverse, convoluted order is not uncommon in Tanach, though. OTOH I can't think of any specific examples at the moment. – msh210 May 23 '12 at 15:21

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