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The words eternal, everlasting, never, forever, and forever ana ever, are generally in the Old Testament translated from the Hebrew olim. This word occurs in the Old Testament about four hundred and fifty-nine times. It is rendered once eternal, sixty times everlasting, two hundred and fifty-two times forever, four times ever, sixteen times never, fourteen times forevermore, twentytwo times forever and ever (where it occurs twice), once forever, even forever and ever (where it occurs three times), four times from everlasting to everlasting (where it occurs twice), twice world, once world without end, twenty-two times perpetual, twenty-six times old, of old, of old time, in old time, ever of old, six times ancient, ancient times, five times alway, always, twice never any more, once lasting, twice long, once long time, once continuance, once stripling, once young children, and once secret sins.
The words everlasting, eternal, forever, &c., in the New Testa ment, are translated from the Greek words aion and aionios. Aion occurs in the Greek Testament one hundred and twenty-eight times. Sixty-six times in the singular, and sixty-two times in the plural number. In the common English version it is rendered seventytwo times ever, twice eternal, thirty-six times world, seven times never, three times evermore, twice worlds, twice ages, once course, once world without end (where it occurs twice), and in two instances it is passed over without any word affixed as a translation to it. Aionios occurs seventy-one times. It is rendered once ever, fortytwo times eternal, three times world, and twenty-five times everlasting.
When the Old Testament was translated from the Hebrew into the Greek language by the Seventy, the Hebrew word olim, when a noun, was rendered by the Greek word aion; when an adjective, it was rendered by the word uionios. Olim, then, in Hebrew, and aion and aionios in Greek, are synonymous terms. The extent of duration, therefore, expressed by aion and aionios in the New Testament, must be determined by the scripture, usage of olim in the
We will now show that the words eternal, everlasting, forever, never, and forever and ever, translated from olim, are used in a limited sense.
Passages in which the words ETERNAL, EVERLASTING, FOREVER, &c., are evidently used in a limited sense.
Eternal.-Isaiah 60: 15. Whereas thou (the Jews) hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.
Everlasting. — Gen. 17: 7, 8. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee, in their generations, for an everlasting covenant; to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
Verse 13. And my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting
Gen. 48: 4. And will give this land (Canaan) to thy (Jacob's) seed after thee, for an everlasting possession.
Gen. 49: 26. The blessings of thy (Joseph's) father (Jacob) have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors, unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.
Exodus 40: 15. And thou shalt anoint them (Aaron's sons) as thou didst anoint their father, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office; for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.
Lev. 16: 34. And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. Numb. 25: 13. And he (Phinehas) shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood.
Ps. 24: 7. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors.
Hab. 36. And the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow. See also Ps. 105: 10; 2 Sam. 23: 5; 1 Chron. 16: 17;
Isa. 24: 5.
Forever.-Deut. 15: 17. Thou shalt take an awl and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant forever. See also Ex. 21: 6.
1 Sam. 1: 22. I (the mother of Samuel) will not go up until the child (Samuel) be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the Lord, and abide there forever.
1 Sam. 27: 12. And Achish believed David, saying, He hath made his people Israel utterly to abhor him; therefore he shall be my servant forever.
Lev. 25: 46. They (the children of strangers) shall be your (the Jews) bondmen forever.
2 Kings 5:27. The leprosy, therefore, of Naaman shall cleave unto thee (Gehazi), and unto thy seed forever.
Job 41: 4.
Wilt thou take him (the leviathan) for a servant forever?
0, king, live forever. See also 3: 9, 5: 10; 6: 6, 21.
Exodus 14: 13. The Egyptians whom ye have seen to-day, ye shall see them again no more forever. Eccl. 1 4. The earth abideth forever.
Ps. 104 5. Who laid the foundations of the earth, that they should not be removed forever.
Ps. 78: 69. He built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established forever.
Ezekiel 37: 25. And they (the Jews) shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they and their children, and their children's children, forever; and my servant David shall be their prince forever.
Gen. 13 15. For all the land which thou (Abram) seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever.
Exo. 32 13. And all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it forever.
Josh. 14 9. Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children's forever.
1 Chron. 23: 25. The Lord God of Israel hath given rest unto his people, that they may dwell in Jerusalem forever.
Jer. 17 25. And this city (Jerusalem) shall remain forever.
Jer. 81: 40. It (Jerusalem) shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more forever.
1 Kings 8: 13. I (Solomon) have surely built thee (God) a house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in forever.
Numbers 10: 8. And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance forever: Numbers 18: 23. But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity. It shall be a statute forever.
1 Chron 28: 4. Howbeit the Lord God of Israel chose me (David) before all the house of my father to be a king over Israel forever.
1 Kings 9: 5. Then will I (God) establish the throne of thy (Solomon's) kingdom upon Israel forever.
Josh. 47. And these stones (the stones set up at Jordan) shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel forever. Jonah 2: 6. Ps. 37: 29. forever.
The earth with her bars was about me forever.
The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein
Forever and ever.- –Ps. 148: 5, 6. For he (God) commanded, and they (the hosts of heaven) were created. He hath also established them forever and ever.
Isa. 30: 8. Now go, write it (that the Jews were a rebellious people) before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come, forever and ever.
Isa. 34 10. It (the fire that was to burn the land of Idumea) shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up forever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste: none shall pass through it forever and ever.
Jer. 7 7. Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, forever and ever.
Jer. 25: 5. Turn ye again, now, every one from his evil way, and every one from the evil of your doing, and dwell in the land that the Lord hath given unto you and to your fathers forever and ever.
Never.-Lev. 6: 18. The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.
2 Sam. 12; 10. Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from thine (David's) house.
Judges 2: 1. I will never break my covenant with you (the Jews). Joel 2: 26, 27. And ye (the Jews) shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you and my people shall never be ashamed. And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else and my people shall never be ashamed.
Jer. 33: 17. For thus saith the Lord, David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel.
Ezek. 16: 63. That thou (he Jews) mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame.
Amos 8: 14. They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy God, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beer-sheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again.
Hab. 1 4. The law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth.
To this list of passages, wherein the words everlasting, forever, &c., are obviously used in a limited sense, many more might be added. In these texts we see the word eternal applied to the excellency which God was to bestow upon the Jewish people. We see the word everlasting applied to God's covenant with the Jews; to the priesthood of Aaron; to the statutes of Moses; to the time the Jews were to possess the land of Canaan; to the mountains and hills; and to the doors of the Jewish temple. We see the word forever applied to the duration of a man's earthly existence; to the time a child was to abide in the temple; to the continuance of Gehazi's leprosy; to the duration of the life of David; 'to the duration of a king's life; to the duration of the earth; to the time the Jews were to possess the land of Canaan; to the time they were to dwell in Jerusalem; to the time a servant was to abide with his master; to the time Jerusalem was to remain a city; to the duration of the Jewish temple; to the laws and ordinances of Moses; to the time David was to be king over Israel; to the throne of Solomon; to the stones that were set up at Jordan; to the time the righteous were to inhabit the earth; and to the time Jonah was in the fish's belly. We find the phrase forever and ever applied to the hosts of heaven, or the sun, moon, and stars; to a writing contained in a book; to the smoke that went up from the burning land of Idumea; and to the time the Jews were to dwell in Judea. We find the word never applied to the time the fire was to burn on the Jewish altar; to the time the sword was to remain in the house of David; to God's covenant with the Jews; to the time the Jews
your breath as fire shall devour you; and the people shall be as the
4. Jer. 17: 4. For ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn forever.
The prophet is speaking of Judah, and the punishment of Judah. He does not say the anger of God should burn against them through the endless ages of eternity, nor in a future state of existence; on the contrary, the connection shows that this punishment was of a temporal nature. "And thou even thyself shalt discontinue from thine heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not; for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn forever."
5. Jer. 23: 40. And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten. Compare Jer 20:11.
Here, again, it is evident that the Jewish people are spoken of. God does not say they should suffer this reproach and shame in a future world, nor that they should be made endlessly miserable; does Christian believe that the entire Jewish people are to suffer endless punishment. Few will dispute that this text relates to the temporal punishment of the Jews. The connection makes this perfectly plain. God, after having spoken of the great wickedness of the Jews, says, "Therefore I, even I, will utterly forget you,