The Berean Expositor
Volume 6 - Page 39 of 151
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Scripture relative to punishment; our object now is to consider the teaching of Scripture
which is connected with these words themselves so far as they are fundamental to
dispensational truth.
In the great majority of cases the word translated "everlasting," "eternal,"
"for ever", are renderings of the Greek aiġnios, aiġn, and the Hebrew olam. The A.V.
renders aiġn by "world", "course", "age", "eternal", and, in conjunction with
various prepositions, etc.,  "since the world began",  "while the world standeth",
"world without end," "from the beginning of the world," "for ever," "for evermore,"
and "for ever and ever."
The translation of a word that ranges from a world which had a beginning and will
have an end, to an eternity which confessedly has neither beginning nor end, is too wide
to be of service, especially when the choice of translation largely depends upon the bias
of the translator. Olam, the Hebrew word, comes from a word meaning something
hidden or secret (see "secret faults," Ps. 19: 12), and indicates a period of undefined
limits. Aiġn, the Greek word, is used by the translators of the Septuagint to render the
Hebrew olam into Greek, and this is the only true consistent meaning that we can give the
Students of the purpose of the ages will often find themselves turning the pages of
Ecclesiastes, realizing in THE PREACHER one whose problems and experiences with
regard to these things are often much like their own. In Ecclesiastes the word olam
occurs seven times, and is translated by the A.V. as follows:--
1: 4.
"The earth abideth for ever."
1: 10.
"It hath been already of old time."
2: 16.
"There is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever."
3: 11.
"He hath set the world in their heart."
3: 14.
"I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever."
9: 6.
"Neither have they any more a portion for ever."
12: 5.
"Man goeth to his long home."
Here we have "for ever," "old time," "world," and "long" as translations of the one
word olam. Such a variety of renderings gives no connected thought, and consequently
the evident relation of these passages is missed. Supposing we take the original word in
each passage and translate it by the word "age," we at once realize that seven such
references may contain much helpful teaching. Their order and connection likewise are
made apparent, and their claim upon our attention is emphasized.
Olam in Ecclesiastes.
A | 1: 4. The earth abideth to the age.--The passing generation.
B | 1: 10. It hath been already in or to the ages.--Nothing new under the sun.
C | 2: 16. No remembrance of the wise more than of the fool to the age.--
Forgotten in the days to come.
D | 3: 11. He hath set the age in their heart.--
Beginning to end of God's work past finding out.
C | 3: 14. Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be to the age.--God's work remains.
B | 9: 6. Neither have they any more a portion to the age.--No portion under the sun.
A | 12: 5. Man goeth to his age home.--The passing generation.