The Berean Expositor
Volume 42 - Page 203 of 259
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The Pleroma
The Age-Times, when do they begin?
pp. 3 - 9
In the great majority of cases the translations "everlasting", "eternal" and "forever", in
the A.V., are renderings of the Greek aionios, aion and the Hebrew olam. The A.V.,
however, renders aion by "world", "course", "age", "eternal" as well as "ever", and in
conjunction with various prepositions it gives as translations "since the world began",
"from the beginning of the world" and "while the world standeth".
Such translations of a word that can range from a "world" which had a "beginning"
and will have an end, to "eternity" which confessedly has neither, are too wide to be of
service, especially when the choice depends largely upon the theological views of the
Olam, the Hebrew word, comes from a root meaning something hidden or secret
(Psa. 19: 12) and suggests a period of time of undefined limits. Aion is used in the
Septuagint to translate the Hebrew olam, and this we must take as our guide.
In the book of Ecclesiastes the word olam occurs seven times, and is translated in the
A.V. as follows:
"The earth abideth for ever" (1: 4).
"It hath been already of old time" (1: 10).
"No remembrance . . . . . for ever" (2: 16).
"Set the world in their heart" (3: 11).
"It shall be for ever" (3: 14).
"A portion for ever" (9: 6).
"Man goeth to his long home" (12: 5).
Such variety provides no connected thought, but a consistent translation of olam
reveals a definite line of teaching.
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.