Forever And Ever

Heb. 6:2. "The doctrine of the aionian, (aionion) judgment." We make no special explanation of this passage. Whether the judgment of that age or the age to come, the Christian is meant, matters not. "The judgement of the age" is the full force of the phrase aionion judgment. Rev. 14:11. "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." 19:3. "And her smoke rose up forever and ever." 20:10. "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever."

Attempts have been made to show that these [are - editor] reduplications, if no other forms of the word convey the idea of eternity. But the literal meaning of aionas aionon, in the first text above, is ages of ages, and of tous aionas ton aionon, in the other two, is the ages of the ages. It is thus rendered in the Emphatic Diaglot. It is perfectly manifest to the commonest mind that if one age is limited, no number can be unlimited. Ages of ages is an intense expression of long duration, and if the word aion should be eternity, "eternities of eternities" ought to be the translation, an expression too absurd to require comment. If aion means eternity, any number of reduplications would weaken it. But while ages of ages is proper enough, eternity of eternities would be ridiculous. On this phraseology Sir Isaac Newton(69) says: "The ascending of the smoke of any burning thing forever and ever, is put for the continuation of a conquered people under the misery of perpetual subjection and slavery." The thought of eternal duration was not in the mind of Jesus or his apostles in any of these texts, but long duration, to be determined by the subject.

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