Passages Denoting Limited Duration

Let us state more definitely several passages in which all will agree that the word cannot have the sense of endless.

Matt.22:22, "The care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word," the cares of that age or "time." Verses 39, 40, 49, "The harvest is the end of the world," i.e. age, Jewish age, the same taught in Matt. 24, which some who heard Jesus speak were to live to see, and did see. Luke i:33, "And he (Jesus) shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end." The meaning is, he shall reign to the ages (eis tous aionas). That long, indefinite duration is meant here, but limited, is evident from 1 Cor. 15:28, "And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all." His reign is for ever, i.e., to the ages, but it is to cease. Luke 1:55, "As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever, (to an age, aionos.) Luke 1:70. "As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began" or "from an age," (ap aionos). "Of old," would be the plain construction. Luke 16:8, "For the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light." That is, the people of that time were more prudent in the management of their affairs than were the Christians of that day in their plans. John 9:32, "Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind." From the age, (ek tou aionos) that is from the beginning of our knowledge and history. Romans 16:25, "Since the world began" clearly shows a duration less than eternity, inasmuch as the mystery that had been secret since the world began, was then revealed. The mystery was aionion but did not last eternally. It was "now made manifest" "to all nations." Phil. 4:20. "Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever" for the ages of the ages (eis tous aionas ton aionon). (Gal. 1:5 same.) "For the eternities of the eternities," is an absurd expression. But ages of ages is a proper sentence.

Eternity may be meant here, but if the word aion expressed the idea, such a reduplication would be weak and improper. 1 Tim. 6:17, "Charge them that are rich in this world" (age or time). 1 Tim. 1:17. "Now to the King eternal (of the ages) be glory for the ages of the ages." What is this but an asscription of the ages to the God of the ages? Eternity can only be meant here as ages piled on ages imply long, and possibly endless duration. "All the ages are God's; him let the ages glorify," is the full import of the words. Translate the words eternity, and what nonsense. "Now to the God of the eternities (!) Be glory for the eternities of the eternities (!!) Heb. 1:8, "The age of the age." Eph. 2:7, "That in the ages (aions) to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace." Here at least two aions, eternities are to come. Certainly one of them must end before the other begins. Eph. 3:21, "The generations of the age of the ages." 2 Tim. 4:18, "The age of the ages." The same form of expression is in Heb. 13:21; 1 Pet. 4:11; Rev. 1:6, 4:9, 5:13, 7:12, 14:11, 15:7, 20:10. When we read that the smoke of their torment ascends eis aionas aionon, for ages of ages, we get the idea of long, indefinite, but limited duration, for as an age is limited, any number however great, must be limited. The moment we say the smoke of their torment goes up for eternities of eternities, we transform the sacred rhetoric in jargon. There is but one eternity, therefore as we read of more than one aion, it follows that aion cannot mean eternity. Again, I Cor. 10:11, "Our admonition, on whom the ENDS of the aions (ages, ta tele ton aionon) have come." That is, the close of the Mosaic and the beginning of the gospel age. How absurd to "ends of the eternities!" Here the apostle had passed more than one, and entered, consequently, upon at least a third aion. Heb. 9:26, "Now at an end of the ages." Matt. 18:39, 40, 24:4, "The conclusion of the age." Eternity has no end. And to say ends of eternities is to talk nonsense. 2 Tim. 2:9, "Before the world began" i.e., before the aionion times began. There was no beginning to eternity, therefore the adjective aionion here has no such meaning as eternal. The fact that aion is said to end and begin, is a demonstration that it does not mean eternity.

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