The Noun

1. It is applied to the kingdom of Christ. Luke 1:33, "And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." See also 1:55; Heb. 6:20; 7:17-21;1 Pet. 4:11; 2 Pet. 1:11, 3:18; Rev. 1:6; 11:15. But the kingdom of Christ is to end, and he is to surrender all dominion to the Father, therefore endless duration is not taught in these passages. See 1 Cor. 15.

2. It is applied to the Jewish age more than thirty times: 1 Cor. 10:11, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples; and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."

Consult also Matt., 12:32; 13:22, 39,-40, 49; 24:3; 27:20; Mark 4:19; Luke 1:70; 16:8; 20:34; John 9:32; Acts 3:32; 15:18; Rom. 12:2; 1cor. 2:6,7,8; 3:18; 2 Cor. 4:4; Gal. 1:4; Eph.1:21; 2:2; 3:9; 1 Tim. 6:17; 2 Tim. 4:10; Titus 2:12; Heb. 9:26. But the Jewish age ended with the setting up of the kingdom of Christ. Then the word does not denote endless duration here.

3. It is used in the plural in Eph. 3:21; "the age of the ages," tou aionas ton aionon. Heb. 1:2; 11:3, "By whom he made the worlds." " The worlds were framed by the word of God." There can be but one eternity. To say "By whom he made the eternities" would be to talk nonsense. Endless duration is not inculcated in these texts.

4. The word clearly teaches finite duration in such passages as Rom. 16:35; 2 Cor. 4:17; 2 Tim. 1:9; Philemon 15; "Titus 1:2. Read Rom. 16:25: "Since the world began."—2 Cor. 4:17: "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." Here "and" is a word supplied by the translators, and the literal is "an excessively exceeding aionian weight." But endless cannot be exceeded. Therefore aionion does not here mean eternal.

Let us give more definitely several passages in which all will agree that the word cannot have the sense of endless. We print the word denotiong duration in italics; Matt. 12:22: "The care of this world, and the deceit-fulness 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 "end" taught in Matt. 24, which some who heard Jesus speak were to live to see, and did see. Luke 1:33, "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 for ages. That long, indefinite duration is meant here, but limited, is evident from 1 Cor. 15:28, "And when all things shall be sub dued 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 forever, 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." "Of old," would be the correct 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, that is from the beginning of our knowledge and history. Rom. 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 aionian 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."

"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. 6:16, "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 ascription 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 to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace." Here at least two aions are in the future. Certainly one of them must end before the other begins. Eph. 3:21, "The generations of the ages of the ages." 2 Tim. 4:18, "The ages 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 for ages of ages, we get the idea of long, indefinite, but limited duration, for as one 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 sacred rhetoric into jargon. There is but one eternity therefore as we read of more than one aion, it follows that aion cannot mean eternity. Again, 1 Cor. 10:11, "Our admonition, on whom the ends of the aions have come." That is, the close of the Mosaic and the beginning of the Gospel age. How absurd to say "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. 13:39, 40, 24:3. "The conclusion of the age." Eternity has no end. And to say ends of eternity is to talk nonsense. 2 Tim. 1:9, "Before the world began", i.e. before the aionian 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.

Translate the word eternity, and how absurd the Scriptural phraseology becomes! We represent the Bible as saying, "To whom be the glory during the eternities even to the eternities." Gal. 1:5, "Now all these things happened unto them, for ensamples, and they are written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the eternities are come." 1 Cor. 10:11. "That in the eternities coming he might show the exceeding riches of his grace." Eph. 2:7. "The mystery which hath been hid from the eternities and from the generations." Col. 1:26. "But now once in the end of the eternities, hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." Heb. 9:26. "The harvest is the end of eternity." Matt. 13:39. "So shall it be in the end of eternity." Matt. 13:40, "Tell us when shall these things be, and what the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the eternity." Matt. 24:3. But substitute "age" or "ages" and the sense of the Record is preserved.

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