There is no Single word for Eternity in Hebrew or Greek

There is no single word in the Hebrew Bible that means “infinite” time and this has led to incorrect translations and understanding in our English bible translations. This is contrary to what you will see on the internet.

“OLAM” is the Hebrew word that defines “time” beyond what is observable (both past & future).

“Olam” (#5769), literally means “concealed.”  From the verb “alam” meaning to cover or hide from view.  Strong’s definition: “vanishing point; generally time out of mind.”

Time beyond the horizon, out of sight can be seen like beyond what you can see when in Google Street View. Examples: Genesis 3:22; Exodus 12:14; Deut. 15:17; Deut. 23:3,6

“Olam” is incorrectly translated “forever” (as an adverb) and “everlasting/eternal” as an adjective.

Forever or eternal is conveyed by saying “without end” (Isaiah 9:6-7) as is stated specifically when this is meant.

Translating “olam” as “forever” (adverb) or “everlasting” (adjective) creates many internal contradictions in Scripture: E.g. cf. Ex. 40:13-15; Lev. 7:34-36; Num. 25:10-13 vs. Heb. 7:11-19; Heb. 9:6-10

Exodus 40:13-15  You shall put the holy garments on Aaron, and anoint him and consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest.  14  And you shall bring his sons and clothe them with tunics.  15  You shall anoint them, as you anointed their father, that they may minister to Me as priests; for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.”

Hebrews 7:11-19  Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron?  12  For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law.  13  For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar.  14  For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.  15  And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest  16  who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life.  17  For He testifies: “YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.”  18  For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness,  19  for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

We know that the law of Moses and thus the Levitical priesthood has come to an end but in the OT it has been translated as though the priesthood would carry on forever. That was not what the Hebrew or Greek was trying to convey. Jesus has replaced the Aaronic priesthood.

Rendering “olam” into Greek in the Septuagint (250 BC)

There is no exact equivalent in Greek for “olam” (time out of sight). So the LXX translators chose to render “olam” (adverb) as “unto the age”.  An “age” in Greek is a finite period of time, its length being determined by context. E.g. Deut. 15:17 LXX “… and he will be your servant unto the age.”

The superlative Hebrew form of “olam” is “olam, olam” (lit. “concealed, concealed” or “time out of sight, out of sight”). Rather than translating this verbatim as “unto the age, age,” the LXX translators used the plural “unto the ages”. This does not mean there are necessarily multiple defined “ages” beyond the limit of sight, but just like the Hebrew, it places a stronger emphasis on just how concealed from view the time is. The Greek expression “unto the ages” (plural) is an idiom and simply means BEYOND merely just over the horizon, but farther still (perhaps over 2 hills), thus doubly concealed. For the Jewish mind, this would mean that once you reach the point that is now out of sight beyond the horizon, this time would still be over the next horizon. How much farther is completely undefined. Examples: 1 Kings 8:13 LXX; Psalm 61:4,8 LXX

A new super-superlative expression appears in a few places: “ad olam (singular), ad olam (plural) olam (plural).” The LXX renders this expression as “unto the ages of the ages”.

The Hebrew language sometimes uses the plural of a word as a superlative. “Elohim” (plural) means “God” but implies the highest God, or the God of the greatest Godness.

The New Testament writers who were Jewish and all familiar with the use of “olam” in the Hebrew Old Testament. They were also well versed in the Greek Old Testament, and quoted from it often. In writing the New Testament, they simply borrowed the superlative expressions from the Septuagint, which were well known and understood as idioms.

David’s expression that he would keep God’s Law “unto the age, even the ages of ages,” (which is confined to his own lifetime), is exactly the same expression concerning the tormenting of Satan, the Beast, and the False Prophet in the “Lake of Fire” in Rev. 20:10.

All of the terms in the English Bible which mean infinite, unending time, including the adverb forms “forever, forever and ever,” as well as the adjectival forms “eternal” and “everlasting,” are simply superlative idioms in Greek borrowed from the Hebrew “olam” (time concealed, or beyond the horizon). None of these terms ever mean infinite time, or unending time. That concept is expressed by simply saying “unending,” as in Luke 1:33  And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

The source of the confusion is imposing the Greek (pagan) perspective onto the Scriptures. When the translators believe that they are immortal, eternal souls (ghosts), they must extend the terminology of Scripture to accommodate their eternal existence, thus corrupting the Scriptures.

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