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perpetual, that everlasting and perpetual express the same idea. Further, unless we can prove, that the land of Canaan, the statutes and ordinances of the Jewish dispensation, the hills and mountains, and the doors of the temple are to continue to endless duration, we ought not to say that the word everlasting expresses a proper eternity. We presume no one would contend that it does when applied to these things; but some perhaps would say, that it does express the endless duration of the new covenant, mentioned in some of the above passages.
But why should it any more mean this when applied to it, than when applied to the old covenant, which was called everlasting, yet has long ago vanished ? Is it then asked, What does everlasting mean in the above texts ? I answer; it expresses a period of time, long, indefinite, and limited. Do we read of the priesthood of Aaron being everlasting? We find this, in as many words limited, for it is added, " ihroughout your generations.” In a word, any long period of time, either past, or to come, is called everlasting. Yea, we shall see before we are done, that it sometimes expresses even a short period of time. Nor are the sacred writers under any apprehension that they were liable to be misunderstood. But to return.
We find further, olim rendered everlasting, and applied as follows. In Isai. xlv. 17. it is said But Ísrael shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation.” This is explained by what follows: "ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end." See this text noticed before. Daniel, ix. 24. speaks of an “everlasting righteousness," and David, Psalm cxii. 6. says, “the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.” In Prov. x. 25. they are also said to be, “an everlasting foundation.” David prays, Psalm cxxxix. 24. “ lead me in the way everlasting." And in Jer. xxxi. 3. God says, “I have
loved thee with an everlasting love.” And in Isai. Ix. 19, 20. it is twice said that “God is their everlasting light.” And in Isai. xxxv. 10. they shall come to Zion with “everlasting joy.” This is repeated, li. 11. and lxi. 7. In Isai. lvi. 5. God is said to give them an "everlasting name,” and to have made to himself “an everlasting name,” Isai. lxiii. 12. In Isai. lv. 13. we read of an "everlasting sign," and by way of explanation it is added, " which shall not be cut off.” And in Isai. liv. 8. we read of God's 66 lasting kindness.” Speaking of the Jews, God threatened i hat he would bring upon them “ an everlasting reproach.” Jer. xxiii. 40. And in Jer. xx. 11. it is added, “their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.". By consulting the context of these two last texts it may be seen that God is not speaking of punishment to the Jews in a future state, but of his temporal judgments in the present world. Notwithstanding this, their punishment is called everlasting. This we have shown, in the Inquiry into Sheol, &c. which see.
See also on 2 Thess. 2. below. We come now to a part of this Inquiry where olim is rendered everlasting, and is applied to God himself. Such texts, then, demand the closest attention. I find it then said, Gen. xxi. 33. that Abraham “called upon the name of the Lord, the everlasting God.” In Isai. xl. 28. he is again called the " lasting God.” And in Deut. xxxiii. 27. we read of his “everlasting arnis. In Psalm xc. 2. it is said “even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.” And in Jer. x. 10. he is called “ an everlasting king." In Psalm c. 5. it is said “his mercy is everlasting,' and ciii. 17. it is added, “ the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting.” But by way of eplanation it is said his righteousness unto childrens'children.” In xli. 13. it is said, “ blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting.” This is
repeated, Psalm cvi. 48. Again it is said Psalm xciii. 2.“ thou art from everlasting,” hut in the first part of the verse it was said as an equivalent expression -"
"thy throne is established of old.” In Isai. lxiii. 16. it is said—“thy name is from everlasting," and Psalm cxlv. 13. David says, “thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom ;" but observe it is added by way of explanation," and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.” In the margin our translators have put, “ of all ages.” And in Isai. xxvi. 4. it is said, " in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength," but in the margin they have put, “ rock of ages."
These are all the passages, where olim is rendered everlasting and applied to God. There are two passages where it is so rendered and applied to the Messiah. The first is Mic. V. 2. “ whose goings forth hath been from of old, from everlasting.” See on this text professor Stuart's remarks, quoted, Sect. 1. Here, from of old and everlasting are used as synonimous expressions for the same thing. This is similar to Psalm xciii. 2. noticed above. The other text is Prov. viii. 23. “I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.” Here what is called everlasting in the first part is explained in the second to be, “from the beginning." Has everlasting or a proper eternity a beginning?
3d. We find olim rendered for evermore in the following places. Thus it is said Psalm xcii. 8. " but thou, Lord, art most high for evermore." And cxiii. 2.- blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore." And cxv. 18. 66 but we will bless the Lord from this time forth and for evermore." Again it is said, 2 Sam. xxii. 51. the Lord - showeth mercy to his anointed, unto David, and to his seed for evermore.” This is repeated, Psalm xviii. 50. In 1 Chron. xvii. 14.. God promised that Solomon's throne 6 should be established for ever
more." And Psalm cxxi. 8. he promised to preserve Israel, " for evermore." And cxxxiii. 3. to command " the blessing for evermore." In Ezek. Xxxvii. 26, 28. he also promised to set his sanctuary in the midst of Israel 6 for evermore." And in Psalm xxxvii. 27. David says, “ depart from evil and do good, and dwell for evermore.” And in lxxxvi. 12. says, “I will glorify thy name for evermore.” The only other text in which olim is rendered for evermore, is Psalm cvi. 31. and is thus explained. Speaking of Phineas it is said, that what he did “was counted unto him for righteousness, unto all generations for evermore.” Here all generations and for evermore are used as equivalent expressions for the same thing. On the whole of these texts we would remark, that evermore is applied to things which never were intended to continue to endless duration. Such were Solomon's throne, and God's sanctuary among the children of Israel. A long period may be meant, but not surely, a proper eternity. Even when evermore is applied to God, we cannot conclude that it signifies endless duration ; for it is explained to mean “all generations.” In none of these texts is evermore applied to punishment. No further notice need then be taken of them here, as any further remarks will be more in place afterwards.
4th. Olim is rendered forever, in the following places, and expresses the duration of a man's lifetime, or even a shorter period. Thus it is said, Deut. xv. 17. 6thou shalt take an awl and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant forever." Now this could only be all the servant's life-time, or perhaps to the year of jubilee. It could not be beyond his life, for at death the seryant is free from his master. The same thing is said Exod. xxi. 6. But again, we find Samuel's mother saying, 1 Sam. i. 22. “I will not go up until the
child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the Lord, and abide there forever.' Here, forever can mean no more than all the days of Samuel's life.
Again; Jonadab commanded his children that they should drink 6 no more wine forever." Does not this simply mean all their days, or at farthest, throughout their generations? And is not something similar meant, when Achish said of David, 1 Sam. xxvii. 12. “he shall be my servant forever ?” And also Levit. xxv. 46. where it is said, strangers shall be to Israel “bond men forever.” And 2 Kings v. 27. it is said, that the leprosy was to cleave to Naaman “ forever.” But who ever thought this man was to be a leper to the endless ages of eternity? In Job xli. 4. speaking of leviathan, it is said, “wilt thou take him for a servant forever.” There is one text which deserves particular notice, because it is the first time in which the word olim is used in the Bible, and is rendered forever. Thus it is said, Gen. iii. 22. "and now lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live forever," therefore God drove forth the man from the garden. On this text let us hear Dr. Kennicot, the great Hebrew scholar of his day. He says, dissert. i. p. 83. “A third objection may be made to the present rendering of the word osy, in chap. iii. 22.—that it is made to signify the days of Adam's life only, and not forever. In answer to this I observe, that the word Dhy is used as often, perhaps, finitely as infinitely; and that it can signify nothing more than the age or life of man, in places where our translators have freqently rendered it forever. Thus Exod. xxi. 6.Then his master shall bring him unto the judges, and he shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall serve him forever.' And 1 Sam. i. 22. but Hannah went not up; for she said, I will not go up