Imágenes de páginas

shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded, world without end." Taylor, in his Hebrew Concordance, says it signifies the ages of perpetuity." I would merely suggest it for consideration, if the phrase world without end," does not refer to the age or dispensation of the Messiah, which age was not to be succeeded by any other, and corresponds to passages in the New Testament where it is said to be everlasting, and to endure forever. Whatever may be in this, we think it is evident that olim rendered world, in these texts, does not mean endless duration. How does it sound to say, that God sets eternity in the hearts of men, and that the ungodly prosper in the eternity. Olim rendered world in these texts, seems to be used in a similar sense, as aion and aionion translated world, in the New Testament. Age, in both, would be a better rendering, for surely neither the material world nor eternity can be referred to.

6th. In Jer. xlix. 36. olim is translated "outcasts." Why it is so I cannot conceive. As it cannot affect the subject under consideration it would not be of much use to spend time in inquiring.

7th. In Deut. xxxiii. 15. the word olim is rendered "lasting." By quoting the whole verse it will be seen, that lasting hills in the last part, is just another expression for ancient mountains in the first, "and for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the ! precious things of the lasting hills." It will be seen. presently, that olim here translated ancient and lasting, and applied to the mountains and hills, might just as well have been translated everlasting, as it is in Gen. xlix. 26. and Hab. iii. 6. and applied to the same things. But I forbear further remarks until we come to those passages.

8th. I find that olim is rendered

alway, or always,

Jer. xx. 17. Gen. vi. 3. 1 Chron. xvi. 15. Job vii.

[ocr errors]

16. Psalm cxix. 112. In this last text David explains alway by adding "even unto the end." But everlasting or eternity has no end.

9th. Sometimes olim is rendered any more. Ezek. xxvii. 36. and xxviii. 19. The prophet is speaking of Tyre, and the sense evidently is, that it should not be any more as formerly a place famous for trade.

10th. It is rendered never in the following places. 2 Sam. xii. 10. Judg. ii. 1. Psalm xv. 5. xxx. 6. xxxi. 1. lv. 22. lxxi. 1. and cxix. 93. Prov. x. 30. Isai. xiv. 20. xxv. 2. Ezek. xxvi. 21. Joel ii. 26, 27. But surely no one ever thought that never in these texts expresses endless duration. For example, was the sword not to depart from David's house to the endless ages of eternity? And was God's covenant with Israel to have no end? We are sure it has waxed old and vanished away. In short, we use the word never every day in a similar way, but no one interprets our language as meaning endless duration. In the New Testament we shall see that the word aion is also rendered never, and is applied in a similar way.



Ir the sacred writers used the term olim, to express limited duration in so many instances, as we have seen in the preceding Section, our translators rendering the same word by English terms expressing endless duration, can never give it such a signification.

In the texts now to be introduced, they have rendered olim by the words perpetual, everlasting, eternal, forever, and forever and ever; but can such renderings alter the sense in which the sacred writers used it? No; for we shall see that the things to which it is applied, and the scope of the contexts, in a great many instances, at least, utterly forbids it. This is universally acknowledged, and will presently be seen from the passages. It will be perceived, that this word is used to express duration that is past. The reader has then to consider whether it refers to endless duration which is past. It also expresses duration to come, and it must be considered whether it is used to express a proper eternity to come. In short, we have got to examine, with attention, whether this word rendered perpetual, eternal, forever, and forever and ever, was designed to express the endless duration of the things to which the sacred writers apply it. The question is not, are the persons or things to which it is applied of endless duration in their natures, but was this term used to express it? Is it this word which shows they are of endless duration?

1st. I find olim, then, is rendered "perpetual," and applied in the following manner. The covenant God made with Noah was to be "for perpetual generations," Gen. ix. 12. The priest's office, was to be Aaron's and his sons, "for a perpetual statute," Exod. xxix. 9. The suburbs of certain cities, were to be the inheritance of the Levites, "for a perpetual possession," Levit. xxv. 34. Certain portions were to be the provision of Aaron and his sons, by "a perpetual statute," Levit. xxiv. 9. It was to be, "a perpetual statute," that the person who sprinkled the water of separation, should be unclean until the even, Num. xix. 21. The Sabbath, was to be observed by the children of Israel throughout their generations,

"for a perpetual covenant," Exod. xxxi. 16. To them it was also to be "a perpetual statute," that they should neither eat fat nor blood, Levit. iii. 17. The meat-offering was to be a "perpetual ordinance unto the Lord," Ezek. xlvi. 14. And the children of Israel are spoken of as saying, come and let us join ourselves to the Lord in "a perpetual covenant,” Jer. 1. 5.

In all these passages, the word perpetual is applied to things belonging to the Mosaic dispensation, which was never intended to be endless in its duration. Olim is rendered perpetual in these passages, and it is rendered everlasting in others, and applied to the same things. Indeed, had our translators consulted uniformity in their version, they would have always rendered it so. What then does perpetual or everlasting express, when applied to the things belonging to the Jewish dispensation? We think it is obvious that it simply signifies that those things were to be observed by the Jews while that dispensation continued. When it ended the everlasting or perpetual ended.

But further; we find olim rendered perpetual, and applied as follows. Speaking of Babylon and other places, it is said they shall be made "perpetual desolations," Jer. xxv. 9. 12. Ezek. xxxv. 9. Zeph. ii. 9. And of Bozrah and other cities, that they shall be "perpetual wastes," Jer. xlix. 13. And speaking of some persons, it is said, Psalm 1xxviii. 66. that God would put them to "a perpetual reproach." God also threatened Israel, Jer. xviii. 16. to make their land a "perpetual hissing ;" and bring on them "a perpetual shame," xxiii. 40. Concerning the people of Seir it is said, that they had against Israel "a perpetual hatred," Ezek. xxxv. 5. Of some persons it is said, they shall sleep "a perpetual sleep," Jer. li. 39. and repeated, verse 57. Besides, we find it said Jer. v.

22. that the Lord placed "the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree that it cannot pass it." Moreover, we find it declared, Hab. iii. 6. that the hills are perpetual. "He stood, and measured the earth he beheld, and drove asunder the nations: and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting." In this last text, olim is rendered both perpetual and everlasting, and without scruple is applied to the hills and mountains as well as to the ways of God, These are all the texts in which olim is rendered in our version perpetual. On the whole of them I shall now make a few brief remarks.

1st. It is evident from the last quoted text, that perpetual and everlasting are used to express the same idea. The "everlasting mountains," and "the perpetual hills," are synonimous expressions. We shall see this remark confirmed, when we come to consider the texts where olim is rendered everlasting. When it is therefore said, that the mountains and hills are perpetual or everlasting, no one ever inferred that they had existed from eternity, or would exist to endless duration. The everlasting nature of their existence as to time past, is limited to the time of their creation, and in regard to futurity, their existence is bounded by the dissolution of the present world. Here then is an everlasting, bounded by time, and does not extend to endless duration either as to past or future.

2d. In all the above texts where olim is rendered perpetual, in not one instance, is it used to express endless duration. The things to which it is applied clearly decide this. Unless this world is to continue to endless duration, how is the sand to be a perpetual or endless bound to the sea, and the hills and mountains never cease to exist? Moreover, how is Babylon and other places to be endless desolations? In

« AnteriorContinuar »