Friday, August 9, 2013

Forever and Ever

And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God FOREVER AND EVER! Amen.” – Revelation 7:11-12

I love to study words, and their origins and deep meanings.  When translating the Bible from its original Hebrew and Greek to English, or any other language, subtle meanings can be lost.  Today I stumbled upon the phrase “FOREVER AND EVER”.  Think about it.  Isn’t forever long enough that adding “and ever” would be unnecessary?  Why was it translated this way?  And the phrase appears in God’s word many times:

“The Lord will reign FOREVER AND EVER.” – Exodus 15:18

“Therefore David blessed the Lord before all the assembly; and David said: “Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, FOREVER AND EVER.” – 1 Chronicles 29:10

 Your throne, O God, is FOREVER AND EVER; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.” – Psalms 45:6

“For this is God, Our God FOREVER AND EVER; He will be our guide Even to death.” – Psalms 48:14

But Israel shall be saved by the Lord With an everlasting salvation; You shall not be ashamed or disgraced FOREVER AND EVER.” – Isaiah 45:17

“But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even FOREVER AND EVER.’” – Daniel 7:18

“Now to our God and Father be glory FOREVER AND EVER. Amen.” – Philippians 4:20

Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory FOREVER AND EVER. Amen.” – Hebrews 13:20-21

There are many, many more places the phrase is used in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. I encourage you to do a keyword search on the phrase “forever and ever” at Biblegateway.Com and read them all.

At the end of prayers, the Jews were taught to say, “Forever, Amen”.  In Hebrew the word forever is “ad olam”, which means an everlasting age.  But because the Sadducces came along and said there was no afterlife or immortality, denying any age to come, they were then instructed to then say “forever and ever, Amen” at the end of prayers.  The extra “ever” changed the Hebrew language to be “min ha-olam, vead ha-olam”.  Translated, it means in this age, and the age to come. 

The Greek translation of forever is much the same, coming from the word “aion” which means age.  This word can refer to the age of a person, or to a span of time that is without end and eternal.  But by adding “and ever”, even the Greeks clarify the phrase with the words “eis aionas aionon”, which means ages of ages.

Sometimes it’s the little things, those words of such great meaning and history, that can change the way you read a verse. 

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory FOREVER AND EVER. Amen.” – 1 Timothy 1:17



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