Created Wed. Jan. 26, 2005  -  Updated Dec. 24, 2009

Forever: It Is Not!

The Problem
Old Testament Hebrew Words and Meanings:
The Word of Contention: "olam" - Forever
The Hebrew Word "ad" -  (for) Ever

The Hebrew "naytzak" - (for) Ever
The Hebrew Word "kedem" - Eternal
The Hebrew Word "yom" - Day

Reconsidering Olam - Forever
New Testament Greek Words

Related Articles

Forever, eternal, everlasting; these are misunderstood, mistranslated, and misused words of the English language and they are especially misused with regards to the Sabbath and other observances of the Mosaic law. So a very careful study of these original Hebrew words and the context they appear in is very important if we are to correctly understand the scriptures and observe them properly. In addition, it will help us to avoid insisting on what is not correct and avoiding a very dangerous path leading to destruction.

The Problem

The problem with forever, usually spelled with a space between for and ever as in for ever, though today, forever is connected commonly, is that it refers to things in the law and of course, is a complete contradiction with the New Covenant which replaces the Old one. Even God through Moses, foretold that the former covenant would be replaced by another prophet like Moses, and referring to Jesus, even according to Paul's writings.

Deuteronomy 18:
15 Jehovah your God shall raise up to you a Prophet from among you, of your brothers, One like me; you shall listen to Him,
16 according to all that you desired of Jehovah your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of Jehovah my God, nor let me see this great fire any more, lest I die.
17 And Jehovah said to me, They have spoken well, what they have said.
18 I shall raise up a Prophet to them from among their brothers, one like you; and I will put My words in His mouth; and He shall speak to them all that I shall command Him.
19 And it shall be, whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I will require it at his hand.

Acts 3:
22 For Moses indeed said to the fathers, "The Lord your God will raise up to you a Prophet from among your brothers, One like me; you shall hear Him according to all things," whatever He may speak to you. [See Deuteronomy 18:15-19]
23 And it shall be that of every soul, whoever should not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.

Acts 7:
37 This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, "The Lord your God will raise up a Prophet to you" "from your brothers, One like me." You shall hear Him. [Deuteronomy 18:15]
38 This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the Angel who spoke to him in Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, who received living words to give to us,
39 to whom our fathers did not desire to be subject, but thrust him away, and turned their hearts back to Egypt.

So Jesus was going to come and tell us what to do. He would have new instructions, though Israel may not have discerned it at that time. In fact, Jesus said he was instituting a new covenant and hope, new wine into new wineskin. And who better ought to know since it was Jesus in his heavenly spiritual form with the full power and authority of the Father, Jehovah, acting in His place as God, instructed Moses about himself, Jesus. Jesus would come in human form like Moses rather than the fear inspiring form of God Almighty, who was not even capable of appearing in physical form as if the great and almighty God could even reduce Himself to such a state, being so great and power and majesty.

Jesus was the means to bridge the gap between Heaven and earth, between the spirit realm and the physical fleshly realm. He would convey to flesh what the Father was like. So Jesus had to know that the Old Covenant was going to be changed and he was going to be the one to change it and he let everyone know ahead of time so they would not be surprised or skeptical about such a move. Yet, that being the case, many today still miss it all and want to go back to the Old and ignore the New.

So the problem in this subject is that we have what seems on the surface to be 2 contradictory ideas. One where everything in the OT law is said to be forever and yet we are also told in the law that there is to come another prophet with another covenant like Moses, a new covenant, and that people must listen to this prophet and his covenant or be destroyed. What do we do??? How do we reconcile this and make sense of it?

Since we can not allow that God is stupid and contradicts Himself every other line; we must assume, therefore, that He can not and will not contradict Himself. Then the problem must be in our understanding of what He is saying. So how do we reconcile these 2 opposing ideas, that of Forever and that of Change? That is easily corrected if we understand that "forever" (typically "for ever" in the KJV) is not the English "forever" But the Hebrew "olam" which does not always mean forever but sometimes just a long time, very far away. We will explore these Hebrew words and their meanings.

I propose:

In saying forever, God is saying for as long as the law/covenant of Moses lasts, the Sabbath will be kept. And even in saying that, forever is really more of a word of emphasis rather than duration. In addition, it is much like saying that this is in effect forever or permanently . . . unless I, God, say otherwise. God always had the right to change or amend terms, especially when a sacrifice is introduced that legitimately alters the conditions affecting the contract or covenant. But only God can amend or make changes, not man. So when God says forever, that means forever from our standpoint of obedience and observance. It is our obligation forever, if God so desires. Only He can change the terms. His using "forever" is a way of making it clear that it is He who is dictating the terms and that they are not negotiable. We have to keep His terms until He decides to change them. When He does change them, we must change, too, or we will still die. God will not tolerate disobedience and defiance.

You will note that God does not act like a lawyer, who might insist on spelling every little understanding out, for fear of having another lawyer point out an omission as an excuse to not allow an amendment because it was not specifically set out and declared as a right. When God makes a contract, He does not have to state that "it is forever, unless He changes it later, Himself." God believes that you should understand that He always has the right to change and amend as circumstances change. We receive information and rules from God on an "as needed" basis, even as many receive orders from a government or the military on that same "as needed" basis. We do as we are told. God tells us what we need to know and often, not much more. He has terms he keeps with the devil as they engaged in their challenge, their court dispute, which very much involves us and important issues.

But it is often Christians who, out of motivation to defend whatever it is they want to believe or justify, perhaps wanting to defend it because their parents told them this was the right thing to believe, and so they seek whatever argument they can to justify that belief. So they twist and distort perhaps even to their own destruction. Some want to belong to a group and defend their body of doctrines. But righteous faithful obedient followers of God don't give a damn about what others before them have decided is the truth. They only care about the truth and accuracy and will reject any doctrine that does not hold up to the facts and a fresh examination.

The Covenant was Conditional

People can be so short-sighted and stupid. God made a deal with Israel at Mt. Sinai, through Moses. God made some promises to Israel  -IF-  Israel remained faithful to the covenant, the deal, the contract, that God had made them agree to. If Israel did not remain faithful, then the promises of God would be withdrawn as was the agreement in the deal, the latter chapters of Deuteronomy, where warnings were made to Israel if they dared to disobey.

The problem? God told Moses that they would break the deal in time. Moses told them that he had been told they would dishonor the contract made. So when God said the Sabbath or Festival days must be kept forever, it was dependent upon whether there even was a contract left to be honored in time. God knew it would not be kept and honored, which is why He warned through Moses that another prophet would come who would instruct them and anyone not listening to this prophet must be killed, cut off, as I quoted above in Deut. 18.

So God knew that He was going to destroy the temple and throw Israel and Judah out of the land of Judah and Israel and that His covenant people would reside in all the nations of the earth and no longer have a government of their own or country of their own. Further, they likely did not understand the changes that would take place when the real sacrifice of God, God's son, would be offered. the temple would no longer serve any more purpose and neither would the priesthood. In fact, even the festivals would be pointless. Remembering the Exodus would be replaced with remembering the sacrifice of Jesus, the real life saving sacrifice that had always been the one intended and prefigured by the Mosaic symbols.

For I seriously doubt that anyone figured that some of the law was going to change before the Messiah was to come along with a new covenant. But that I have to point this all out is sad, for it seems to me if anyone understands anything at all, about the coming of God's son, they should understand that a new covenant was instituted and the temple curtain ripped in two, the temple and priesthood later destroyed, and the miraculous signs and wonders were transferred from the Jews and the temple to the Christians and the their elders, who were the recipients of the blessings of that new deal, bought and paid for by Christ on the cross.

And as well, the Jews were literally thrown out of their homeland by the Romans and it remained the possession of others for many centuries, so that in the 6th century, Jerusalem was practically a ghost town when Mohammed came along and took it over and built the holy shrine known commonly as the Dome of the Rock and held it without dispute till the middle ages (about 1100-1400) AD) when the Crusades were launched to try to take it back but in the long run failed to retain it and the Muslims retained control for a few more centuries till the modern day Jews won it back in the 20th century with military force and not by the hand of God as many suggest. And especially not by the will of God. He destroyed the temple and city in 70 AD and it was of no concern to Him after that. His "temple" is a heavenly one, as is His city, "New Jerusalem" above. "Israel" is the body of believers of Christ. The earthly stuff means nothing to the Father, know in the Old Testament quite commonly as Jehovah.

So now it remains to re-evaluate the translations of Hebrew words and their meanings apart from context as well as within the context of may scriptures to review. First, the temple and priesthood were a bureaucracy created to form and maintain the Bible as it grew and with their rituals, point to the messiah as the sacrifice of God. The Sabbath and Festivals all served this purpose, too. When Jesus was offered in sacrifice, the temple and priesthood, rituals, festivals, and the like were all made obsolete. AS well, God transferred the miracles and keeping of the Bible to the new followers of Him and His son, Jesus, the Christians. The Jews were completely rejected and the nation of Israel dissolved by God. God's scattered people of the covenant would now reside in all nations belonging to other peoples.

Can it be any more clear? It was never meant to be forever, since God knew full well that Israel would never keep their end of the bargain. Forever was forever, until the time when Jesus would come with a new deal. But with the great passing of time from the Apostles to latter times, many would forget much of this and would go back to the law and its stupid symbols. We see this in the "back to the Hebrew language" movement, "Sacred Name" movements, and "Seventh day Sabbath keeping" movements. All sad and laughable.

I note one other serious problem with Sabbath and Festival Keepers. They believe the Pope is the Antichrist. They do not understand who the Antichrist really is and what he intends to do. He will set up Israel again, which has already been done. And Jerusalem has already been restored. Soon, the temple will be rebuilt and the sacrifices and priesthood restored. And then the Antichrist will come, claiming to be Jesus and God, as well as many various other incarnations from other religions.

This is the abomination that causes desolation, as spoken of by Daniel and by Jesus and the New Testament. The abomination being the Antichrist and offering sacrifices again, as if Jesus had not been offered to end sacrifices once and for all. Seventh Day Adventists will completely miss the whole damn thing because they think it is the Pope. They might wise up near the end but I would not hold my breath, either.

Beware of the dog that returns to his vomit, going back to the law as if Jesus had never happened.

Old Testament Hebrew Words and Meanings
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I primarily use the King James Version for the discussions on this topic of words such as: forever, eternal, everlasting and the like.

The Word of Contention: "olam" - Forever

These words were translated from Hebrew words as Hebrew was the original language of God's people from at least Abraham onward. Hebrew is the only true divinely inspired language by which God has communicated with man in the Old Testament (OT). All other translations into various languages must always be carefully reviewed since translating is always done by mere men. These men were not accompanied by great and powerful works and portents that accompanied Moses, Jesus, and the Apostles. So we diligently compare the original languages which were inspired and accompanied by those powerful confirming works of God to see if they are properly converted to words and meanings that are clear to us in our various languages.

The main scripture that I want to focus on has to do with the Sabbath and keeping it, supposedly, forever. But the problem is in the real Hebrew meaning of that word and what was intended by God to men. The original word, in English letter representation rather than Hebrew letters is spelled in 3 basic variations in Hebrew. They are: olam, owlam, owlawm. They mean pretty much the same thing. They are listed in Strong's Hebrew dictionary as number 5769. I provide Strong's dictionary definition and Brown /Driver /Briggs Hebrew /English Lexicon definitions to help us get a clear understanding of the real intent of olam and what it means for the Sabbath. And here is the scripture under dispute. The words which were originally the Hebrew "olam" are in bold face followed by Strong's number after them. The definitions from Strong's and the BDB Lexicon come after.

This is the scripture and there are many like it in the law that would seem to say that these rituals are to be forever. However, since the law also said another prophet was coming, like Moses, and everyone must do whatever he says, this sort of limits the meaning of "forever." But God has a right to limit a meaning, if He so chooses. But some people do not like God dictating to them.

Exodus 31:16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual (5769) covenant.
17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever (5769): for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

Below is the Hebrew word Olam, for which many translators have incorrectly worded as "forever" in English. And though "forever" really isn't a bad choice, it is a choice that does not fully address the situation in interpretation. Part of the real problem is the influence lawyers have had on interpreting promises and contracts.

Strong's Hebrew Dictionary:
5769. ~lw [ 'owlam o-lawm'; or ~l[ 'olam o-lawm'; from 5956;

properly, concealed, i.e. the vanishing point;
generally, time out of mind (past or future), i.e. (practically) eternity;
frequentatively, adverbial (especially with prepositional prefix) always:-- alway(-s), ancient (time), any more, continuance, eternal, (for, [n-])ever(-lasting, -more, of old), lasting, long (time), (of) old (time), perpetual, at any time, (beginning of the) world (+ without end). Compare 5331, 5703.

BDB Lexicon:
5769  ~lw [ `owlam o-lawm' or ~l[ `olam o-lawm'
from 5956; TWOT - 1631a; noun  masculine

KJV - ever 272, everlasting 63, old 22, perpetual 22, evermore 15, never 13, time 6, ancient 5, world 4, always 3, alway 2, long 2, more 2, never + 0408 2, misc 6;
439 appearances in all.

1) long duration, antiquity, futurity, for ever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world;
          1a) ancient time, long time (of past)
          1b) (of future);

1b1) for ever, always;
1b2) continuous existence, perpetual;
1b3) everlasting, indefinite or unending future, eternity

KJV Verse Count in books:  Genesis 13;  Exodus 17;  Leviticus 21;  Numbers 9;  Deuteronomy 12;  Joshua 4;  Judges 1;  1Samuel 10;  2Samuel 10;  1Kings 7;
2Kings 2;  1Chronicles 20;  2Chronicles 12;  Ezra 2;  Nehemiah 3;  Job 3;  Psalms 138;  Proverbs 6;  Ecclesiastes 7;  Isaiah 45;  Jeremiah 32; Lamentations 3;
Ezekiel 15;  Daniel 4;  Hosea 1;  Joel 4;  Amos 1;  Obadiah 1;  Jonah 1;  Micah 5;  Habakkuk 1;  Zephaniah 1;  Zechariah 1; Malachi 2.

414 occurrences total

Pay particularly close attention to the definition:  "1b3) everlasting, indefinite or unending future, eternity."  This can indicate an "indefinite" period of time, a long one, no doubt, but not necessarily forever, eternally, without any termination in the future. And since the law was given in about 1500 BC and terminated with Jesus being sacrificed in 33 AD, better than 1500 years is a good long time span. So long that Israel did not really know much much about the old ancient days of the Exodus and Judges, except by what was recorded in the Bible or handed down by oral tradition. so even if one could argue for "forever," it does not rule out being merely a long indefinite time of observance, though not to skipped or ignored at any time but to be kept continually and faithfully until the time of the promised Messiah's "amendments." We will look at many scriptures using this word after we cover all the other Hebrew words that may or may not affect this subject.

Hebrew Root of Olam - Forever

5956  ~l[ Alam     primitive root  TWOT � 1629; verb

1) to conceal, hide, be hidden, be concealed, be secret
            1a) (Qal) secret (participle)
1b) (Niphal)
         1b1) to be concealed
         1b2) concealed, dissembler (participle)
1c) (Hiphil) to conceal, hide
1d) (Hithpael) to hide oneself

Occurs 28 times total in  -   KJV appearances: - hide 22, blind 1, dissemblers 1, hidden 1, secret 1, secret thing 1, any ways 1

KJV Verse Count in books:  Leviticus 5; Numbers 1; Deuteronomy 3; 1Samuel 1; 1Kings 1; 2Kings 1; 2Chronicles 1;
Job3; Psalms 4; Proverbs 1; Ecclesiastes 1; Isaiah 2; Lamentations 1; Ezekiel 1; Nahum 1.

The definition mentions continuous, perpetual, indefinite, always; all words which are legitimate meanings that this word can fulfill. Ah, but some do not like that fact. Put another way, this Hebrew word does not have a very strict limited narrow meaning as does the English word "forever." Once we understand this, things should clear up but they don't, because some do not want to accept or allow the the possibility of those other meanings because it interferes with them wanting to keep observing and requiring the law.

5956 is alam, basically meaning to hide or to conceal. A root in 5769 olam, it lends itself to suggesting a time so far in the past that the origins are hidden or lost or beyond memory - of men, of course, not God. Oh no! I have become a lawyer, right? But it indicates a very long time. Some seem to feel it also indicates a continuance. It might. But God may also have been saying that it was determined or established in God's plans long before it was instituted and that it was firmly established and not revocable or optional. I see it as indicating something being firmly established and authorized. Olam is most commonly translated in the KJV as ever, but this indicates it being quite old and established and as such, to continue as such.

But in the context of our dispute, it also suggests that the New Covenant was also determined by God and His son long before man was ever created, making it also of remote ancient foundation. All God's principles were always in existence, just as God has always existed and what He planned far far in the remote past has been firmly founded long before man. No use of Olam or Forever prevents God from making changes as changes are required or were planned for, from long before we came along. It does not preclude a New Deal with new observances and an abolishment of previous patterns, which patterns were all fulfilled in Jesus coming, being sacrificed and resurrected to supremacy. And these were firmly established and the observances were to be continually (without let up) kept. No excuses or lapses allowed.

But it was clear that another prophet like Moses would come with new instructions and they were to be followed or those refusing would not be in the book of life and would be permanently destroyed.

The Hebrew Word "ad" - (for) Ever
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5703. d[ 'ad ad; from 05710;
properly, a (peremptory) terminus, i.e. (by implication) duration, in the sense of advance or perpetuity (substantially as a noun, either with or without a preposition):
-- eternity, ever(-lasting, -more), old, perpetually, + world without end.

BDB Lexicon
5703 d[ `ad ad   -   from 5710; TWOT - 1565a; noun  masculine

KJV - ever 41, everlasting 2, end 1, eternity 1, ever + 05769 1, evermore 1, old 1, perpetually 1;     49 instances in all

KJV Verse Count in books:  Exodus 1; Numbers 2; 1Chronicles 1; Job 2; Psalms 29; Proverbs 2; Isaiah 7; Daniel 1; Amos 1; Micah 2; Habakkuk 1.
Total occurrences 49

1) perpetuity, for ever, continuing future;
       1a) ancient (of past time)
1b) for ever (of future time);
              1b1) of continuous existence
1c) for ever (of God's existence)

Root of Hebrew word Ad 5703: adah 5710

5710   hd[ adah, the prime root of 5703 with the meaning as follows:
5710   hd[ �adah aw-daw�    -      a primitive root; verb; { See TWOT on 1565}

1) to pass on, advance, go on, pass by, remove          1a) (Qal) to pass on, put on           1b) (Hiphil) to remove

to advance, i.e. Pass on or continue; causatively, to remove;
specifically, to bedeck (i.e. Bring an ornament upon) -- adorn, deck (self), pass by, take away.

KJV - deck ... 6, adorn 2, passed 1, take away 1;   10 instances in all

KJV Verse Count in books:  Job 2; Proverbs 1; Isaiah 1; Jeremiah 2; Ezekiel 3; Hosea 1.   Total of 10 instances

5703 to 5708 are all the same consonants of AD, with only the vowel sound being different in the beginning.
5709 is unique as ADA.
5710 to 5713 all have the same consonants of ADH, with a vowel between DH, forming adah or edah.

Some versions are Aramaic (descendants of Aram of Shem) whereas others are pure Hebrew which came by way of Arpachshad, Aram's brother, both sons of Shem.. Both languages share many similarities. 5703 ad, is a piece of 5710 adah. Ad is used to signify continuance, perpetuity, everlasting, without end as Strong's shows. When you better understand 5710 adah, you begin to get a clear vision.

Here are 5 scriptures I could find with 5710 adah in them, all from GLT bible:

Job 40:10  Adorn (5710) yourself with majesty now, and with grandeur, and clothe yourself with glory and honor;

Jeremiah 31:4  Again I will build you, and you shall be built again, O virgin of Israel . You will again put on (5710) your tambourines and go forth in the dance of those making merry.

Ezekiel 16:11  And I adorned (5710) you with ornaments, and I put bracelets on your hands and a chain on your neck.

Ezekiel 16:13  And you were adorned (5710) with gold and silver. And your clothing was fine linen and silk and embroidered work. Fine flour and honey and oil you ate. And you were very, very beautiful. And you advanced to regal estate.

Hosea 2:13  And I will visit on her the days of the Baals in which she burned incense to them. Yea, she adorned (5710) herself with her nose rings, and her jewels, and she went after her lovers and forgot Me, says Jehovah.

5710 adah is seldom used in the Bible. 

Adah 5710 speaks of adorn or deck or decking something, such as putting on ornaments on one's self or even to placed a monument upon some place to decorate and commemorate some event or place. But it could also be argued that passing on something, or keeping or continuing it, is largely ignored or mistranslated. Adorned could easily mean that God kept or continued Israel with ornaments, tamborines, gold and silver, etc.

To me, the essence of 5710 adah as the root of 5703, which appears a lot, far more than 5710, 49 times in all, is the idea of for ever, everlasting, eternity continuing or being passed on, kept, sustained. This next scripture is an interesting example of both olam and ad appearing together and used in similar ways.  It does not impact on the law scriptures but I show its definitions so that you need not doubt its meaning. It will be important.

Habakkuk 3:6 He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting (5703 ad) mountains were scattered, the perpetual (5769 olam) hills did bow: His ways are everlasting (5769 olam).

This scripture is so interesting because we have mountains and hills that are said to be everlasting and perpetual and yet mountains were scattered and the hills bowed, gave way to God, who is truly the everlasting. It is possible that the mountains and hills are symbolic of the nations mentioned just be fore them as nations are often symbolized this way. So when the Bible/God says forever, everlasting, perpetual, or the like, He doesn't always mean it in its absolute sense. Only God is absolutely forever, everlasting, eternal.

So what you see is God using things thought of as permanent, lasting forever, being eternal and perpetual and yet they were not, even though they were called so. Only God is really and truly eternal and everlasting. But now comes the huge point to make. When one considers the meaning of 5703 ad as being much more the word to indicate something to last forever, it should have been the word used to convey the idea of the Sabbath being kept forever, never to be abolished or changed. The fact it was not used seems to refute the idea that the Sabbath was eternal and forever. To make my point, I have a number of scriptures to consider with this Hebrew word "ad."

5703 Ad

(GLT) Numbers 24:20 And he looked upon Amalek, and took up his parable and said, Amalek was the first of the nations, but his latter end is to destruction forever <05703>.
(GLT) Numbers 24:24 And ships shall come from the coast of Cyprus (Kittim), and they shall humble Assyria , and they shall humble Eber, and he also shall come to destruction forever <05703>.

Really, isn't destruction an end, a termination? Destruction lasting forever? How can that be? Well, unless you consider that forever really means more like certain, established, irrevocable, and from which there will never be any recovery. I think we are talking more about recovery. The destruction is final and absolute, permanent! Much the same below except that we have both ad 5703 and olam 5769. How bout that, huh? It would seem to me that these 2 words convey differences as well as similarities. They do not look or sound alike. So God must have have intended to make a point in using both. In our English, it sounds like repetition but this was not the case in Hebrew. How would I explain it? Olam would be a sense that this was destined from long ago and would be long lasting. Ad would be that it would continue on forever, that it was final and permanent. Ad would have been the better choice if the Sabbath had been meant to be forever and eternal.

(GLT) Psalm 9:5  You have rebuked the nations; You have destroyed the wicked; You have put out their name forever <05769> and ever <05703>.

In general, both ad and olam appear most in the Psalms.
But olam appears in the OT 439 times whereas ad only shows up 49 times, used far less, maybe because it is more absolute. Ad is primarily just in the Psalms but olam is quite common in the law and major prophets as well. To me, olam emphasizes the judgment or institution of something as having originated far before man even came along and intended to continue for quite some time whereas ad seems more like forever, eternal, permanent, guaranteed. God covered all bases on this verse. Below are 4 more verses with the same situation. Notice that olam always seems to come before ad and ad comes at the end for final emphasis.

(GLT) Psalm 45:  6 Your throne, O God, is forever <05769> and ever <05703>; the scepter of Your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness.
Psalm 45:17 I will make remembered Your name in every generation and generation; on this account people shall thank You forever <05769> and ever <05703>.
Psalm 48:14 For this God is our God forever <05769> and ever <05703>; He will be our guide even unto death.
Psalm 52:  8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever <05769> and ever <05703>.

In the verses below, you'll see that forever does seem to indicate something either continuing forever or not lasting forever, without end. It really does focus on time and length of time.

(GLT) Psalm 61:  8 So I will sing praise to Your name forever <05703>, so that I may pay my vows day by day.
(GLT) Psalm 83:17 Let them be ashamed and terrified for ever <05703>; yea, let them be confounded and perish.
(GLT) Psalm 89:29 And I have established his Seed forever <05703>, and His throne as the days of the heavens.
(GLT) Isaiah 64:  9 Do not be extremely angry, Jehovah, and do not remember iniquity forever <05703>. Behold! look, please; all of us are Your people.
(GLT) Isaiah 65:18 However, be glad and rejoice forever <05703> in what I create. For, behold, I create in Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
(GLT) Micah  7:18 Who is a God like You, forgiving iniquity and passing by the transgression of the remnant of His possession? He does not make strong His anger forever <05703>, for He delights in grace.

But when we consider olam 5769, it is often about things that doe not seem to fit forever. They are often things that do not or did not last forever, even though the scripture would say it did. They were clearly a figurative use and focuses more on situations and their ancient character and solid establishment. If the Sabbath were to be forever, I think it should have been ad 5703 and not 5769 olam. It is the only way to really makes sense of the contradictions that come about so often with olam. I will cover a number of scriptures after we are done with considering all the Hebrew words involved or potentially involved with olam 5769 "forever."

The Hebrew "naytzak" - (for) Ever
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5331 hcn netsach neh�- tsakh or hcn   netsach nay�- tsakh
from 5329; noun masculine; {See TWOT on 1402 @@ "1402a"}  

1) eminence, perpetuity, strength, victory, enduring, everlastingness
          1a) eminence
          1b) enduring of life

1c) endurance in time, perpetual, continual, unto the end
1d) everlastingness, ever

KJV-ever 24, never 4, perpetual 3, always 2, end 2, victory 2, strength 2, alway 1, constantly 1, evermore 1, never + 03808 1;    43 appearances in all.

KJV Verse Count in books:  1Samuel 1;  2Samuel 1;  1Chronicles 1;  Job 6;  Psalms 18;  Proverbs 1;  Isaiah 6;  Jeremiah 3;  Lamentations 2;  Amos 2;  Habakkuk 1.
Total occurrences 42

5329     hcn natsach or natzak � NTzK - {See TWOT � 1402}

1) to excel, be bright, be preeminent, be perpetual, be overseer, be enduring
        1a) (Niphal) enduring (participle)
        1b) (Piel) to act as overseer or superintendent or director or chief

KJV Word Usage:  Musician 55, set forward 3, overseers 3, excel 1, oversee 1, perpetual 1, chief singer 1.

KJV Verse Count in books:  1 Chronicles 2;  2 Chronicles 4;  Ezra 2;  Psalms 55;  Jeremiah 1;  Habakkuk 1.     65 instances in all

Now first of all, I use the K in place of CH. CH, K, and Q all have pretty much the same cacophonous sound which we consistently associate with K. In Arabic and many Semitic languages, even a cacophonous G can be used. If you are familiar with Libya's Colonel Kaddafi, his name has appeared in print with a K, a G, and a Q, i.e. Gaddafi and Qaddafi. Google seems to prefer Gaddafi at this time. But I go with k. But Ch does indicate a specific Hebrew letter, distinguishable from k and/or q, though in transliterating into English, they all sound the same.

In addition, in Hebrew, they have a letter that is best expressed in English as tz or ts. I prefer tz. I see Hebrew names from Israel in the newspapers and TV use both forms. Yitzak is one example. So my spellings are not necessarily the most common ones in existence but they reasonable and not without precedence of some sort. The root word natzak 5329 is mostly translated and applied to musician, 55 out of 65 occurrences. It is obviously also not a very commonly used word and because its root does seem a noun naming musicians, and a bit of prominence and endurance in the full naytzak 5331, it really does not impact our discussion of olam.

Where things change is when we build on that root to arrive at naytzach 5331 and how it is typically translated. For ever appears in 23 of 43 instances. And it is applied to some very prominent scriptures that seem to put it in the same category as our beloved but controversial olam 5769 and ad 5703. Given the definitions given, I see naytzak 5331 a little differently than maybe many translators do.

I see strength, endurance, both perpetual and continuing, even eminence and victory, prevailing. There seems to be a bit of glory in it. But I'll the the scriptures naytzak appears in define it best for us to grasp and decide on. I have gathered 9 scriptures with naytzak 531, which are translated as forever, for which there are 24 occurrences and the word translated as other words another 25 times, all quoted from Green's Literal Translation. I do notice most instances of this word occur in Job, Psalms, and Isaiah.

2Samuel 2:26 And Abner called to Joab, and said, Does the sword devour forever <05331>? Do you not know that it will be bitter in the end? And until when will you say to the people to turn back from after their brothers?

This word naytzak, is often used in connection with something having a termination point, an ending.

Job 4:20 They are shattered from morning till evening; they perish forever <05331> with no one regarding.

Above, they keep on perishing with seemingly no end in sight and no one caring.

Job 23:7 There the righteous might reason with Him; and I would be forever <05331> delivered from my Judge.

Meaning permanently and/or completely delivered from the "Judge" .  .  .  unless another offense was later committed. And although that is not said, it is logical and reasonable.

Psalm 44:23 Be aroused! Why do You sleep, O God? Awake! Do not cast us off forever <05331>.
Psalm 49:9 for he shall yet live forever <05331>; he shall never see corruption.
Psalm 68:16 Why do you gaze in envy, O mountain range, at the mountain God desired for His dwelling? Yea, Jehovah will dwell in it forever <05331>.
Psalm 77:8 Is His mercy gone forever <05331>? Has His word failed for all generations?
Psalm 89:46 O Jehovah, until when will You hide Yourself? Shall Your wrath burn like fire forever <05331>?

Lamentations 5:20 Why do You forget us forever <05331>, forsake us the length of days?

Naytzak 5331 does seem to represent forever, much like ad 5703. Naytzak sort of indicates God seemingly ignoring justice, suffering, mercy and the like. But as in Psalm 49:9, even though dead, he shall yet live forever but there will be an interruption, of course. In some instances, it is used with other words to indicate it will not be forever that something will go on. There is a point of termination. I also note the God's wrath can burn, like a fire forever, but will not. Indeed, an anger or punishment burning forever is simply God's way of expressing that the destruction or death will be permanent and without any future hope of resurrection.

This is important since those who argue for "universal salvation," where it is said that everyone will be saved and brought back to life eventually and that is a lie. Equally a lie is the idea of a burning or destruction taking place forever, as it there were no point of dying, just endless suffering and torture, such as is the case with the concept of hell, whereby a symbolic concept is taken literally by those who can not dis[cern spiritual symbolic concepts and try to make easy answers out of all things by applying a literal interpretation of symbols, which was never God's intention.

Like ad 5703, 5331 naytzak appears just a few times, both near 50 times. Olam 5769, on the other hand, 439 times, almost 10 times as many instances as each of the other 2. While there does not seem to be much difference to us in meaning, God does not arbitrarily select words. Ad and naytzak were only selected for a few occasions, relatively speaking, compared to olam. And both ad and naytzak seem to be more about length of time rather than representing establishment, certainty, authority, with a view more to the ancient origin and past rather than length of time alone. It is binding for a very long time but not specific. Very old and continuing but yet due to an important clause, not forever in an absolute sense. Ad and naytzak seem more aimed at forever and eternity.

The Hebrew Word "kedem" - Eternal
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Strong's Hebrew Dictionary
  ~dq qedem keh'-dem; or hmdq qedmah kayd'-maw; from 06923;

the front, of place (absolutely, the fore part, relatively the East) or time (antiquity);
often used adverbially (before, anciently, eastward):-- aforetime, ancient (time), before, east (end, part, side, -ward), eternal, X ever(-lasting), forward, old, past. Compare 06926.

BDB Lexicon
6924  ~dq qedem keh'-dem or hmdq qedmah kayd'-maw   from 6923;
noun masculine; TWOT - 1988a;

1) east, antiquity, front, that which is before, aforetime;
        1a) front, from the front or east, in front, mount of the East
        1b) ancient time, aforetime, ancient, from of old, earliest time
        1c) anciently, of old (adverb)

     1d) beginning
     1e) east

2) eastward, to or toward the East

KJV - east 32, old 17, eastward 11, ancient 6, east side 5, before 3, east part 2, ancient time 2, aforetime 1, eternal 1, misc 7;   87 appearances in all.

KJV Verse Count in books:   Genesis 10; Exodus 2; Leviticus 2; Numbers 9; Deuteronomy 2; Joshua 5; Judges 5; 1Kings 3; 2Kings 2; 2Chronicles 1;
Nehemiah 1; Job 3; Psalms 11; Proverbs 2; Isaiah 9; Jeremiah 3; Lamentations 3; Ezekiel 15; Jonah 1; Micah 2; Habakkuk 1; Zechariah 1.
  Total occurrences 83

Scripture Examples:

KJV) Genesis 3:24  So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east<6924> of the garden of Eden Cherubims , and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
KJV) Genesis 10:30  And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east<6924>.
KJV) Genesis 10:30  And their dwelling was from Mesha, as you go to Sephar, an eastern<6924> mountain.
KJV) Genesis 11:2  And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east<6924>, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar ; and they dwelt there.
KJV) Genesis 13:11  Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east<6924>: and they separated themselves the one from the other.
KJV) Genesis 25:6  But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward<6924>, unto the east country.
KJV) Genesis 29:1 Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people of the east<6924>.

Clearly, east means east in one way or another. Only once is this translated as "eternal." And why it was is really beyond me. When you consider the other similar words below, you'll see what I mean. It is only used 83 times in the Old Testament, with either direction/location or old age/time indicated in all but maybe 8 instances.

Eternal in the scripture just below, also comes from another Hebrew word, "qedem" and "qedmah," Some spell these as kedem and kedmah, where q and k are the same sound. I use k as stated earlier. But there are 3 different Hebrew letters that have pretty much the same cacophonous k sound. The English letter commonly used from this word is q=Q. The Hebrew letter for k is k. The Ch also denotes another Hebrew letter sounding like k. Keeping them all clearly identified is important in understanding what Hebrew word you are really dealing with but I use k here for sound's sake.

Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal (Strong's 6924 kedem) God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting (5769 olam) arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.

It should have read more like this in Green's Literal Translation:

GLT) Deuteronomy 33:
26 None is like the God of Jeshurun, riding the heavens for your help, and the clouds in His majesty.
27  The God of old is a refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. And He shall cast the enemy out from before you, and shall say, Destroy!
28  And Israel shall live alone in safety; the fountain of Jacob in a land of grain and wine; and his heavens drop down dew.

The east is often referred to as preceding and being more ancient, likely since Abraham and his family line came from the east in Haran and even Ur, even as all the human race originated from this area in the Mesopotamian valley, Known as the plains of Shinar in the Bible and as Sumer and Akkad by secular historians and archaeologists. So east was a word that was used to denote a direction that also indicated ancient origins of human civilization, as I see it. The "East" is also rather preeminent in being the start of civilization after the flood and became the 1st great empire as well. So it lends much to kedem 6924, especially when one considers the root kadam 6923. But it seems to indicate old age and establishment, as well as direction. It does not seem appropriate as having anything to do with forever, everlasting, eternal or anything like that. I think translators screwed up in using eternal with this Hebrew word. I offer further proof in its related words in the next section.

But I offer this detailed analysis of these various words to show that translators are human and fallible and we always need to be vigilant and diligent in carefully checking the work handed down to us so that we do not continue in doctrinal errors of understanding.

Of course, kedem 6924 is a noun whereas kadam 6923 (next below) is a verb. But there is much the same sense in both words.

6923  ~dq qadam - primitive root; verb; TWOT - 1988

1) to meet, come or be in front, confront, go before
1a) (Piel)
1a1) to meet, confront, come to meet, receive
1a2) to go before, go in front, be in front
1a3) to lead, be beforehand, anticipate, forestall
1b) (Hiphil)
1b1) to come in front
1b2) to confront, anticipate

KJV - prevent 15, before 6, met 2, come 1, disappoint 1, go 1.   26 occurrences in all.

KJV Verse Count in books:  Deuteronomy 1;  2Samuel 2;  2Kings 1;  Nehemiah 1;  Job 3;  Psalms 12;  Isaiah 2;  Amos 1;  Jonah 1;  Micah 1
Total occurrences 25

This word is often translated as prevent, yet I do not get that as the main sense of this word. To confront, to anticipate, go before or lead in front. It is a verb, an action, not a state of being as is the word formed from this root, namely, 6924 kedem.

All words from 6923 to 6925 (3 words) are comprised of the same 3 consonants - KDM.  6926 to 6929 (4 words) are comprised of the same 4 consonants - KDMH. Only the vowels are different. Context would have determined what vowels were used to determine the word and meaning. From reviewing all the forms and their definitions, it seems that all versions are related to mean something previously established or established long in the past, almost like a foundation, having been in existence quite a while, like a precedent.

6926 hmdq qidmah kid-maw�

from 6924; noun feminine; {See TWOT on 1988 @@ "1988a"}

1) forward, front, east, antiquity, East
          1a) in front of, over against, front
          1b) on the east of, east

AV-east 3, eastward 1;    4 times in all.

6921 Mydq qadiym kaw-deem� or Mdq qadim kaw-deem�
6923; n m; {See TWOT on 1988 @@ "1988d"}

1) east, east wind
1a) east (of direction)
1b) east wind

AV-east 50, east wind 10, eastward 7, eastward + 01870 1, east side 1;    69 times in all.

Example: KJV) Genesis 41:27 And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east<6921> wind shall be seven years of famine.

4217 xrzm mizrach miz-rawkh�
2224; n m; {See TWOT on 580 @@ "580c"}

1) place of sunrise, east
1a) sunrise, east (with �sun�)
1b) the east (without �sun�)
1b1) to or toward the place of sunrise
1b2) to the east, eastward

AV-east 30, eastward 20, sunrising + 8121 9, rising 8, east side 5, east end 1, sunrising 1; 74

Example: KJV) Joshua 4:19 And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east<4217> border of Jericho .

I think this word primarily indicates the rising of the sun, which is obviously the east. But clearly, any of these words dealing with the easterly direction or even of old or ancient origins or age, are not an indication of forever, eternal, everlasting or the like. The one time eternal appears was a mistake.

The Hebrew Word "yom" - Day
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Strong's and BDB combined
3117  ~wy yowm yome
from an unused root meaning to be hot; noun masculine; {See TWOT on 852}

1) day, time, year
       1a) day (as opposed to night)
#Ge 7:4,12 8:22 31:39,40  Ex 24:18 34:28  Nu 11:32  Jos 10:13
   De 9:9,11,18,25 10:10  Ge 1:5,14,16,18  1Sa 30:12
   Jud 19:8,9,11  Am 5:8  1Ki 8:29 19:8  Ne 4:22  Ec 8:16  2Sa 3:35 }

              1a1) the heat of the day {
#Ge 18:1 1Sa 11:11 2Sa 4:5}
              1a2) the day is still high {
#Ge 29:7}
              1a3) cool of the day {
#Ge 3:8}
              1a4) from dawn until midday {
#Ne 8:3}
              1a5) growing lighter and lighter until the full day {
#Pr 4:18}
              1a6) until the declining of the day {
#Jud 19:8}
              1a7) the day has sunk down and become evening {
#Jud 19:9}
1b) day (24 hour period)
       1b1) as defined by evening and morning in Genesis 1
       1b2) as a division of time
              1b2a) a working day, a day�s journey
1c) days, lifetime (pl.)
1d) time, period (general)
1e) year
1f) temporal references
       1f1) today
       1f2) yesterday
       1f3) tomorrow

KJV-day 2008, time 64, chronicles + 01697 37, daily 44, ever 18, year 14, continually 10, when 10, as 10, while 8, full 8 always 4, whole 4, alway 4, misc 44; 
2287 appearances in all.

KJV Verse Count in books:



1 Samuel










2 Samuel










1 Kings










2 Kings










1 Chronicles










2 Chronicles




























This is day. The word appears 2287 times in the Bible. But like many words that have a literal meaning, God often uses them in figurative and symbolic ways as well. That is the case with day. And so one use of the word day is to say, back in the days of, say, Noah, meaning during the days when he was alive, the time period when Noah lived. The last days is common.

But note that Yom is actually a word we may have heard or remembered for the Jews have a holiday/festival they call Yom Kippur, the day/yom of kippurim/atonement. We have likely heard of the day of atonement, an important observance for which Jesus ultimately fulfilled. So Yom should be familiar. But you'll notice Strong's says yowm or yome since the o is pronounced long/strong rather than the soft/weak pronunciation of o. But Jews spell it with just 3 letters today in the USA.

This word id used in a few places as continually, or always but we don't want to confuse it with olam/forever. They are not related. In fact, you'll also notice that while most words dealing with an a or o and fall within Strong's numbers in the 5000's, this word yom, beginning with y, is in the 3000's.

Here are a couple examples where day is used in a different way. The KJV Bible uses forever, whereas the GLT Bible uses day in it.

(KJV) 1Samuel 2:35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind:
and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever (3117).
(GLT) 1Samuel 2:35 And I shall raise up for Myself a faithful priest. He shall do all that is in My heart and in My soul.
And I shall build for him a sure house; and he shall walk before My anointed all the days (3117).

(KJV) Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever (3117).
(GLT) Psalm 23:6 Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of Jehovah for as long as my days (3117).  

So it would not seem to me a very literal approach to use forever when day conveys the same idea and still remains very literal, which is why I favor Green's Literal Translation so much. Why is this important? Because God uses words in symbolic or figurative ways to teach us how to play with words and use them in creative ways to secretly receive or convey prophetic messages. To ignore the literal usage in Hebrew ruins this symbolic use of "day" and rob us of understanding in speaking the dialect of prophetic symbolism.

But this word for day does not affect or indicate anything in regards to keeping the Sabbath or other parts of the law ritual observances and that some have used "forever" to translate this Hebrew word or phrase is a mistake and needs to be corrected by us in the present. The same would go for using God's personal name, Jehovah/Yahuwah, which God, Himself, had recorded by His servants as they wrote and is in the original Hebrew text. LORD was a substitution for which some Jewish translators had no authority to change. God knew what He did and what He wanted and let no man do otherwise.

Reconsidering Olam - Forever
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Exodus 15:18 The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.

I put this in to show the typical way we think of "olam" or "for ever/forever." The LORD, in Hebrew, (YHWH) Yahuwah, more typically translated in English as (JHVH) Jehovah, the proper name of God, is truly eternal, without any end ever or beginning ever. And this is also the most common use of the word and so often used in reference to God. Little wonder that we might jump to the conclusion that all uses of this word meant the same thing. Further, though this was translated this way, I think it tends to emphasize God's eternal existence, being so far remote and in the past as to be hidden or concealed from us, far beyond our comprehension and accounting. He had no beginning and has no end.

I am assuming that those reading this are quite familiar with the Bible and its subjects so that what is discussed need not require a lot of introduction or previous detail when talking about the law and the temple with its priesthood and other aspects of that institution in the law and what became of it all after Christ. But for those new, fear not, it won't be that foreign and with time you will get a much better understanding so read on anyway. These things are all much better explained and understood in the other articles linked on this page.

Now lets look at some verses that use that other sense of "olam" as simply a time very long away or a very long span of time, but not permanent or absolutely forever without any end ever.

The next 4 scriptures from Exodus were preceded by instructions on what the priests, descendants of Aaron were to carefully observe. Note how long they were to do this.

Exodus 27:21 In the tabernacle of the congregation without the vail, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before the LORD: it shall be a statute for ever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.

Exodus 28:43 And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him.

Exodus 29:28 And it shall be Aaron's and his sons' by a statute for ever from the children of Israel: for it is an heave offering: and it shall be an heave offering from the children of Israel of the sacrifice of their peace offerings, even their heave offering unto the LORD.

[A heave offering was a shoulder piece from an animal burnt/sacrificed upon the altar].

Exodus 30:21 So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations.

What is important to recognize is that all these observances were part of the temple worship, the sacrifices, and the priesthood. These were all done away with the sacrifice of Jesus, the only real and true sacrifice that ever meant anything, and the establishment of the new covenant Christ instituted. It is made clear by the Apostles that these were abolished and unnecessary. These existed only to point to Christ and the new covenant. Once he came, they were fulfilled and not needed anymore. This is made more clear in the other articles linked on this page.

Since these were done away with, what should we conclude about the phrase "for ever" in these scriptures? It can't possibly mean eternity because they no longer exist and God would be contradicted. Further, it had always been God's will that these things would eventually cease to be. So "for ever" can not possibly mean that it was never to end even as God never ends.

Exodus 32:13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.

Genesis 48:4 And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting (also olam 5769) possession.

These are interesting verses. God destroyed the independent rule of Judah and subjected her to the nations thereafter. He later abolished the temple altogether. Then by means of Rome in 132 AD, most Jews were deported and resettled elsewhere and Jerusalem and Judah became Roman in every way. It later became the property of Roman and Orthodox Christians in some respects, then Arabs and Turks, only briefly interrupted by the Crusaders and Knights Templar, and then eventually, in the early 20th century, taken by Great Britain, and the Jews again in 1948. Did God's promise fail? Did He lie? Or are we missing something? It was conditional, was it not? If they remained faithful, it would have been forever, without interruption. But they were not faithful and the temple and its worship did not last and Judah/Israel was rejected, the temple destroyed and in time, the Jews deported from there in 132 AD. From then on, others had it till 1948.

This scripture hinges on the word "inherit." But the Jews were clearly dispossessed at one point for some time. Further, the worship of Jehovah as prescribed by the law has certainly ceased to this day, never to return as Jesus abolished the need for it. It may come back eventually, but it will not be by God's will that it does so. We have a new covenant relationship with God with new things to observe, worshipping in spirit and truth. The focus is no longer on land.

Leviticus 24:8 Every sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting (5769) covenant.

An everlasting covenant??? What??? How can that be??? Didn't the temple and priesthood disappear in 70 AD thanks to the Romans? Did I miss something?

Genesis 17:13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.

Even if we could argue for the Sabbath, since it was not the focus of the New Testament (NT) writers (usually the Apostles), we can not argue for circumcision. Circumcision was clearly not required and was bitterly disputed and fought over in the Bible and in early 2nd/3rd century writers recordings as well. So the Apostles made it quite clear that circumcision was not forever and no longer binging. They had the Holy Spirit verifying their words and works with great signs, wonders, portents, and even resurrecting people from the dead. There is no dispute on this matter.

The problem here is that while only circumcision was mentioned by name, it was representative of all the observances of the law. All things of the law were abolished. But because circumcision was the main issue in dispute at that time, it got the attention. The Sabbath at that time was not in dispute. If it had been in dispute, it would have been addressed by name. But the principle is the same. They both were said to be binding on Israel and the Jews forever and everlasting, but not forever or everlasting in its most extreme sense. Both would be done away with when Christ came to fulfill the law and establish a new covenant with mankind.

These next 3 verses are similar to ones we already considered in Exodus, but here the word "olam" is translated as "everlasting" rather than "for ever." But the implications are the same as they were in the earlier verses I already commented on.

Exodus 40:15 And thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office: for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.
Leviticus 16:34 And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.
Numbers 25:13 And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.

Again, repeating myself many times, it was not forever. It did all come to an end. Besides, Only Jesus can truly and absolutely make an atonement by his sacrifice. The priests made a symbolic atonement. And that ended by 70 AD, not to mention was interrupted by deportation to Babylon for 50 years. The Promise was Conditional! Was it not? You know it was!

All the scriptures quoted from here on are from Green's Literal Translation (GLT). They are all considerations of Strong's Hebrew Dictionary, numbered 5769, the Hebrew word "olam," typically translated forever or similar.

Joshua 14:9 And Moses swore in that day, saying, Surely the land on which your foot has trodden shall be an inheritance for you and for your sons forever, because you have fully followed after Jehovah my God.

It did not last forever. Israel did not forever follow their God Jehovah. so forever can be conditional and may not last forever.

1Samuel 1:22 And Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, Until the child is weaned, then I will bring him, that he may appear before Jehovah and remain there forever.

She was going to leave Samuel at the temple forever. Does that mean Samuel would not die? Or did it mean until his death? If it did, then t was conditional, was it not? It sure was! Otherwise it failed since Samuel did die and the temple did not remain forever. Now addressing Eli the priest and his sons in the days of the boy Samuel, notice the following very carefully please!

1Samuel 2:
29 Why do you kick at My sacrifice and at My offering which I commanded in My habitation? And why do you honor your sons above Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of My people?
30 So says Jehovah the God of Israel, I said indeed that your house and your father�s house should walk before Me until
forever. But now Jehovah says, Be it far from Me! For those who honor Me, I will honor; and those despising Me will be despicable.
31 Behold, days come when I shall cut off your arm, and the arm of your father�s house, that no old man shall be in your house.

Did God break His promise? No way. God gave this proimse, based upon conditions that had to be honored faithfully. If they were not honored, God would not make it forever. He would terminate the promise. And He did! Did He ever! Could it get any more obvious, huh?! And we see the very same thing take place in the next account.

1 Samuel 13:
13 And Samuel said to Saul, You have acted foolishly that you have not kept the command of Jehovah your God which He commanded you. For now Jehovah would have established your kingdom over Israel
14 But now your kingdom shall not stand. Jehovah has sought out for Himself a man according to His own heart, and Jehovah has appointed him as leader over His people. For you have not kept that which Jehovah commanded you.

So I guess forever must not mean forever, unconditionally, at least. And there were conditions with the covenant of Moses which promised another prophet like Moses, prophesying the coming of the son of God, Jesus, who must be listened to and obeyed or otherwise be destroyed by Jesus. So while the law was the obligation of God's people while that covenant was in effect, it would change and Jesus would conclude a new covenant agreement with God's people. The law would be forever until it was replaced. It was a conditional forever, even as the previous examples I have given for consideration were. I am going to rub it in with 3 more examples.

1Kings 8:13 I have surely built a house of loftiness for You, a settled place for You to abide in forever.

Here, Solomon was speaking to God. A house/temple to abide in forever. But that house did not last. Nebuchadnezzer ruined it. Later, Rome wiped it out for good or at least for many centuries before somebody builds another for the antichrist, yet to happen.

1Kings 9:3 And Jehovah said to him, I have heard your prayer and your supplication with which you have made supplication before Me; I have sanctified this house that you have built to put My name there forever; and My eyes and My heart shall be there forever.

For those who argue for the Sabbath being forever, don't you feel silly and ashamed? God destroyed the temple, left the Jews, and gave all authority and spirit over to Jesus' followers, who by providence, came to be known as Christians.

1Kings 10:9 Blessed be Jehovah your God who delighted in you, to put you on the throne of Israel , because Jehovah loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do judgment and righteousness.

Jehovah did not love Israel forever. He had Assyria take them away. He wiped out Judah and destroyed the temple. He gave over all His belongings to Christianity. Really, how sad and pathetic are Sabbath keepers, who want to continue the tradition of demanding the keeping of the law, as the Judaizers of the early centuries did. They can not seem to grasp the concept of a new covenant, a new deal, based on new changed circumstances based on the offering of the sacrifice of Christ.

They wallow in the mud and vomit of the law and wish to return to captivity and enslavement of the law and sin rather than embrace the law of love, freedom, grace, mercy, life and salvation. But worst of all, the Sabbath keepers are helping to perpetuate the myth lie of there being two separate distinct paths to God, with the Jews remaining separate and distinct, waiting to bring back the temple worship in Jerusalem, rather than accept Christ. They would rather die than accept the son of God. And so Sabbath keepers knowingly or not, help support the eventual appearance of the antichrist, and mislead Jews into thinking they can return to God by some means other than Christ. They can not. They must accept Jesus and not any counterfeit fake phony pretend-to-be Christ.

So it is time for Sabbath keepers to confess their sins and repent, and finally accept the new covenant and Jesus, and be done with the ceremonial law. We have new ceremonies now to keep.

New Testament Greek Words
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The only language in which we have any existing ancient texts are primarily Greek. Greek was the only language for which we have any evidence of the Apostles ever writing in, since most of the people of the nations welcomed into the Christian fold/flock were familiar with Greek, the language established by the Greek conqueror Alexander the Great among the nations he conquered. It remained the common language of the churches and the Roman empire for a little while after the Apostles. Latin did not become dominant in the church till a little later.

The Apostles even quoted from the Greek Septuagint version of the OT. That is a pretty good endorsement. It may be that some letters like Matthew or Hebrews might have been originally written in Hebrew and translated but all we have existing is Greek so it will have to do. But it is also possible that Matthew or Paul might have written in both languages, thereby securing a divine inspiration for the Greek version of all the letters. But most were likely in Greek from the beginning.

The Hebrew olam was also translated into Greek. The Greek word is aion and aionios. We also sometimes spell it in English as Eon and Aeon as well. I provide Thayer's Greek / English Lexicon and Strong's Greek Dictionary definitions to consider.

Aion: aiwn

Strong's Greek Dictionary
165. aiwn aion ahee-ohn'; from the same as 104;
properly, an age; by extension, perpetuity (also past); by implication, the world;
specially (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future):-- age, course, eternal, (for) ever(-more), [n-]ever, (beginning of the , while the) world (began, without end). Compare 5550.

Thayer's Greek / English Lexicon
165 aiwn aion ahee-ohn'
from the same as 104; TDNT - 1:197,31; n m

KJV - ever 71, world 38, never + 3364 + 1519 + 3588 6, evermore 4, age 2, eternal 2, misc 5;   128 instances in all.

1) for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity
2) the worlds, universe
3) period of time, age   -   For Synonyms see entry 5921

Aionios:  aiwniov

166. aiwniov aionios ahee-o'-nee-os; from 165;
perpetual (also used of past time, or past and future as well):-- eternal, for ever, everlasting, world (began).

166 aiwniov aionios ahee-o'-nee-os  -  from 165; TDNT - 1:208,31; adj

KJV - eternal 42, everlasting 25, the world began + 5550 2, since the world began + 5550 1, for ever 1;   71 instances in all.

1) without beginning and end, that which always has been and always will be
2) without beginning
3) without end, never to cease, everlasting   -   For Synonyms see entry 5801

Aidios:  aidiov

126. aidiov aidios ah-id'-ee-os; from 104;
everduring (forward and backward, or forward only):-- eternal, everlasting.

126 aidiov aidios ah-id'-ee-os  -  from 104; TDNT - 1:168,25; adj

KJV - eternal 1, everlasting 1;    2 instances in all

1) eternal, everlasting   -   For Synonyms see entry 5801

The lesson here? Forever is not always forever. Sometimes it is a limited time of an extended or long period, but not permanent or everlasting. It does have an end with time. That was the situation with the law. It was only to remain for a time until Christ should institute a new covenant to replace the old. A further review of this subject on the main page on the law should help further clarify these assertions. By all means, be sure to check them out.

The big difference between aion and aionios is that aion can denote a period of time, that is, a limited period of time such as an age or an epic where as there seems to be a more lasting nature to aionios.

None of the Hebrew scriptures we considered earlier ever got discussed in the NT. Of the many times aion or aionios appear, it is usually in reference to God, who is absolutely eternal and everlasting in the extreme sense of those words. Aion/aionios is also associated with life and punishment or judgment. But it is also clear when speaking of the law, that it was not at all permanent or everlasting. It came to an end. So we need not worry that those word meanings of olam were not discussed in regard to the law.

It was easily understood in the time of Jesus and later the Apostles that the Messiah (Hebrew for "anointed one") / Christ (Greek for "anointed one") was to come and fulfill the law and change the law as regards the symbols of worship and things to observe in ritual. When someone argued for circumcision or whatever, the Apostles shot it down fast and hard. The ritual ceremonial law was over!

Now let us look how aion and aionios are used and translated in the NT.

John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever (Strong's 165 - aion): and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Romans 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever (165). Amen.

Hebrews 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever (165) and ever (165): a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

Ephesians 3:11 According to the eternal (165) purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

1Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal (165), immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

As you can see from these previous 4 verses, when the NT writers use aion as in for ever or eternal, it seems to always be associated with life or God or His kingdom, and is intended in its most extreme and permanent sense. That same goes for anionios in the next 4 scriptures.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting (Strong's 166 - aionios) life.

Romans 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting (166) God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

Matthew 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal (166) life?

2Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal (166) in the heavens.

The next 2 scriptures bring up an instnace where forever or everlasting, that is, aionios, is not intended in its most extreme, permanent, lasting sense. Those who are correctly informed know that hell is thrown into the lake of fire so that hell and the lake of fire are not the same thing. I address the topics of hell and the lake of fire elsewhere and link to them in Related Articles at the end of this page.

Matthew 18:8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting (166) fire.

Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting (166) punishment: but the righteous into life eternal (166).

In these last 2 examples, aioinios, translated as everlasting, was intended to indicate a punishment from which there was no return. It was permanent, everlasting, no resurrection ever possible again. This was an important point for God to make as He obviously foresaw the religions that exist today that say that eventually everybody will be saved in God's merciful plan and that is an absolute lie. If we don't take God's message of judgment seriously, we will lose out forever and that is in an absolute sense. But it does not mean that they will suffer alive in a fiery torment forever as some envision in a hell. The everlasting fire is a symbol of the permanence of the state of judgment, having no chance at a resurrection. Get it right the first time or lose out forever. Again, the separate topic on hell will serve this subject much better than I do here.

Put another way, the everlasting applies to the fact that the adverse judgment lasts forever, not the torment. The torment mentioned in other places is symbolic as is the fire in Mathew 18.

The following 2 scriptures were an oddity that I thought I would throw in just for curiosity's sake. The original Greek word is "aidios." Not much different than the other 2 definitions. It only appears 2 times in the NT, once as everlasting and once as eternal. Very rare compared to the other 2 Greek words.

Jude 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting (Strong's 126) chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal (126) power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.

Judaizing and religious "Zionizing" as I like to call it, are serious errors, started in the 1st century and continued to the present. Someone is always trying to drag Christians back into the law. Galatians is all about this very subject. It is vitally important that we understand the many and serious dangers presented by these ultimate heresies. There is only one path to God and that is through His son. The Mosaic law was never intended to be forever. If it was, it would make Jesus and the new covenant, referred to even by name by the Apostles, look silly and useless. The antichrist will claim a separate path for Jews and support a rebuilt temple and sit down, pretending to be Jesus, himself. He will argue for the law yet once again, even as many have done right up to the moment. But he and all like him who promote the old law rituals and ceremonies will be rejected by God and ultimately destroyed. We do not want to be misleading anyone with our teachings.

Now is the time more than ever, to dump the law and embrace the new covenant and the true freedom and liberty that come with redemption and salvation from the blood of Christ. All those Judaizing and Zionizing will be thrown into the lake of fire. Don't be foolish. What we sow we shall reap. Repent while there is barely any time left.

Related Articles

Why We Don't Observe the Law!
About the Soul & Death & Hell, too!
On The Proper Names of God and His Son Some claim that the form of God's name and that of His son are vitally important and that only one version is acceptable. They are wrong! Some say the Greek Septuagint Translation is unreliable. They are wrong! This one relates to many who observe the law as mandatory. Some only accept Hebrew scriptures. They are wrong! Anyway, here is the truth, as always!

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