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Bible Dictionary: Define For Ever, Definition of For Ever


Clearly, the words Ever, Forever, and Forever and Ever, and in some cases, World, should be translated as Eon, Age, or of the Age when the translation is from aion, olam, alam, or ad.  In addition, there are some other words, such as evermore, that generally do not mean eternal or eternally.

The adjective, aionios, should be translated as eonian or pertaining to the age.

God created time, and organized time into ages or eons, but God is both the God of the ages and the God of eternity.  Eternity is not constrained by time.

Some variations are the eon of the eon, the eon of the eons, and the eons of the eons.

Strong's Concordance gave the following meaning for Aion. 1) for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity 2) the worlds, universe 3) period of time, age.  That is quite a range of definitions.  At first glance, it seems that there must be a mistake, and further investigation shows us that this is indeed a mistake.  The word means Eon or Age.  There are so many verses where the interpretation of eternity makes no sense that it cannot be eternity.  Age, or Eon always makes sense.  There is no context by which it does not make sense.

The claim of some is that, if the word is used to describe God's kingdom, power, and glory and God's life, then it must mean eternity, perpetuity of time and never ending.  The reasoning, were it stated in clear terms, would say that God cannot be the God of the ages and still be the God of eternity.  That is false, just as it is false to say that God cannot be my God and God of the Universe and God of the church.  Man's reasoning is naturally flawed.  If I tell you that my car will last a week and a tank of gas in the car lasts a week, are both of these claims true?  Yes, they are both true. The fact that the car lasts a week and more does not make it less than true that my car lasts a week.  So, the logic is flawed, raw human reasoning (the reasoning of the human mind without the Intelligence of the Creator flowing through the human mind) is not the means by which God reveals His word, and there are reasons that people promote false doctrine.

There are several words that are translated as ever, never, for ever, for ever and ever. Most of these words literally refer to a long, unspecified period of time. As with all Scripture, this was given by revelation and confirmed by many Spirit-filled believers. These things are hard to understand and not necessary for salvation. One man did get a better understanding when his English professor and he were talking. The professor said that he knew that there was a God, but that the God of the Bible didn't make any sense. The professor continued to say that the God of the Bible is all-powerful and would have all to be saved, yet is not able to have all be saved. The man was then able to tell the professor that the professor's conclusion is where his logic became invalid. Then, the man explained to the professor about the ages versus never ending.

Go through every occurrence in both the Old and New Testament. There is no verse where the literal translation of the word does not make sense. There is a coming Kingdom Age, probably the 1,000 years mentioned in Revelation. There is the Age of the Ages, and the Ages of the Ages yet to come after that. The smoke of the Lake of Fire goes to the Ages of the Ages. We can't imagine how long and terrible that would be. A second in Hell would be an eternity. The human mind is unable to comprehend the terrible process or the length of time. God created the Ages. He is the God of the Ages. Satan may be the god of this present evil age to those who are under his control, but Jesus Christ is holding all things together even now. We will be in eternity with God in the final end, and no human being can understand eternity. Some have said that it is not simply a long time but it is outside of time. We will have to leave that with God.

New Testament Noun
165 aion ahee-ohn'
Eon or Age

3842 pantote pan'-tot-eh
at all times, always, perpetual or perpetually

1336 dienekes dee-ay-nek-es'
 continuously, continuous

New Testament Adjective
166 aionios ahee-o'-nee-os
Eonian or of the Age

Old Testament

05769 'owlam o-lawm' or 'olam o-lawm'
Eon or Age

05865 'eylowm ay-lome' from owlam

05957 'alam (Aramaic) aw-lam'
The root word from which olam/owlam is taken is the Aramaic word, alam or awlam. 

05703 'ad ad
Best translated as age or eon.

03117 yowm yome
a day, a time, a year

01755 dowr dore or (shortened) רdor dore
a time

08548 tamiyd taw-meed'
continuity, perpetuity, to stretch

01755 dowr dore or (shortened) dor dore
period, generation, habitation, dwelling

There are some variations in the New Testament:

Eon of the Eon is often mistakenly translated as for ever and ever.

Some say that this is the same as the eon of the eons.

Eon of the Eons is often mistakenly translated as for ever and ever.

This is a similar structure to other such terms used in Scripture: "song of songs," meaning the greatest song, "vanity of vanities," meaning the most vain of the vanities, "servant of servants," meaning the most lowly servant, "holy of the holies," meaning most holy, "God of gods," the God above all gods, "Lord of lords," meaning the Lord above all lords, "prince of princes," meaning the prince above all princes, "Hebrew of Hebrews," meaning a Hebrew above all Hebrews. So, the eon of the eons could refer to the greatest of all eons.

There is another similar structure in Scripture: a week of weeks, although not mentioned as such, Leviticus 23:6 says: "You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath."  In that sense, this could be an age of ages or an eon of eons.

Eons of the Eons

This is a similar structure to one other such term used in Scripture: "holies of the holies," meaning both the holy place and the holy of holies.  In the same way, the eons of the eons could be the sum total of all the eons. 

1336 dienekes dee-ay-nek-es'
neuter of a compound of 1223 and a derivative of an alternate of 5342;; adj
AV-continually + 1519 2, for ever + 1519 2; 4
1) continuously, continuous 


Last updated: Sep, 2013
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