Scott Paris

   How long is  "for ever" in our King James version of the Bible? How long is its  synonyms "always, eternal, everlasting, continual, perpetual, ever and  ever, for ever more"? When believers answer, "endless!" They are  wrong in many instances. In our familiar version of the Scriptures, these  apparently permanent words refer to differing time periods. This is because  these English words were translated in most cases from the Hebrew word  "olam" which is akin to our word "age." And age has  differing time periods, just as "olam" did. Many believers don't  realize this, so they are faced with direct contradictions as they read their  bibles. 
How long is  "for ever" (or its synonyms) then? Surprisingly, this is much like  the old question, "How long is a piece of string?" No one could know  the answer generally, for each piece of string has to be measured. Just so,  each "for ever" (or its synonyms) has to be measured before knowing  the answer. Some of these texts seem to refer to that which is endless, but  there are at least 100 texts which could not be possibly endless! The  translators knew "olam" could not always mean "endless", so  they translated 37 texts in the Old Testament alone to other wording, to indicate temporary time periods! We have to research  outside our King James version to determine which texts these are, so we could  term these "hidden texts" to the average reader. The translators had  an obvious dilemma, for some of the for ever" texts which are temporary periods,  the translators did not change. 
   1. Jonah said  of his three days and nights in the Whale- "The earth with her bars was  about me for ever." Jonah 2: 6. This is the shortest "for ever"  text in the bible. 
   2.The slave was  to serve his master "for ever." Ex. 21: 6.3. The bondman was to serve  "for ever." Lev. 25: 46. 
   Many of the  "for ever" texts in the K.J. version are "for ever",  "until." 
   4. The lamp in  the tabernacle was to "burn always." Ex. 27: 20. To "burn  continually."Lev. 24: 2, "It shall be a statute for ever." Lev.  24: 3. 
   5. "The  fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out." Lev. 6:  13. 
   6. The heave  offering was a "statute for ever." Lev. 10: 15, Ex. 29: 27, 28. 
   7. "So  shall they was their hands and their feet", "a statute for  ever." Ex. 30: 20, 21. 
   8. The  "piece offerings", were "a statute for ever." Lev. 7: 34,  35. 
   9. They were to  bake and burn incense "continually." Lev. 24: 8. 
   The O. T.  scriptures gave no hint that these ordinances were only until another time, but  the New Testament tell us they were only "until the reformation."  Heb. 9: 8-10. 
   10. Aaron and  his seed were to serve in the Tabernacle "for ever." Ex. 27: 21, 28:  43, 29: 28, Num. 18: 23, Deut. 18: 5, 1 Chron. 15: 2, 23: 13. 
   11. The priests  were to wear "linen breeches" a "statute for ever." Ex. 28:  43. 
   12. They were  to sacrifice "for ever." Lev. 6: 22, 7: 34, 10: 15. To offer,  "an ordinance for ever." Num. 18: 8, 11, 19, To offer "burnt  sacrifices continually." 1 Chron. 23: 31. 
   13. They were  to dress in "girdles" and "bonnets" "for a perpetual  statute.' Ex. 29: 9. 
   14. In the  Tabernacle were not to "drink wine nor strong drink-a statute for  ever." Lev. 10: 8, 9. Since the O. T. teaches that only Aaron and his seed  were to be priests "for ever" we would naturally expect that the New  Testament High Priest would be a descendant of Aaron; but no, He "sprang  out of Judah," of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning  priesthood." Heb. 7: 14-24. Aaron's "for ever" then was  "until" Jesus death, resurrection and ascension. 
   15. The  Passover "shall be unto you for a memorial-ye shall keep it a feast by an  ordinance for ever." Ex. 12: 14, 17, 24. 
   16. The feast  of unleavened Bread, to be observed "for ever." Ex. 12: 17. 
   17. The Day of  Weeks (Pentecost), "do no servile work, "for ever." Lev. 23: 21. 
   18. The Day of  Atonement was to be a day of fasting, "once a year," an  "everlasting statute." Lev. 16: 34. 
   19. The Feast  of Tabernacles, "to dwell in booths," "for ever." Lev. 23:  41. 
   20: The New  Moons and solemn feasts "an ordinance "for ever to Israel."  11 Chron. 2: 4. What is going to be the believers answer who maintains that the  feast days are done away with, if "for ever means through all  "eternity?" 
   These foregoing  are some of the direct contradictions in our King James Bible. these  contradictions have caused untold confusion. We believers know that scriptures  were inspired of God, but the translators were not. They tried to make the  Hebrew word "olam" mean throughout eternity, so wrong doctrines  arose. They usually translated "olam" into the "for ever"  concept, but other texts had to be changed, or the translation would have  sounded ridiculous. Let's examine just three of their changed texts putting  them in their "for ever" and see how they sound. (I will quote their  change in brackets after each sentence.): 
   21. "Thus  saith the Lord God of Israel,  Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood "for ever." (in old  time) Joshua 24: 2. 
   22.  "Behold, these are the unrighteous, who prosper "for ever." (in  the world) Ps. 73: 12. 
   23. "For  since "for ever men have not heard..." (beginning of the world)  Isaiah 64: 4. 
   Believers know  how wrong it is to add or take away from the Word, but here the translators  changed one Hebrew word "olam" into as many as four English words!  Did the translators have any right to add to or take away from the Word than we  as believers do? We don't, and they certainly did not! When they did, they  violated a sacred trust, complicating bible study, making the bible contradict  itself, and resulting in contradictory doctrines being considered scriptural  opposing groups! 
   Strong's  exhaustive concordance lists "olam" as # 5769 in the Hebrew Lexicon.  We counted 19 different ways that "olam" was translated into English!  The non-permanent temporary ways "olam" was translated were:  "ancient" five times. "Old" 25 times. "Long" 3  times. "In old time" 1 time."World" 2 times. "In the  world" 1 time. 
   Then they  translated it 12 other ways, into permanent sounding words:  "Everlasting" 57 times. "For ever more" 13 times.  "Lasting 1 time. "Perpetual" 22 times."World without  end" 1 time. "Alway" 1 time. "Always" 3 times."Continuance"  1 time."Eternal" 1 time."For ever" 232 times."Ever 8  times. And "Never" or "never any more" altogether 12 times. 
   Is this  consistent translation? No. Here, we are referring just to the Old Testament,  but when we get to the New, we realize the translators bogged down! The Greek  word "eon" or "aionios" is roughly the same as our English  word "age."We get our word "eon" from this Greek word, and  it means "age." 
   Again the  translators thought "eon" meant "for ever" and they  translated it that way 51 times, but there were 40 other texts where "for  ever" could not possibly have fit in, so they translated it  "world" 40 times! We list a few of these texts, so that you can see  for yourself how ridiculous "for ever" would have sounded-Rom. 16:  25, 11 Tim. 1: 9, Titus 1: 2, Rom. 12: 2, Mark 4: 19. 
   If "for  ever" is endless (as most bible readers think) could it be  "until"? Isaiah 32: 10-15 presents to us the paradox in the King  James version: 
   24. God told Israel,  "Many days and years shall ye be troubled, - for the vintage shall  fail-upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briars; yea, upon all  the houses of joy-the forts and towers shall be dens for ever - until the  spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful  field." Isaiah 32: 10-15. 
   25. Babylon is to be  "desolate "for ever." Jer. 51: 26, 62, "It shall never be  inhabited "for ever." Isaiah 13: 19, "Be no more inhabited  "for ever." Jer. 50: 39. The Lord will make "perpetual  desolation's." Jer. 25: 12. 
   26. Mount Seir  will become "perpetual desolation's, and the cities shall not  return." Ezek. 35: 9. 
   27. Hazor will  be "a desolation for ever: and there shall no man abide there, nor any son  of man dwell in it."Jer. 49: 33. 
   28. Idumea will  be desolate with streams turned into pitch- "It shall not be quenched  night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: - shall lie in waste;  none shall pass through it for ever and ever." Isaiah 34: 9, 10. 
   29. Edom  "shall be cut of for ever." Obadiah 10. 
   30. Moab will  become "a perpetual desolation." Zeph. 2: 9. 
   31. "I -  will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you  and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence: and I will bring and  everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame."Jer. 34: 39, 40.What  a cause for rejoicing is ours when we realize that His forgetting, His  forsaking, and His "everlasting" reproach are only "until"  "spirit be poured upon us from on high!" Isaiah 32: 10-15. Of course,  the earth will not have desolate places for ever. 
   Is the present  earth to stand for ever? Or is it to be destroyed? Bible students have and  still line up against each other, quoting for ever texts. 
   32. "- the  earth abideth for ever." Ecc. 1: 4. 
   33. The  foundations of the earth were laid so "that it should not be removed for  ever." Ps. 104: 5. 
   Is there a  contradiction? "The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall  be removed out of her place."Isaiah 13: 13. There will be a "New  heavens and a new earth."Isaiah 65: 17, 66: 22, Rev. 21: 2. 
   34. The Lord  said to Abraham- "Look from the place where you are northward, and  southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which you see, to you I  will give it, and to your seed for ever." 
   Gen. 13: 14,  15. Abraham's seed possessed it until they became disobedient. Note the  "for ever" promised to those for their disobedience: 
   35. If they  were not obedient, they would "Be removed into all the kingdoms of the  earth." Deut. 28: 25. So they were scattered. This is a "sign and a  wonder, and upon thy seed for ever." Deut. 28: 46. 
   David was  faithful, but his seed after him was not: 
   36. David  "shall build me an house, and I will establish his throne for ever."  1 Chron. 17: 12. 
   37. "David  shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of Israel." Jer. 33: 17. 
   Here are some  texts which teach an unloving concept of God, that He is unforgiving and will  always be angry. Contrast them with the texts which show that He is forgiving  and will not always be angry.: 
   38. "For  you have kindled a fire in my anger, which shall burn for ever." Jer. 14:  4. 
   39. The Lord is  angry against Edom,  and His "indignation for ever." Mal. 1: 4. Is that a contradiction?? 
   40. "He  will not always chide: neither will He keep His anger for ever." Ps. 103:  9. 
   41. "For I  will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit  should fail before me, and the souls which I have made." Isaiah 57: 16. 
   The scriptures  are plain that only a "few" will find the way now. For many centuries  believers have thought it is scriptural that the rest of humanity (the  majority) will suffer endless punishment in hell. The King James translators  thought so. Note the texts they handed down to us, which teach this very  unscriptural concept.: 
   42. "And  these shall go away into everlasting punishment." Matt. 25: 46. 
   43. The devil,  the beast and the false prophet "shall be tormented day and night for ever  and for ever." Rev. 20: 10. 
   44. This  torment is "in the presence of the Lamb." Many maintain it is away  from Him that this torture ascends up "for ever and for ever." Rev.  14: 10, 11. 
   45.  "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire." Matt. 25: 41, 46.  Here Jesus called punishment for sin aonian kolasin (age long chastisement).  Philo a contemporary of Christ, used the word aidion to denote endless, and  aionian temporary duration. He used the exact phraseology as Jesus Matt. 25:  46. 
   Josephus said  of the Pharisees that they believed wicked spirits are to be kept in eternal  imprisonment (eirgmon aidion). And bad men are subjected to eternal punishment  (aidios timoria). 
   46. Sodom suffered "the  vengeance of eternal fire." Jude 7. 
   47. "Let  them be confounded and troubled for ever." Ps. 83: 17. 
   48. "To  whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever." Jude 13. 
   49. "And  her smoke rose up for ever and ever." Rev. 19: 3. Compare Isaiah 34: 10. 
   50. It is  better to be maimed now, "rather than having two hands or two feet to be  cast into everlasting fire." Matt. 18: 8. 
   Good bible  students know that the punishment ahead for the unrepentant is grievous, and  that it can be long, but is it "for ever?" This awful "for  ever" concept is deeply ingrained within most believers minds, so much so,  that they even refuse to consider that the unrighteous will ever be corrected  by punishment! Simply, we believers take corrective punishments here and now.  The wicked later. But it is all for correction! 
   Many believers  have reacted against the "for ever" torture, but then they go on to  equally unscriptural concepts. When the scriptures teach a "for ever"  forgetting of the wicked, many believers maintain that wicked people won't even  rise for judgment! Note that it matters not whether the unrighteous lived in  times past, or will be living in the future, all are forgotten "for  ever." Note nine (9) following texts which indicate  the past dead are "for ever" forgotten: 
   51. When the  Egyptians pursued the Israelites, then drowned in the sea, they will be seen  "no more for ever." Ex. 14: 13. 
   52. Asshur and  Eber perished "for ever." Numbers 24: 24. 
   53. "Thou  hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out  their name for ever and ever." Ps. 9: 5. 
   54. The 26th,  27th, and 28th chapters of Ezekiel speak of the wicked Tyre  and Sidon,  which later were destroyed, about 2200 years ago. Note that all three chapters  say of Tyre and Sidon that they will "never be found  again." Ezek. 27: 36, 28: 19. Some of the 28th chapter is misapplied to  Satan. 
   55. Speaking of  the ones now dead, "Neither have they any more a portion for ever in that  which is done under the sun."Ecc. 9: 5, 6. That which is done under the  sun is still in time, not eternity. 
   56. Sodom and Gomorrah  "Suffered the vengeance of eternal fire." Jude 7. 
   58. "Like  the slain that lie in the grave, whom you remember no more." Ps. 88: 5. 
   59. "The  virgin of Israel  is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken." Amos 5: 2. 
   60. Upon Israel will be  brought "an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame."The  Lord will "utterly forget you." Jer. 23: 39, 40. 
   61. The wicked  and the hypocrite shall "perish for ever like his own dung." Job 20:  7. 
   62. "They  that trust their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their  riches-their soul is precious, and it ceases for ever." Ps. 49: 8. 
   63. "God  shall likewise destroy thee for ever." Ps. 52: 5. 
   64. Of future  destruction, many believe it is permanent: the unrighteous "shall be  punished with everlasting destruction." 11 Thess. 1: 8, 9. 
   65. "And  many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to  everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Dan. 12: 2. 
   66. The wicked  "shall be destroyed for ever." Ps. 92: 7. 
   67. "My  people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected  knowledge; I will reject you, that you shall be no priest to me: seeing you  have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget thy children."  Hosea 4: 6. 
   68. "An  Amorite or a Moabite shall not enter into the congregation - even to their  tenth generation for ever." Deut. 23: 3. 
   Do these for  ever texts mean what they say? Many believers teach that all heathen are dead  for ever, every man, woman and child, will not rise again. Not understanding  these "for ever" texts as only "until" another time causes  our heavenly Father to appear unjust! Other believers maintain that all must  rise and be judged, and these believers have many texts to prove their point. 
   Can we  reconcile these differing concepts? We must teach that no one has ever, or is  ever going to perish "for ever" literally! Each and ever one who ever  lived will rise to be judged. All are remembered by God, the Creator! What a  beautiful concept is taught by Scripture that is rightly translated.  Mistranslation of scripture is at fault, not the original text! "Can a  woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son  of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee." Isaiah 59:  15. 
   Ministers love  to teach about the value of each soul, but their doctrine often denies it! Are  not each of us of more value than many sparrows? The Lord said so. Ezekiel  tells us that the Lord declares "All souls are mine!" Ezek. 18: 4. Is  Satan the Lord's? Job will tell you: "The deceived and the deceiver are  His." Job 12: 16. So, going on to tiny creatures, Jesus said of the  sparrows "Not one of them is forgotten before God." Lk. 12: 6. 
   69. "For I  will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." Jer.  31: 34. He says he will cause them to walk in His laws here! Thank God. 
   70. Let us  again contrast to forgetting for ever:"Thou shalt be no more remembered:  for I the Lord have spoken it." Ezek. 21: 32. He does seem to forget for a  time, but after that He remembers ALL! 
   Tyre and Sidon  were destroyed about 300 years before Jesus' earthly time. these cities have  not been inhabited since. "Olam" was used in Ezekiel 26, 27, and 28th  chapters; that they will be no more is indicated  by mistranslation. Will they be in the judgment? Of course, Jesus said it would  be more tolerable for them in the judgment than for the Israelite cities. He  will correct all iniquities. He said of Sodom  and Sidon, that if they had the opportunity Capernaum had, "they  would have repented long ago." Matt. 11: 21. Many believers maintain that  if you are not converted before death, it is for ever too late! Should death  end hope? Is God powerless to deal with human kind after death? The  "spirit of (of man) shall return to god that gave it." Ecc. 12: 7.  Paul gives us a pretty lucid description of this when confronted with the problem  of an adulterous Christian at Corinth: 
   "I verily,  as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were  present, concerning him that has so done this deed, 
   "In the  name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, and my spirit,  with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
   "To  deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit  may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."1 Cor. 5: 3-5. 
   The word "Sodom" has become a  by-word of all that is evil. So all were destroyed. Many believers point to Sodom as an example of  the end of the wicked, for they were destroyed by fire "for ever."If  they are an example of what happens to the wicked, then there is hope for the  wicked. For Sodom  will RISE, be judged, and will RETURN to their former estate. The Lord will be  pacified toward them "for all thou hast done." Ezekiel the whole 16th  chapter, especially verses 55 and 63. In the Lord's sight, Israel was "more corrupted" than Sodom "in all thy  ways." Ezek. 16: 47. So in the end, the Lord will be pacified towards Sodom, Samaria and Israel! And Tyre and Sidon  could not be forgotten, for the Lord never completely forgets for ever any  individual! 
   For hundreds of  years believers have been plagued with these "for ever" texts, which  caused mental blocks to shut out scriptures which could have reconciled them.  "For ever" must be measured every time in the King James version.  Some times the passage explains the time element, but at other times, a lot of  scripture has to be compared before we can measure accurately how long is  meant. "A little knowledge is dangerous," it is said, so a lot of  knowledge is needed here, or else we assume wrongly that "for ever"  is endless. 
   Will everyone  who ever lived arise to be rewarded or judged? Of course! No one has been  forgotten, nor will anyone ever be! Failure to recognize this causes false  doctrines to spring up. Will anyone's death be final? No, our Savior was  victorious over every death! All who have been created have been redeemed, but  it is going to be very hard on those who must go through long correction! Many  believers resist measuring these for ever texts. But it is all so simple! The  righteous (who are a minority, as a few) will receive life which is not subject  to death. Rev. 2: 11. This thrives on and on until death is destroyed. In  effect then, life is ETERNAL life, and there is not one thing to worry over! So  as believers, let us rejoice that we receive such LIFE, none will be tortured  for ever, nor destroyed for ever. ALL of us are safe in our heavenly Father's  hands! Praise Him. Oh, how we can trust such a loving Creator. 
Scott Paris