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XIX. Does The Bible Teach Eternal Life In Hell? (Continued)

A. Does “Forever” Always Mean Never Ending?

2. What Is The Key To There Unity?

NOTE:
    In this section the original Greek or Hebrew (in italics and parentheses) follows it’s english equivilant.
    Now to answer the question, Does “forever” always mean never ending?
    Are the words “for ever” used in the Bible where they have an understanding that is different then “never ending, without ceasing”? Yes, “for ever” is used where it has the obvious meaning of: lasting only as long as the duration of the event or as long as the person lives.
    Consider this section of texts which give some examples of the words “for ever” used with an obvious alternate meaning.

Jonah 1:
    17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah 2:
    6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever (owlam or olam): yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.

NOTE:
    Notice that Jonah calls “three days and three nights”, “forever.”

1 Samuel 1:
    22 But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the Lord, and there abide for ever (owlam or olam).
    28 Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord. And he worshipped the Lord there.

NOTE:
    Hannah clearly explains what she means by the term “forever” when she says in verse 28, “as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord.”

Deuteronomy 23:
    3 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the Lord for ever (owlam or olam):

NOTE:
    Here “forever” is “ten generations.”

1 Chronicles 28:
    4 Howbeit the Lord God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever (owlam or olam): for he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he liked me to make me king over all Israel:

NOTE:
    “Forever” obviously is as long as David lived.

2 Kings 5:
    27 The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever (owlam or olam). And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.

NOTE:
    Leprosy lasted for Gehazi as long as he lived.

Exodus 21:
    5 And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:
    6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever (ad).

Deuteronomy 15:
    16 And it shall be, if he say unto thee, I will not go away from thee; because he loveth thee and thine house, because he is well with thee;
    17 Then thou shalt take an aul, and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant for ever (owlam or olam). And also unto thy maidservant thou shalt do likewise.

Philemon 1:
    10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:
    11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:
    15 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever (aionios);

NOTE:
    Studying the texts that use the Hebrew word (owlam or olam) “ever” makes it apparent that the meaning of the word is determined by the context in which it is used. Compare the story of God guarding the tree of life with that of Jonah in the whale. Eating of the tree of life clearly implies a life without end while the story of Jonah clearly states that “for ever” is three days and three nights. (see the two storys below)

Genesis 3:
    22 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever (owlam or olam):
    24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Jonah 1:
    17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah 2:
    6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever (owlam or olam): yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.

    According to the examples in this section: lasting only as long as the duration of the event or lasting only as long as the person lived are alternate meanings to the word “ever.”
    If one looks at the definitions of the Hebrew and Greek words for “ever” it will verify that these words do have more then one meaning.
    Let’s try substituting one of the Bible interpretations of the word “ever” in Revelation 20:10 and see if it helps to eliminate the conflict between the two list.

Revelation 20:
    10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever (aion) and ever (aion) (as long as they last in the fire or until the fire has burned them up completely).

    Now Revelation 20:10 can agree with Ezekiel 28:18 which states, “Satan will be brought to ashes on this earth.”

Ezekiel 28:
    16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
    18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.

    This is a good example of letting the Bible interpret itself.

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