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Author Topic: olam and ad; an inquiry  (Read 6195 times)

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olam and ad; an inquiry
« on: January 05, 2012, 09:53:09 AM »

Dear Ray,
First I must thank you.  My eyes were opened about 3 or 4 years ago to the Truth of God's salvation of ALL men, through the writings of another man on another website.  Your writings have not only increased my knowledge and my thirst for Truth, but have also humbled me before a God who is far more glorious and sovereign than I had ever before thought Him to be. I know you're a busy man, and I saw on the forums that you're not in the best of health currently (I am praying for you), so I will keep this as brief as possible.
I am in full agreement with everything I have read on your site thus far because you have proved it Scripturally.  In doing some of my own research however, I came across something that confused me.  In Isaiah 9:6, one of the names that Jesus will be called is "Everlasting Father".  The Hebrew word translated here is not "olam", but the word "ad" meaning "perpetuity" (according to Strong's).  It is used elsewhere in the OT, and in some cases is used either before or after olam (2 Sam 3:28, Ex. 15:18) and in such cases often rendered in the English as "forever and ever" (never mind that it does not grammatically make sense).  Since Strong's has a habit of contradictory definitions, is there a different definition for "ad" that I'm missing?  The root is "adah" and Strong's defines it this way:  
adorn, deck self, pass by, take away
A primitive root; 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

The verses which use both "olam" and "ad" would have to be talking about both an undefined and perpetual period of time, and I'm not certain if that makes sense.  If you have the time and the energy, I would very much appreciate your thoughts on this.  I'm all muddled up.
If I don't receive a reply, I of course will not be offended; I'll ask my questions on the forums and see what others may say. =)

--May the grace and peace of the Lord Jesus be with you,


Dear Meg:
From context alone, it is possible to prove that "ad" cannot possibly mean "for ever" or "eternal." The example
you give in Ex. 15:18 is a good example:  "The Lord shall reign for ever [Heb: 'olam'] and ever [Heb: 'ab']."
Does the Lord reign from one kind of "ever" (olam?) plus another kind of "ever" (ab?)?   Of course not.
The first word "olam" does not mean "ever" and neither does the second word "ab" mean "ever." Two different
words are used because two different thoughts are in view.  The word "olam" has the connotation of age or ages.
But the exact period of time is usually not given.  Slaves could belong to their owners "for EVER"--that is, for their
lifetime, which was not exactly known.  One can live for ten years or a hundred and ten years.
So it is correct to say that the LORD reigns olam--for the eons or ages.  What then does the second "ever" designate
then?  It must mean something in addition (notice the conjunction "and") to the first olam--age or ages.  Well the word ab
has the connotation of time, but indefinite time.  It can be time in the past or time to yet come in the future. So the LORD
reigns for the eons or ages (past and present), but by the addition of the word ab this reign continue into the future as well.
We learn from God's Word that the words used in the Scriptures are pure words.  God does not have the same word
meaning both good and bad; or the same word meaning both light and darkness.  Therefore a word like ab cannot
mean both a time that comes to an end and time that never comes to an end.  That is what we call a contradiction, and
here is another verse that proves this point:
"...He beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the  everlasting [Heb: ab] mountains were scattered...." (Habakkuk 3:6).
Is this verse speaking of "eternal" mountains?  Notice a better translation:  "...scattered as dust are the perpetual
mountains..." (Rotherham's Version).  These mountains are old, they go back to antiquity, but they also stretch into the
future of perpetude.
Job 20:4, another one:  "Know you not this of old [ab] since man was placed upon earth."  Here ab stretches back in
time, and most translators are well aware of this.  Here Rotherham translates "of old" as "antiquity."
So what about "the everlasting Father" of Isaiah 9.6?  Notice Moffatt's translation:  "...and this the title that He bears--A
wonder of a counsellor, a divine hero, a father for all time ."  The Concordant Literal Old Testament may not be the best
translation here, but it absolutely does show that ab does not mean eternity:  "And the chieftainship shall come to be on
His shoulders, and His name is called Marvelous, Counsel to the master shall He bring, To the chief of the future , welfare."
Here's Rotherham's Version: "And His Name has been called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty GOD, Father of futurity ,
Prince of Prosperity, And of the increase of dominion, and of prosperity, There shall BE NO END."
And so all of the Scriptures harmonize and agree if we get rid of all that  "for ever and ever and ever"  nonsense.  Jesus
reigns by incarnation for a period of time. He reigns with all of the power, dignity, and character, of God Almighty.  This
includes being a "Father" to the nations of the world.  Jesus said: "When you see me you see THE FATHER."  The Father
is God.  And so Jesus could have just as well said: "When you see Me YOU SEE GOD!"  Why not?  The "Father" IS God.
How can we see God the Father (in the incarnation of Jesus) if the Father is not God?  So when we see God, we see
the Father (but only through incarnation, seeing that the Father God is INVISIBLE SPIRIT).  And since the Father is God,
when we see the Father in Christ, we see God in Christ, WE SEE GOD.  That may be as close as we ever come to
actually seeing God.  I will be covering this in more detail if I ever finish my paper:  "Solving the Enigma fo God."
God be with you,
« Last Edit: January 05, 2012, 11:49:57 AM by Rene »
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